Celebrating the Culinary Arts

Culinary art is described simply as “the art of preparing and presenting food.” But the execution is anything but simple. Every minor detail plays a part in telling a dish’s story: the ingredients and plates used, the way the food is arranged, and even the sequence in which the foods are presented. A study by Oxford Professor Charles Spence has proven that making food look good affects how good it tastes.

There are five essential factors in food presentation: arrangement, balance, texture, ease of eating, and color. Our daily decision-making and experiences derive from visual processing, which utilizes 50% of the brain. Color is a large factor in that process. When choosing a meal, more vibrant colors tend to be more appealing and, from a survival standpoint, color can indicate the health of food, like whether meat has been thoroughly cooked or if a fruit or vegetable is safe to eat.

Watercress has been used to dress up dishes for centuries, but the most nutrient-dense food in the world is moving from being a decorative garnish to the star of the show. The brilliant green of watercress or the deep purple of red watercress catches the eyes and balances out a dish visually, while the versatility of the superfood gives chefs the flexibility to utilize it in any kind of dish – whether it’s in a soup like Gordon Ramsey’s Watercress Soup, a salad like our Watercress and Pink Grapefruit Sumac Vinaigrette, or Chef Ming Tsai’s Ma La Chicken and Watercress Stir Fry.

Experimenting with recipes and different cooking styles is a way for chefs to add personality to the plate. Incorporating watercress into a dish not only adds more flavor and nutrition but also brings beauty to the meal.

History Lesson

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Author: Hailey Dolan is a marketing and communications professional with a passion for storytelling.


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