Thursday, November 19, 2009

Food as art?

Last night I went out for dinner with one of my best friends to celebrate her birthday. She chose a Thai restaurant and the food and service were excellent. The food was tasty, beautifully presented and we felt comfortably full afterwards. We marvelled over a carrot carved into the shape of a flower. It was a simple extra that added colour to the plate, without distracting from the food itself and it was edible!

For a reasonable price (mind you, I didn't pay- thank you Anine!) we ate delicious, well presented food. We got exactly what we ordered and neither rolled out of the restaurant bursting at the seams or dived into the nearest fast food restaurant to satisfy our hunger.

What is my point, you are probably thinking! My point is what the heck is it these days with restaurant food? Why do so many eateries serve food with descriptions you need a dictionary or thesaurus to understand and the article itself would be more at home on the wall of an art gallery than on the table infront of you?

I am mainly having a go at Nouvelle Cuisine and its off shoots. I know I am a Northern Girl and we have a reputation for liking our grub basic not fussy. However, I also enjoy good cooking and fresh produce. I also like new combinations of flavours. I also like new ideas and concepts concerning food. I am not just pie and mashed potato of fish and chips wrapped in nespaper (although both the afore mentioned are delicious!). But there is a limit!

Coulis, slivers, fusion, medley, quenelle, chiffonade, mirepoix-WHAT?

Starter (sorry, I mean entrée),main course or dessert- they are all presented as beautiful works of art. Tiny weeny portions, set in the middle of a HUGE plate and decorated with various coulis, extracts, concentrates and bits that look like they have come out of someones garden. Very pleasing on the eye but not very satisfying in the tummy! I would not be happy eating food blinfolded.I would not feel satified after munching my way through The Mona Lisa or grazing on bits and bobs growing in my neighbours garden ( for health reasons I would not eat anything from my garden!) So, why should I feel privileged to eat; food the ingredients of which baffle me and miniscule portions? And at the end of the experience, what? A heart attack inducing bill and a rumbling stomach.

Perhaps I am just a Northern Heathen. Perhaps a bacon sandwich and a mug of tea are more my style, but at least I will know what I am eating, feel full after the meal and not need to take out a second mortgage to pay for it!

P.s I live close to the world renowned restaurant El Bulli, run by the famously tempramental Ferran Adrià and if anyone out there wanted to invite me there for a meal I would accept their invitation...for research puposes only!!!


  1. I hope I am now able to join the others in making comments assuming this attaches. Great reading although I know I am a little biased. Somebody out there will surely want to read more. There must be a book awaiting publication.

  2. Hey....hello! So now you need to add yourself as a follower to boost my numbers!
    Thanks dad!

  3. Glad you enjoyed it!
    And me thinking you would dive in your fridge for all the carrots you had and spend hours to try to cut the shaped flower yourself…