Feast Your Eye | Pika Chakula

Feast Your Eye

By : | 6 Comments | On : July 26, 2012 | Category : Articles

 

It’s important that the food you make looks as good as it tastes, says Sohirag

Did you know that we savour our food with our eyes as much as we do with our taste buds? Therefore, it’s important to beautifully present the food we serve.

It’s not just a restaurant. Presenting food in a visually appealing way is as important when you lay your table during meal times at home. You don’t have to work at an elaborate décor. Lining a platter with lettuce leaves makes the food look fresh; scattering a variety of peppers, can actually make your food look attractive. And, it’s easy too.

Why Is It Important?

It’s often said that 50 per cent of a chef’s job is done when the food looks fine. That’s because the moment anyone looks at food, it’s the eye that ‘tastes’ it. It looks for the colour, the arrangement and the entire appeal! So, remember half your battle is won, when the food you’ve cooked looks good.

Keep In Mind…

If you keep a few parameters in mind, presenting your food in an attractive way becomes easy and interesting.

Body: This refers to the main ingredient in each dish, which should be the highlight of that particular dish presentation. The shapes and colours of the pieces of the main ingredient in the dish should be emphasised. Take for example, chicken. Remember to select good pieces of chicken to be placed in the serving dish as you lay your table.

Colour: Make use of colour to enhance the look of your dish. For example, lentils and pulses could be garnished with coriander. This brings a contrast to the dish and adds to the appeal.

Balance: While trying to make the food look good, remember not to use garnishes that might overpower the main aroma of the dish. Balance the flavours and aromas of the styling ingredients.

Use subtle flavours.

Also, while balancing look and aroma, use your imagination to balance the taste as well. For example, when a particular dish is very spicy, drizzle a line of cream over it or simply place a bowl of yoghurt next to it. The effect it creates is amazing.

The Overall Look: The look is not confined to just one dish. Imagine how your table would look when you lay your spread. Place a bowl of salad, a piece of garnished bread or anything else that would add to the nutritive value of your meal apart from visual delight. Keep it plain and simple. Always use ingredients as per requirement, without too much butter or masala. It spoils not only the look but the taste as well. Also, use garnishes that also add nutritive value. e.g. fenugreek and mint leaves. A full good looking meal is always attractive.

Temperature: Though this isn’t really directly connected to presentation and styling, it subtly adds to it. Keep the right temperature in mind while styling your food. Do not sprinkle cold garnishes over steaming hot food. Room temperature ones are more appropriate. Also, sprinkle roasted cumin seeds or coriander leaves or place tomato juliennes just before serving.

So, next time you’re cooking a meal at home, make it a visual feast for your family. Different garnishes, some accompaniments and imagination… that’s all it takes to present a delicious looking spread!

Food Styling - The Professional Point of View

Food styling is ‘creating edible art on plate’ which conveys the non visual elements of taste and texture to a customer before the actual experience. As a natural phenomenon, the senses of sight and smell induce an image of taste and texture in the mind and if these don’t live up to the expectations, there is a sense of disappointment.

As a profession, food styling relates to the visual camera appeal created by a food stylist (who may not be a chef) for a magazine, advertisements, food packaging or television.

There are various aids to make food look good and appealing – dummies, substitutes, glazing, coating, colour, designer crockery and cutlery, undercooking, etc.

The basic aim of styling is to seduce the senses with the most irresistible, primal desire – to feed ourselves. Here, the look usually does not match with the actual product. Styled edible food is a different proposition altogether; here the chef is offering the complete package together with instant feedback.

Chefs with experience and ability, like artists and designers, develop their own style, and can be recognized by their work, which could vary from bold and brash to delicate and subtle.

Zebra Pudding

Serves: Four

Time required: 30 minutes plus chilling time

For the vanilla pudding:

  • 3 tbsp corn flour
  • 1½ cup thick milk
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • ½ cup whipped fresh cream

For the chocolate pudding:

  • 3 tbsp corn flour
  • 3 tbsp hot water
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1½ cup thick milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence

For the assembling:

  • 3 tbsp chopped cashew nuts or almonds
  • Whipped cream as desired
  • Chocolate vermicelli as desired

 Recipe Method:

To prepare the vanilla pudding:

  1. In a bowl, dissolve the corn flour in ½ cup milk. In a saucepan, heat the remaining milk and sugar and add the corn flour mixture. Stir continuously over medium heat, until it thickens and comes to a boil. Stir in the vanilla essence. Pour into a serving bowl. Cool slightly. Press plastic wrap directly on surface (to prevent the skin from forming) and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Remove, stir in the whipped cream and chill for one hour.

To prepare the chocolate pudding:

  1. In a bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa powder and hot water and stir until smooth and shiny. Mix the corn flour in ½ cup milk until smooth.
  2. In a saucepan, heat together the remaining milk and add the corn flour mixture, over medium heat. Keep stirring the pudding continuously, until it thickens. Stir in the vanilla essence. Pour into a serving bowl. Cool slightly. Press plastic wrap directly on surface (to prevent the skin from forming) and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Remove after half an hour and stir in the whipped cream and chill for one hour.

To assemble the puddings:

  1. In a tall parfait or dessert glass, place three tablespoons of the vanilla pudding first. Top with three tablespoons of the chocolate pudding. Sprinkle a few nuts over. Repeat the layering twice with the puddings and nuts. To garnish, decorate with a little whipped cream and or chocolate vermicelli.

  1. posted by Krazy Bob on Mar 17, 2013

    He is about 10 years old and weighs around 7.5 pounds. He has always been super skinny!! He was the runt of his litter and near dear death at one point. Once I shaved him and he looked so skinny and like a ferret or something haha all my friends laughed at him and made fun of his weight. I feed him so much though! I give him dry food, plain lowfat yogurt, and a can of fancy feast everyday. How can I get him to gain weight?

  2. posted by Jeracoo L on Mar 17, 2013

    My parents neighbors have many cats and my mom found out from her neighbor that her son feels bad for strays and leaves food out for them every night. Her son is 30 years old and whenever his mother says something to him about doing that, it turns into a big fight. My problem is my father and my son are highly allergic to cats and the cats lay all over their outdoor furniture cushions. As soon as my son sits on any furniture he starts with the itchy watery eyes. We do give him allergy medicine the whole time we are there but he once wound up in ICU for a week from being around a cat and I fear that will happen again. We were over her house yesterday and this morning my son couldn’t open his eyes due to allergies. She has 2 dogs but they don’t stay outside without her, these cats lay on the furniture all night and when she’s not home. We have to do something that is not harmful to her dogs or to children. Any suggestions?

  3. posted by Kaden on Mar 17, 2013

    My sister and I found him about a week ago the vet said he was four weeks old. She told us he didn’t need a milk replacement but he cried so much. I went and bought it anyway and he’s one happy, content, playful, and adorable kitten! I’ll begin to wean him off the milk but when should that begin? He has sad blue eyes and he’s a light tan color he’s really cute!

  4. posted by Keaton on Mar 18, 2013

    Someone told me about wearing underwear backwards has some spiritual signifigance and referenced psalms 114 and 35. I read over both and found no correlation, at least in my eyes. When googling it, i found slight correlation to the mormon faith but no straight forward answer. Anyone know about this?

  5. posted by lets roll on Mar 24, 2013

    What does it symbolize?

    Why not a cross? Or jesus or mary?

    Why fish? Weird, thefish has no eye, has no perfect tail?

  6. posted by Derek on Mar 25, 2013

    my cat Pumpkin turned a year March 31st she is spayed and is ONLY inside shes NEVER been outside…i noticed when i cleaned out her litter box her urine has a strong amonia smell…i got her from the animal shelter in August and i know 100% she is spayed i took her myself to get her stitches out! why is he urine smelling so bad all of a sudden? i changed her food to hard fancy feast…the new kind in the bag and she loves it i used to feed her Whiskas indoor formula?

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