Fundamentally, human beings are visual creatures. Colours, textures and shapes can greatly influence our perceptions and experiences. This extends to everything around us. Presentation is key: packaging, gift wrapping, accents, use of space… the list goes on and on.
However, did you ever consider that it extends to food too?
Vision in the Kitchen
Plating is an art form, and it’s no wonder too. Surely you’ve heard the expression ‘eat with your eyes’, and we’re not talking about the ceramics (although, you could get crafty with those too, of course). It’s all about presentation.
You’d be amazed what you can do with a knife, a few sauces, herbs, spices and some creativity. Colour affects appetite; it plays a decisive role in stimulating it. When you compose a dish, think about what colours you use, and make sure they blend together well. Have some accents on your plate. A cut tomato, a drizzle of balsamic, a sprinkling of cheeses, or a sprig of rosemary can make all the difference, and take your meal to the next level in terms of both look and flavour. This is just the basic stuff.
Wow with Cutting skills
If you really want to impress, then it’s about the chop. The Internet is jam packed with ideas and how-to guides, and you’d be amazed at just how simple some very intricate looking designs may be.
To make flowers, the simplest thing you can do is chop practically any cylindrical or round fruit into circular slices, then arrange the slices around each other, upright, and clinch everything with a toothpick.
Instead of cutting round fruit or veggies in halves, make them more interesting by making a small slanting incision towards the midpoint where you would usually half it, stop at the centre and proceed to cut around and continue the same process all the way round the circumference, till you get to the starting point from the other side.
In addition, instead of simply cutting citrus fruits into circles, cut them into very thin slices and curl them around themselves to create a rose, or alternatively link the toothpick through and gather up and pinch at both sides to create a fan shape.
Scroll on to the next section for creative ideas on gift-wrapping.