The Art of Food Presentation

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July 28, 2016

The Art of Food Presentation

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A good chef or cook is both an artist and scientist.
In this blog post I will focus on the artist side of the chef.
There is no question that people eat with their eyes. Many chefs take their time perfecting their skills on presentation. It is a way for the chef to demonstrate the pride in his or her work.   The plate, platter or table the food is on is the canvas, the food itself is the paint and the chef becomes the artist when he or she begins the work.  The chef has an amazing pallet to choose from, the freshest ingredients have an assortment of colors, shapes, textures flavors and aromas.
A quality chef will let the ingredients do most of the work. They choose only the freshest of ingredients, the ones with the most color, flavor and aromas, such as the bird of paradise pictured above.  It is really is quite simple to do and will put any dinner presentation over the top!  The bird is a fun thing to do with kids at a family gathering.
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Do you think you need help with an upcoming party? Phone a friend!
I was asked a few years ago to do a birthday cake for a friend’s birthday party for their kid. She handed me the toy construction vehicles and said, “Make it look like this” and then handed me a picture of a professionally done cake. What to do?   I called a former co-worker, Kelly Adams who used to own a bakery! She told me what to do and assisted in the “construction”.
Everything on the cake is edible except the toy trucks. The rocks are candy, the dirt is crushed Oreos and the pavement is edible paper. The rest is frosting. A big hit!
A fine demonstration in imagination and creativity, an artist after all!
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Sometimes you just can’t mess with simplicity of tradition. Italian that is!
Where is the art you say? It’s in the color contrast, the curve of the ingredients and the difference in the angles of the tomatoes, mozzarella and glaze.
Food is a cultural, yet can be enjoyed by everyone. Like good art.
Vine ripened plum tomatoes with fresh sliced mozzarella dusted with fresh chopped basil, black pepper and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
Of course, that is how I interpret it. You decide, that’s the fun part.
Some say that food cannot be art because it is consumed. If that is so, where is the music when the concert is over? It has been “consumed”! Not to be duplicated, like a fine dinner.
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Ok, Old school I know, but how can you beat this?
A very simplistic display, yet elegant. Let the food itself do the talking.
“We are, when in true harmony with our jobs, caretakers of nature’s crops, livestock and fish that are the art waiting for a canvas.” Chef Paul Sorgule-culinary cues blog.
If you are interested in culinary arts and what chefs do, this is a great blog.
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When preparing a fruit platter, always get the product the day before or day of. Display the fruit as in nature, never straight lines or in even numbers. (Almost all flowers have an odd number of petals.) Be sure there is a balance of colors and the most fragile fruit is on top. When building a platter for display always add height and dimension, the same as a great sculpture!
I would like to point out that all of the food you see in this blog was prepared by the kitchen staff at Candia Woods.
So in closing, yes food can be art.

Art: NOUN

  1. the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

 

Doug Alderman
Doug Alderman
Executive Chef at Candia Woods

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