Cooking and Food – To Be or Not To Be Art? #EdibleArt
Have you ever had the chance of dining at a really fancy restaurant and they give that out-of-this-world plate with food on it, it just looks so good and so beautiful?
Or maybe, you’ve seen some special desserts at weddings, parties or just in the windows of bakeries or dessert shops and you thought it was a piece of cake that was so beautiful it would actually be a shame to eat it?
In that case, is food, cooking, baking an art or not? Well, this debate is much older than you actually think. We can find a lot of answers, arguments, and ideas to sustain the Big Yes.
This debate is way older than you might think. And throughout the time we received many answers. So, today, I’m not going to say Yes.
Nowadays, a plate with food and a glass of wine on the table is no longer just plain gastronomy. Especially, if we think about having to post on social media snaps of what we’re having.
First of all, food is that essential thing our body needs for its survival and well-being. A plate of food, or something sweet, can be a high art of, color, flavors, textures, science, even concepts, and cultures, – that’s pretty much everything that art itself has been facing for the last years.
Second, the definition of Art is this – a diverse field of activities in creating visual, auditory and/or performing artworks, expressing the author’s imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.
So, based on that, I think it’s safe to say that cooking is the art form of expression for a chef or a cook. Through that, the chef can reveal his ideas, his imagination and creativity spirit. Not to mention, it requires skill, practice, and discipline.
Art is food, Food is Art!?
Now, if you think about the creative part of the cooking process where an individual chooses from a selection of ingredients and methods to create the desired dish, then it’s science and art, all together. It’s similar to an artist that is using paint to color and techniques to create a painting. Or to a writer that is having his way with words, phrases, and grammar on a paper.
They all use tools to create something and if the result is a success, is something beautiful that others can enjoy.
An artist can break the borders because he isn’t just following some ruse, he creates something original. An artist has one purpose – to use his talent, his skills and imagination to bring a vision to life.
A chef’s goal is to combine what he knows with what he does and what he wants to deliver, making something tasteful and beautiful at the same time. Combining and transforming materials is an essential element of any artistic interpretation.
Also, a few simple vegetables or fruits or ingredients, a skilled cook can turn them into an appealing dish. Just look:
Eat your heart out?
To make art you need skills, right? One must possess the skills to make something beautiful or artistic.
Then, we can say that cooking is an art. A chef must have skills to make something not just flavorful and nice, but also tasty. I know what you’re thinking: everyone can cook. The difference is that in the end, we can all make something from the recipe book, but if we can take a look at our result and at the picture and we see the same thing – it’s art! It takes true skills, practice and the ability to know how things go together.
Just like the artist knows what colors he needs to blend to capture the right palette to get the right image, a cook knows what flavors work together to form a perfect meal or dessert, then it takes creativity and ability to display that on a plate and make it look so delicious, you won’t dare to touch it.
We all have looked at plates much more than we look at framed art – we grew up looking at food on a plate. If it looked good, we ate it! We do it today, as well. That’s a chef’s goal nowadays – to get his customers surprised first by how the food is displayed on his plate. That’s why they all try to come up with new visual ideas – they use textures, colors, different aromas, new shapes, reinterpretations of ordinary food or anything else they are capable of thinking and doing.
Food is not just mere gastronomy anymore. Food is all about uniqueness, beauty, surprise. Fresh!
This supermarket half-prepared food and the fast food are giving us the chance to see cooking as an art form. Not having so much time at hand, living these fast and agitated lives, we find ourselves expressing through food – we cook for our loved ones and we do our best to make it delicious and to look so awesome.
Or if we’re not into cooking, we choose to eat at a fancy restaurant once in awhile, we get one of those amazing plates. We first stare at it and enjoy how beautiful it is, we snap some pictures for the social media and then we dig in. Any customer worth their salt knows that good food is more than that, it’s visual art.
Even a simple cup of cappuccino or a caffe latte can be turned into a piece of art! From taste to looks!
I’ve heard someone, some time ago, that the whole idea of dining can be seen as performance in which we all have specifics roles – chef, waiter, host, guest. I think it’s too much, but I can never unsee this now.
What do you say? Is cuisine an art form all its own or not? Those who believe cuisine is not an art form will say that there is nothing left at the end of a meal while the others will say that the memories of an amazing dish can be as rewarding as the memory of seeing a famous painting in Paris.
Let’s jump to conclusions!
Have you ever had a fabulous meal that you can still remember to this day? If so, then you might believe, like many, that the preparation and consumption of a delicious meal can excite the senses just like any permanent work of art.
Unlike art hanging on our walls or in art galleries, food doesn’t long last and it has to be consumed before it alternates. That’s why many foodies can keep track of their work with the help of modern technology – they take photographs of their edible art and they post it on different social media outlets.
That’s how a new modern job was born – the food traveler, the food blogger – a person who loves not only to cook but to travel as well. So, they combine these two – you travel the world, try new types of food and while you do that you post awesome pictures of your food. Only fancy and fashionable dishes, please! #FoodPorn
Yes, the last one is a cake!
My last conclusion is this – I think cooking and plating food are forms of visual art. Food can be so delicious it can get stuck in your memory forever. Isn’t that the purpose of art? To trigger emotions so that you never forget about it?
I want to leave this quote, which basically is a resume for my entire blog post for today – “Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements” -from French Chef And Cooking Books Author – Marcel Boulestin. Bon Appetit!