When I worked at a fine dining restaurant I will say that the most significant thing that I learned was the importance of food presentation. I have always felt that the way food looks is as important as it tastes. However, I recognize more and more that the way food is presented on the plate is a very important element to serving food.I am a personal chef but know that the food appeal is a major part of the creativity in my work. And since I have to take photos of the food I also know how important it is to make the food look just right. I use the food to create the dramatic presentation.
I could not believe the results of the trifle. It is delicious. But in effect it is simply an orange cream, orange chiffon cake and a berry sauce. If you served the piece of cake with some cream and berries on a plate it would look great. However, by assembling it in layers in a trifle bowl the dramatic effect is amplified. And people come back for seconds.
What I have learned is that the more dramatic it is, the more appreciation I get. What I enjoy is getting a "wow" response. Food is art and food is meant to be eating, but it is also meant to be enjoyed for what it is.
And what I really love is that I'm getting more creative over time. I also feel that the food I am learning to work with is getting more versatile and exciting to use as well. For example, using fresh mangoes for a frozen mango cream, or using Big Island mushrooms that are versatile and also very "cute." I also enjoy using fruit, such as pineapple as the bowl to serve the medley. And of course herbs are a wonderful addition to a dish, such as rosemary sprigs or mint leaves and basil. And here in Hawaii we use fresh orchids to decorate plates a well.
Allow your creativity to expand and explore the world of food that will tempt your palate and please the stomach.