This Instagram Star's Chinese Lo-Mein is the Neatest Noodle Dish We've Ever Seen

Guess what those noodles are made of (and yes, they're gluten-free).

Everyone is talking about food waste lately, and how to put our excessive consumption to better use. For Kristina Lechner, an Instagram food artist and former graphic designer and professional photographer, repurposing has a whole different meaning. She creates crisp, bright, original photos of foods that look good enough to eat... except they're made entirely out of reused household items.

Lechner, who confesses that she’s not especially skilled in the kitchen, draws inspiration from people around her who can cook. “I’m amazed what people can do with actual food. I’m a terrible cook, but I have always thought of food as an art form,” she told The Feast. Working out of a mini photography studio she's set up in her home kitchen, Lechner assembles a collection of items (sponges, socks, Tupperware lids, erasers) into little sculptures that look uncannily like the dishes they're meant to represent, at least from a distance. 

“I’m pretty meticulous about the shot, and usually will take way too many photos before I settle on one I’m satisfied with,” she says.

Once she's done shooting a project, Lechner disassembles it and reuses as many of the materials as possible. “One of my recent posts, ‘Beach Sand-wich,’ uses flip flops and a sun hat as ingredients, both of which I wore before and after the shoot. For ‘Couch Potato,’ I literally disassembled one of my couch cushions, stuffing and all. Fortunately, it went back together relatively well. A bit lumpy, but well worth it.” Here, a handful of her recent works:

French Fried Fire (made with matchsticks)

Nigiri Sush-eraser (erasers and yarn wrapped in athletic tape)

Kitchen Sandwich (sponges, Tupperware lids, rubber gloves, napkins)

TV Dinner (coaster, sponge, candle wax, cotton balls, washcloth, straws)

Loofah-LoMein (twine, Sharpie caps, loofah, crayons, socks, eyeshadow)

All photos by Kristina Lechner.

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