Monday, January 9, 2012

The Shape of Things to Come

Julienne. Oblique. Chiffonnade. Fine Dice.
These are some examples of predetermined shapes applied to mostly vegetables in the world of fine dining. Usually for the sake of presentation, they are designed to be visually striking by way of uniform precision. Sort of like....military art. Ok, that's a bit harsh. I do love the squares, stems, isosceles, spheres and rotundas immaculately displayed on white plates of similar shapes; but as the world of cuisine moves forward, we're always looking for game changers. What is plating like nowadays? How will it change? There are those like Grant Achatz, Heston Blumenthal & Massimo Bottura who have always taken a closer look at the vessel as presentation and how it effects the way we dine. But I am most in admiration of those who are experimenting with the way the food itself is displayed like John Shields & Karen Urie, Magnus Nilsson & Andoni Aduriz. They create the largest sense of wonderment as you probably don't know what you're about to eat from just looking.

As I was peeling some newly roasted beets, I was thinking of the best way to cut and display these purple bulbs. I randomly went to them with my knife creating whatever shapes were being allowed with swiftness and a carefree nature. In the end, I was just making a salad, but the erratic knife work made for a more interesting plate than perfect slices or cubes. Almost as if nature intended it.

This is why I prefer this over this

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