This week I wanted to talk about something very near and dear to my heart: FOOD. This choice of topic may or may not be influenced by the hours of Top Chef reruns I’ve been binging lately. I’ve loved cooking about as long as I’ve loved making art, and as I’ve developed my skills in both areas it became easier for me to make connections between the two. My firm belief is that food is an art form in itself.
Let me prove this to you:
The most obvious argument for food as art can be on a purely aesthetic basis. If you haven’t seen Chef’s Table on Netflix, go watch it. Yes, right now. Then continue reading this. Considering the composition of a plate of food can be treated exactly like composing a painting: colors, shapes, sizes, and textures harmonize to create stunning visual interest and draw you into an experience by engaging your senses. Viewing thoughtful presentations of food, like viewing artwork, can evoke different emotions and memories in people. Take note of how talented, passionate chefs talk about food in the same way artists talk about their work.
The more subtle argument I make for food as art is in the process of creating. Not only do artists and chefs combine elements in purposeful ways to produce a desired result, but they both have to exhibit technical skill and knowledge of their medium in order to execute their vision in the most effective way. I believe in correctly and thoroughly learning fundamental skills before branching out to more experimental methods and materials, and this is true of my educational journeys in both art and cooking. On a more physical level (perhaps more applicable to 3D arts), interacting with your materials requires mastering motor skills that can translate from one discipline to the next. Example: I remember rolling out ropes of clay in Ceramics I and having flashbacks to rolling out pasta dough for gnocchi at Christmas.
So if you’re an artist feeling particularly ambitious or hungry, I recommend trying your hand at some new recipes or creating a dish from scratch. Treat food as a new medium. Practice in the kitchen can definitely enrich your experience in the studio, or vice versa, and it might turn out that the soul of the artist and the chef are one in the same.
Featured Image: Jill Sibio, 2018