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Milan-based sushi chef Yujia Hu is making headlines with his innovative “shoe-shi” creations. The intricate works of art that resemble popular sneakers are made using strands of black seaweed called nori, sashimi, rice, and any other edible ingredients needed to recreate the streetwear it is being modeled after.
The China-born food artist, who works at his family’s restaurant Sakana, has created everything from Air Jordans to Vans to Supreme slides. Due to the incredible detail, every “shoe-shi,” takes between 20 to 30 minutes to make. However, the bite-sized masterpieces are not meant to be just admired – Hu intends them to be devoured just like normal sushi.
“I began creating onigiri art, at first, just for fun, but then I started being very passionate about it and love what I am doing,” says the 28-year-old who has gained worldwide fame since he began posting his work to Instagram earlier this year.
Hu’s creativity does not end with shoes. He has also used fish and rice to create replicas of a range of NBA superstars and internationally-renowned artists and actors, including characters from Star Wars and former US President Barack Obama. What’s next? The talented chef says, “I have been thinking about recreating the dragon of Game of Thrones, but I have to study it a lot because it’s pretty difficult, it has a lot of details.”