As human beings, we eat with our eyes. If a dish looks visually appealing, we will want to devour it in seconds. After all, if it looks good, it surely has to taste good, right? What if you took that thought and elevated it and used your food as art?
Food creates many different reactions from people. Some people are drawn to food because of the flavor, some look at it as just a source of nourishment, others look at it as a medium to create beautiful pieces of art.
For thousands of years, people have tried to make food taste good, but also look good. Anyone can make a plate of pasta look appetizing, but it can be taken to a whole other level and turn it into a piece of art. Those who dedicate many hours of their lives to turning food into art are called food artists.
You may have seen pictures where people will carve intricate designs in various types of produce, such as watermelons, cantaloupe, honeydew, and pumpkins. Other types of food can be turned into art as well. Why, the Japanese have created a new form of cuisine called Bento (or bento boxes) where a single portion of a meal is packaged in a box and the food is artfully arranged and designed to create a picture.
Spiralized food can be used to create beautiful pieces of food art. You could use thin zoodles to create patterns and designs. You can use different colors of vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash and the like) to make your dish look more artistic and colorful.
Even thin ribbons of food cut from a spiralizer can be used to create delicate rosettes and other types of flowers. Even when cooking, instead of automatically going straight for the spaghetti blade, try the ribbon blade to turn a simple dish of spaghetti with zoodles into a dish that is elegant and beautiful.
Whether you are interested in creating a great food presentation or turning your meals into a beautiful work of food art, there are several important components to take into consideration:
The support will be the patterns and colors that doesn’t interfere with the focal point. The size of the support should be comparable to food volume – not more or less than the main focus. When turning a dish into art, food artists will often use a white plate to allow their creativity shine.
The focal point is going to be that food item that is the star of the show. This could be the highest element on the plate, and it will usually go on one of the sides of the dish so it doesn’t overshadow other elements of the plate. When arranging the main dish, the focal point will usually be the protein.
Colors is important when creating a work of food art. It sets the tone for what the person receiving the plate should feel. For example, green on the plate is calming and brings a sense of freshness. Red is going to incite passion and excitement. Black elements will give your dish a feeling of elegance. You’ll want to avoid blue colors because it is going to suppress the diner’s appetite and the food will look unappetizing.
When using vegetables on the plate, it is important to take into consideration the shape and color and you will want to be mindful of their placement. You don’t want the vegetables to hide other elements of the dish.
Textures will play a big role in the presentation of your art. When you use contrasting textures (like form and soft, or silky and rigid textures), the dish is going to be elevated to a higher level, both in visual interest but also when eaten.
The contrasting textures are going to be made by using different methods of preparation. A crunchy texture will give a creamy soup an interesting texture, as will a silky ganache give a nougatine a different (and exciting) feel in the mouth.
The decoration you use on your plate should always be edible and you will need to consider the flavors. Most commonly, people will use herbs, spices, and other ingredients to decorate the plate. This could be a spiralized rosette of squash sitting on a nest of microgreens.
The garnish is going to increase the texture and the flavor of your dish. The garnish should balance the plate, but have a clean appearance.
When choosing elements of your piece of art, you want to choose food whose flavors complement each other.
Cooking for your loved ones is a wonderful way to show them how much you care. When you prepare a dish, you don’t want to slop the food on the plate; you’ll want to take time to create a lovely presentation that will entice the person to dig in and savor the flavors.
You can turn your food into works of art when you take your time and plan what you’d like to do. It will take some practice to take your food art to the next level. There are numerous books available that can help you step up your game, but you can begin practicing with a vegetable spiralizer and create flowers with the ribbon blade. Don’t stop there though! Let your imagination run free and experiement!