August 19, 2014 – Creativity in Food
Apart from my hobby of occasionally taking photos (I say occasionally as I was speaking to a friend of mine last week who has just had his second child and informed me that he had taken over 40,000 photos of his first child in the first year of his life. That’s a lot of photos!) some of which I have shared with all of you, I have several other hobbies that I enjoy including bike riding (the two wheel non electric kind) and cooking.
The latter is something I have always loved doing from the time I was a teenager and have from time to time shared photos on “My Daily Thought” of dishes cooked by me especially when I have gone to the trouble of preparing an 8 or 9 course tasting menu.
In terms of my skills as a photographer, I think I do a reasonable job but it is fair to say that whenever I go to a photographic exhibition or look at images of some of the better photographers in the world, I am greatly humbled and find myself in awe of some of not only the images they have captured but their use of light and shadow and color in ways that I am not sure I will ever be able to do.
During my travels over the last few months, I have found myself feeling somewhat the same way about my own somewhat limited culinary skills. I do think that I am a reasonable cook but when I reflect on some of the meals I have eaten over the last month or so I am equally humbled by what I have experienced not only in terms of taste but also in terms of presentation which in some cases is nothing short of a wonderful work of art!
I am a great believer that food to be fully enjoyed must not only taste great but the manner in which it is presented, if done properly, can enhance the experience to a whole new level. This does not mean that the dishes have to be elaborately prepared. Some of the best meals I have ever eaten are nothing more than very fresh ingredients served simply, whether it is a whole fresh fish or fresh tomatoes off the vine with a little fresh basil and olive oil dripped gently over the top.
Over the last few weeks, a business colleague has been leaving fresh bread each weekend at my house which is as good as any bread I have eaten anywhere. In the same way that there is a taste that exists when fish is eaten within hours of it getting caught, the same is true when you eat bread that has just come out of the oven!
The images reflected above are a sample of some of the dishes that I have had the great pleasure of enjoying over the last few months. Some of the workmanship that has gone into the design of these dishes is quite remarkable. Look at the design and time that has gone into the desert of a butterfly on a leaf shown in the first picture or the display of fresh red beets in the second picture topped with grilled red onions, burrata with a light splash of olive oil. The fourth picture is an appetizer in a restaurant called Uri Buri located in the old town of Akko in the north of Israel, consisting of fresh bread just taken out of the oven, Israeli salad (cucumbers, red onions, mint, fresh parsley, bell peppers and tomatoes) together with Carpaccio of fresh tuna, red onions and olive oil. If that had been the only dish we had eaten for lunch it would have been enough! Even the radish salad is a masterful creation and must take the preparer a reasonable amount of time to create that imagery.
If you weren’t hungry before you read today’s post, you better be hungry now as I know I am just writing today’s post!
“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what is for lunch”
(Photos taken in Israel and the South of France with my Samsung S5)