The Art of Cuisine
THE SETTING AND THE SENSES
Flowers from My Gardens
Creating a Beautiful Environment and Considering the Senses
In my opinion cuisine isn't just about the food, it's also about the ambience. This beautiful outdoor setting, for example, is my own private sanctuary for art and inspiration that I've created for myself outside my home and online museum. These purple flowers come from one of my gardens where each year they travel up on lattice partitions. I love to use herbs in my cooking so each year I've planted an herb garden along with fruit trees and berry bushes because I love having berries as a dessert after a meal. Since buying this historic mansion, I've also planted a rose garden, and I have even installed bronze fountains that, together, attracts all species of songbirds which are a great pleasure to see and hear throughout the day.
For me, culinary art is also about "the experience". When I was a kid I learned through observation from my Mexican mother about the importance of creating a beautiful setting to arrange and serve the meal. My mother made food as a form of her love. So she would always create a nice table setting for the food to be presented and enjoyed. Naturally the greatest restauranteurs and chefs in the finest restaurants also know to follow these rules. So even before the meal is served, for me it's also very important to create a nice environment for the meal to be appreciated and enjoyed.
Like my mother, every good chef knows that culinary art follows several rules: The food has to be attractive and appeal to our human senses; it has to be visually attractive to the sense of sight. Since I am an artist, I like for my culinary art to have vibrant colors. That's why I love using fresh ingredients in my own dishes. Then there is how everything is placed, arranged, and presented on the plate. In art, we call this "the composition", much like how an art museum presents a masterful work of art in one of its main galleries. Back to culinary art, in terms of appealing to our other senses, the meal should appeal to our sense of smell and taste. And the composition on our culinary plate finally has to settle well with our digestion and leave us feeling "fully satisfied" with a lasting impression of a pleasing experience! During this pandemic, I've spent much time learning how to create culinary art, keeping these rules in mind.