September 27, 2006

Food as art


Over the years I have traveled a lot. For six years I travelled monthly with an expense account and had to wine and dine clients a lot. When you spend 18 to 20 days a month in a hotel room, no matter how nice it is, it gets old. But I did have a wonderful experiences which I would never go back and give up because they are filled with wonderful memories of interesting people, art museums, wonderful live music, and fabulous restaurants in all the major cities in the country and the UK.
None compare however with a dinner at home with my husband and children. I am going to gush now, so stop reading if you find this sort of thing offensive. As my husband sees the world through his years of being a designer, his motto in the kitchen is always, "The eye must eat too ..." Long ago he was coaxing youngest daughter to eat salad by creating a carved "tiki man" with a carrot. It worked. Tiki man has been rather absent lately and we did so miss biting his head off ceremoniously. Tiki man graced our table mid week last week along with the dish he created (he never uses a recipe) grey sole with vegetable confetti with rice timbales. On a Wednesday. I would never do that on a Wednesday. I love to cook too, and sometimes we have kitchen battles for the most exotic looking food and taste combinations. It is fun and we feel that life is short, strewn with chain restaurant food, full of copycat rehash (pardon the pun) and less than pretty, so the things we control should be as well designed as possible.
The word for the day is ... true ... as in the opposite of false, true blue and honest.

7 comments:

swampgrrl said...

i love your story and the kitchen battle. we have those at my house too, but it's usually me vs. me to see what "me" can come up with that will delight my family.

i absolutely love Tiki man. always good to have fun while eating...

and yes, the eye (and nose) is the first organ of digestion!

dang, now i'm hungry.

Ulla said...

Susan, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this tale of Tiki man. How wonderful. You are so lucky to have someone who sings the praises of 'the eye eating too...'. I have always loved food as art, edible art, ephemeral art, art that feeds us, heart and soul. Some day we will share meals of art - I am sure of it!!!

Angela Rockett said...

What a lovely, lovely post. And it is so true (ha, word of the day worked in!). I love to cook too, and I do find it's a way to combat the blah of the world. I've never carved my food into art, but it's definitely worth considering. :)

Denise said...

Love the tiki man - a gorgeous idea, I have carved flowers from carrot rounds, to entice my daughter also. She loves to 'decorate' the plates with the food for me. I often adapt or make up recipes as I go along, changing and adapting for flavour, it is much fun, bringing a little adventure to the everyday, and even better when it looks good too.

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

"The eye needs to eat too"
True down to the last crumb!
My family teases me about this everyday! I love to set the table and arrange the food on the plates...art starts here...doesn't every baby learn by putting everything in their mouth?

Toni said...

I can picture you both in the kitchen battling over the counter space and kitchen gagets.Love the story.

natacha matic said...

I agree with you husband it's important that the food looks good. When I was a kid my dad used to give names "like movies" to the plates. My favorite was "la strada" :)
My younger son allways "decorates" his food.