I want to post my own food images, that is, my own food memories. To prove that food is indeed art. You see, I have quite the love affair with food. Food in itself is beautiful, from its conception in creating the recipe to its creation: purchasing the raw goods, preparation (julienning, chiffonading, brunoise and allumetting), the cooking itself (searing, braising, or roasting) and plating, and finally its demise in the consumption of the final product. Food is the only art form that you can create, invite others to participate in and eat, thus the art becomes interactive. In fact I would go as far to say that cooking is a performance art or even postmodern in that the art is destroyed as one eats it. The act of eating does not merely involve one or two senses. Like any work of art eating uses all the senses. Why should the tactile be limited to sculpture or music?
The word artisanal contains the word art within it. An artisan is a worker who practices a trade or handcraft, who produces something using traditional methods. Thus food is nothing more than a sculpture one can eat. Food is the subject of a multitude of famous paintings Cezanne’s Compotier, Pitcher, and Fruit and Apples and Oranges as well as works by Monet, Gauguin, Caillebotte and Frida Kahlo. Art is also subjective; one might view Vincent Van Gough’s Shepherd with a Flock of Sheep as a masterpiece of agrarian art, whereas another might view it as dinner.
I feel it’s necessary to break down food to its basic parts to appreciate them. The upper left hand corner of the image depicts what could be a six minute egg with a “soldier” sticking out of it; however it is Smoked Trout Custard Baked in the Shell. The idea of a soft boiled egg or hard boiled egg is flipped on its head by changing the yolk into custard. Not only that, but the chef adds an unexpected flavor element with the trout. In the upper right hand corner is the Deviled Quail Egg with Iranian Golden Osetra Caviar. It could be seen as a postmodern take on the traditional deviled egg. It’s the same idea, just with different ingredients and a flashy addition of caviar. In the lower left hand corner is Yellowfin Tuna with Wakame Salad and Vegetable Spring Roll with Ginger Mignonette. Sure, it looks like a typical spring roll served with a fancy name for seaweed and it’s true. It is. Until you have it with the Mignonette Sauce, a condiment usually made with minced shallots, cracked pepper and vinegar. The last dish in the lower right hand corner is Galia Melon Soup with Cucamelon, is like a play on the traditional gazpacho made with tomatoes. Yet the chef’s take is more fruity than savory and vibrant green instead of red.
Food and cooking has its own language and culture just as “typical art forms do. It evolves from traditional to deconstructed, and tastes and textures just as “real” art does.
Correll, Kelly. Untitled. 2008. Private collection.