My strongest memory from culinary school was hearing most of our teaching chefs declare, as they plated their demonstration dishes, “I am not an artist”.
If Love Letters to Chefs sounds sentimental, this is where it gets serious – here you’ll find zero tolerance for the above statement. And it’s not about fanning any egos in the culinary world. The intention is to empower chefs to be fully cognisant of their gifts: if you don’t value your work, the world won’t see the value in it either.
Frenchman Marie Antonin Carême (1784-1833) is considered to be one of the greatest ever chefs. He held a strong vision for the design of food which he nourished by studying architecture after his daily shifts in the kitchen. In an industry where knowledge and skills are still transferred realtime, he was one of the few chefs to lay out any kind of blueprint for culinary design.
But maybe it’s now time to empower every single chef with that sense of authority? This platform aspires to hold a mirror up to chefs and show you that indeed, you are artists. After all, the art is already there – all you need is the tools to articulate your compositions on the plate.
Early on in their training, art and design students learn principles of unity, harmony, contrast, etc. My intention is to codify those principles that apply to food design and make them easily accessible to chefs. And whether you use those principles to refine your work, or merely to teach a stagiaire, you’ll hopefully be left with a stronger sense of appreciation for your talents.