When people talk about design, they often consider architecture, artwork, and engineering. But what about food? In recent years, many top chefs have become a lot more interested in the design aspect of food. There are plenty of examples out there if you look hard enough. Check out ‘molecular gastronomy’ and the likes of David Chang for some fantastic examples. Modern cooking is all about finding great combinations of science and design on a hot plate.
Of course, all this means that your efforts in the kitchen are going to look feeble in comparison. And, as an artistic person, that’s going to hurt, right? The good news is that there are some things you can do to get more arty in the kitchen. And, in this guide, I’m going to go through all of them. Let’s get started right away.
1. Learn About Ingredients
First of all, there is little point in concentrating on great design in food if it doesn’t taste the business. So, it’s important to understand the most fundamental aspects of flavours, seasoning, and combinations. And, of course, everything else that goes with being a chef that pushes boundaries. Now, you can do it the hard way – finding a job in a kitchen and working with the best. But, thanks to the incredible amount of cookery courses and books that are available, there are a few shortcuts. Try The Flavor Bible to give yourself a head start.
2. Keep it Small
While everyone loves a huge plate of food every once in awhile, it’s not great for design purposes. Watch any modern cookery show featuring professional chefs, or eat in any classy restaurant, and it will be clear to see. Smaller plates of food give you the opportunity to become more artistic, and concentrate on design. So, bear that in mind the next time you have some friends over for dinner. One thing to bear in mind is that you will need to serve up in smaller plates – but don’t go too far or your guests may feel short changed!
3. Be More Accurate
When you think about great food, you are talking about exact science. And that’s all part of great design, too. You will need to cook your food to exact temperatures, so it’s worth investing in a great oven. Also, think about getting some specialist gear. Sous Vide equipment, for example, can help you cook at the exact temperatures you need. You should also get used to timing your food in as accurate a way as possible. Timing is everything when it comes to cooking, and a minute or so, either way, can lead to burning or undercooking.
4. Be Brave
Finally, if you want to make a big impact, be brave. You will need to soak in as much about cooking as possible, either from the TV, from books, or even inspiration from nature. Like any other form of art, you can get inspiration from anywhere. So, keep a notebook handy, or have your smartphone camera ready for action at a moment’s notice.