June 18, 2009

Creativity in the Kitchen - Culinary Artistry

This past year has revealed so much to me about food, about being creative and about thinking outside of the box.

I have been going through some of my food photos and events over the past year. I am so grateful that I have taken photos. I remember when I started doing my website and had to create over a dozen dishes at once, that was a lot of work. I didn't know how to take food photos. However, I am very grateful to a friend who helped me create exquisite plates. And now each time I create a new dish I simply snap a few photos.

Creating an attractive dish is more than placing an herb or a flower on the plate. It's the composition. Even the dish itself is important. Not every plate I create is perfect. And maybe I don't do it according to symmetry. For me it's the food, the plate used, the decorations, the overall colors. It's everything.

This shrimp platter consists of spinach, shrimp with tails on and spicy radish sprouts with a purple flower to accent.

For me salads are all about being colorful and deliciously surprising. This salad had tomatoes and basil and avocado and sprouts and even a goat cheese cake. The colors were meant to stand out.

A piece of Ahi to the right and mushroom risotto could look bland and colorless. With the pesto butter and asparagus and basil leave the plate really comes alive. A little red was necessary to make the green on the plate pop a little more, especially since I had to use a white dish.

I think the handmade leaf plate makes a simple piece of bread with some cheese and tomatoes stand out like a piece of art. And the avocado salad is placed artistically atop a leaf of yellow swiss chard. For my orzo salad with sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, carrots, garlic, basil and feta it was formed into a small bowl and decorated with sundried tomatoes and basil leaves to really make the colors pop.

A sweet coconut sticky rice with 3-berry sauce is layered in a see-through bowl and crunchy coconut topping is crumbled on top. Something you want to eat. I certainly want a bite of that now!

The pineapple bowl with tropical fruit in it is my favorite. The pineapple leaves add green, the orchid says "Hawaii" and I really like using the bamboo tray for contrast. And the orange edible flowers add brightness to an otherwise bland chocolate cream shortbread with coconut.

When I began this journey I always knew I loved food but now I appreciate the beauty of food. I really appreciate the delicate balance of colors and textures and consistencies. Experimenting has been fun. The creative aspect has been enjoyable. What I appreciate most is knowing that edible art is meant to be eaten! And where it takes me next is part of the adventure!

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