Cooking for me is an expression of my creativity. I view food as art. The plate is a blank canvass. The ingredients are my paint. Every dish is an opportunity to create a masterpiece. The only difference between what I do and what a painter does is that my art also has to taste good. I truly believe that we eat with our eyes as much as we eat with our taste buds. In fact, I think what you see is almost more important because if something isn’t appealing, you won’t taste it. Art is of course subjective, but ultimately it is up to me to come up with something that appeals to the widest swath of the population while simultaneously being true to my creative expression.
Having a background in dance, I have always had a creative drive in my body. When I cook, I am able to conjure that creativity and let it flow through a new medium. I think anyone who does some kind of art, whether it be fine art, music, dance or otherwise understands what that artistic juice feels like when it flows through your body. It’s an urge, a hunger if you will. That’s how I feel about cooking. I’m passionate about giving people food that is delicious and healthy, but I also find it deeply personal. I’m sharing a very vulnerable part of me with people with each dish and that comes with risk. The risk that they won’t like it and thereby as an extension of my creativity, they won’t like my art. But that’s also part of the challenge.
My basic rule of thumb with my food art is that everything on the plate should be completely edible. I have a great appreciation for molecular gastronomy in terms of scientific innovation, but I prefer to create without chemicals. It is important to me to utilize ingredients as close to their natural state as possible. I think nature is beautiful and food itself is beautiful. Sometimes simplicity is the best way to showcase that natural beauty. I also think that color is tantamount in terms of the plate. And finally, depth is important. The plate should be three dimensional, there should be different textures and layers that pop.
With that in mind, here is just a sampling of what I perceive to be my best “art.”