Whether rushing home from work and throwing together a quick bite, cooking for people who don’t mind an aesthetically unpleasing meal, or not feeling like there is time in general to make food look great, plating food can be the last thing on our minds.
There are countless other situations in which the beauty of one’s food becomes an afterthought, but I’m here to say that making a beautiful plate of food is always worth the time (and you’d be surprised how little time is actually needed).Why I like to make my food beautiful:
- Do everything with love. This is, first and foremost, the most important reason to me. My practice of pouring love into all I do not only changes the quality of my food, but also creates a respectful and caring vibe toward myself and those I love.
- Be mindful. Being present and aware of my activities does so much for my general well-being and serves to strengthen character in a soft way. When I’m preparing my food, I am fully present in the act of food preparation. I want to do my very best, whatever that means in that given moment.
- Recognize that people eat with their eyes first. That’s why companies pay the big bucks for food stylists and commercials out the wazoo! To look at it from another way, if you’re a vegan or eat a health conscious diet, you’ve likely had someone look at your food in a skeptical way as if to say, “That can’t possibly be pleasurable.” (side note: Um, yeah it is. Very much so!) People start to judge their food before they even put it in their mouth. Not only that, but bodies prepare for the eventuality that the food in front of them is about to be digested. Think about the term mouth-watering. You haven’t even tasted it and your body is already reacting.
But what if the food is naturally ugly? Sometimes we have those dishes (Indian food, anyone?) that can be challenging to present in a beautiful way. Turn on those creative genes because it can be done! Try adding color with an edible garnish, beautiful plates, fresh vegetables or fruits, or a sprinkling of spices or freshly cut herbs. Adding fresh greenery will always boost the aesthetics of a meal and make people (including you) think “fresh”.
Above all things, remember to prepare your food from a place of love. Love-infused food is more beautiful than any food ingredient. The love really shines through, and I’ve got years of loving food preparation experience to prove it!