This week, we’ve continued the excessive cooking at ATOTB Kitchen HQ with a big focus on plating, presentation, and styling. It has been a challenging transition for me, as the style of cooking I am more acquainted with is more rustic in presentation.
Though Asian food revolves around textures, big flavour profiles, and colour, the cultural focus on family-style meals and the sharing of food means that these elements are often combined in one dish, where flavour and taste is key, and aesthetics come second. Sure, you eat with your eyes, but how could you not want to eat a steaming bowl of noodles or a sizzling plate of tofu? Heck, just shove a bowl of plain white rice in my face and I’ll be more than happy to put it in my mouth-hole.
I’ve come to learn that Western food has more of a focus on showcasing the freshness and clarity produce, and what better way to do that than crafting an aesthetically pleasing plate of food – it’s almost like creating an artwork. Where Asian foods layer flavours, the style of food I’ve been cooking this week layers on the plate too, focusing on isolating textures, and using one ingredient in multiple ways to showcase it’s full potential. The deconstruction of the individual flavour and texture profiles is key, and pairing certain elements together on a plate to suggest exciting colour, texture and flavour combinations also becomes important. It’s not only about the swoosh, the puddle, or the smear at the bottom of the plate, with everything stacked in nice piles on top.
Here are my attempts, as well as a couple of more bloggy-style shots, I still managed to stay true to my style and sneak in a few Asian flavours along the way. I know I have a long way to go with my plating techniques, but i’ve definitely come a long way after a couple of weeks of studying.
Much study. So knowledge sponge.
Next post: experimenting with gels and spherification. I’m way too excited for this.
Crying Tiger Beef
Roast Beef / Beetroot Puree / Yorkshire Pudding / Buttermilk Onion Rings / Red Wine Jus / Lentil Sprouts
‘Duck + Carrot’ – Roast Duck / Sous-vide Baby Carrots / Carrot Gel / Beetroot Puree / Duck Jus / Toasted Seeds / Szechuan Peppercorn Salt / Radish + Mustard Leaves
Want any of the recipes? Let us know in the comments below, or over on our facebook page!
– ATOTB –