The perfect plate is so much more than taste – it’s also about the food presentation and the setting.
Imagine the pleasure of sitting outside at a French boulangerie, surrounded by chatting couples, groups of friends, and people lingering over coffee, comforted by the street sounds, and inhaling the scent of freshly-baked croissants, baguettes, and pastries. The entire experience makes a morning cup of coffee something special.
There is an undeniable thrill in being served a single perfectly crafted ravioli, resting in a delicate, tasteful broth, with every soft bite reflecting the chef’s desire to please your senses. The simplicity of the presentation, and meticulous attention to detail with which every dish is prepared, makes enjoying food more than feeding the body – it nourishes the soul.
Good food presentation is an art and where I find it, there I will go.
A Feast for The Eyes
A salad where every ingredient is carefully placed for maximum aesthetic appeal, with tastes that mingle in fresh and unexpected ways, rather than thrown into the mix in a jumble makes every bite a journey to share with the people you love.
The cultures of food presentation and production are very different in Europe and the USA. Take a European friend into an American supermarket and they are shocked by the massive volume of food, and the uniform size and shape of the produce. We may have abundance, but the quest for uniformity leads to a sacrifice in flavor. For taste, I like to search out locally-grown organic produce. A tomato grown naturally has a completely different flavor than the beautiful, but bland options grown commercially.
In Italy, they take their food presentation very seriously, and have a government regulated quality assurance program for both wine and food. A “DOC” seal means that the food, whether olive oil, wine, or a tomato, was made with the traditional practices of their culture.
In European food, flavor reigns supreme. The size and shape of the vegetable is not the concern. Carefully sourced ingredients, bursting with natural flavor are sought out by the best chefs and home cooks. A salad, no matter how lovely, created with commercially grown produce will never win the battle for flavor.
A Table that Invites Conversation
Sharing food and drink with friends or family invites conversation and builds relationships. Creating an aesthetic table enhanced by the food presentation makes any meal sweeter. With my table, just like a recipe, I love to create the details – little touches create a more inviting meal. A softly folded napkin, a tumbling cascade of blooms, or candles can create a warm ambience that inspires confidences, smiles, and laughter.
In the end, it is the people sharing your table that make a meal a joyful experience that is truly unforgettable.