"The eyes eat first."
Yes, cooking is an art (hence, Culinary Arts). And your plates, platters, and even your chopping boards are your canvases, your blank wall, your marble slab to mold. As I learned from before, "you'll only be as good as the last plate you served". So make it worthwhile. You don't have to spend the whole day in the kitchen. Keep it simple, true to the ingredients, and excel in the basics. You'll later on learn how to advance your skill slowly but surely - just like anything. Play with the components of your dish, let the flavours and textures compliment each other. There are so many natural colours you can use - red, yellow, orange, green, golden brown, caramel, white, chocolate brown, pink, purple, blue, and black. And, don't forget about the sheen. The shine that butter can contribute to elevate the plate or a brush or drizzle of oil just at the last moment before you serve it.
Let the plate wow your bon vivant like a painting or sculpture would wow an art aficionado breathless.
It doesn't have to be gourmet or fusion or plain complicated at all. Hell, a beautiful street taco would leave me speechless! And don't even get me started with caramelized meats, chocolate pastries, cheese dishes, and just lovely carbs browned and toasted. Those would definitely shut me up.
Here are some of the dishes I've served throughout the years.
Photos from when I was in school and some from work.