"The eyes eat first."

Even before you sink your teeth into your dish and taste the wonder of everything married together, it's always the eyes that eat first. 
You were right, Apicius.

Funny how our senses tease us. They're our natural amuse bouche. First off it's your hearing, the sound of your food cooking. The whisking, stirring, crackling, sizzling, simmering, searing. It's almost seductive. Then it's your sense of smell. Once that aroma lingers and roams around the kitchen, slowly creeping up in other spaces of the house, it's a natural "cowbell" to lure anyone to come hither. I bet magic potions were really just hearty stews (or even a chowder) to let your knees buckle up and surrender to any witch's will. Then the food is plated in heaps or serving portions, colour elements and texture is added to finalize the dish. And then it's presented to you. Or the other way around, you're presented its glory. 

Then you feast first with your eyes and salivate. 

You take a moment to take in the wonder and beauty of the plate. A once white canvas now filled with art. The myriad of colours, textures, and the vibrancy or subtlety of the emotions behind the making of the dish. Then finally, you find the courage to lift your cutlery (or just your hands), and take the leap and gather yourself a portion to taste. And now your tastebuds have confirmed everything your sight offered. Delicious, magnificent, fantastic,.... magical. 
I've always stayed true to this, "The Eyes Eat First". Make your dishes pretty. Make them appetizing and satisfying enough to the eyes that once served, there won't be any leftovers to box up.

In every dish, I make sure to incorporated different elements. Even when I was a kid, then studied to be a chef, then went to work, then now at home cooking for me and my husband (and sometimes the occasional adopted friends I just want to spoil silly with my food). It's basically food porn for the epicure. 

Funny because even when I eat at buffets, I don't dump my food on my plate. (Nothing wrong with that, for some I guess.) But for me, I need it to look like a dish - not a hodgepodge of choices. Sometimes I'd bring back a few plates from the buffet so each plate had a theme or a designated cuisine. OH. And please..... please. Please separate dessert dishes. It may just be me. But they are their own dishes. I'm just so affected when someone from the buffet has an array of savoury dishes piled up and then in the side of their plate, there's a cake slice, some petit fours, or even fruit salad.

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. 

Food as in any culture, is a language of love. Let love overflow with what you want to say. 

Bon appétit avec ton yeux! Remember, the eyes eat first.
Here are some of the dishes I've served throughout the years. 

Photos from when I was in school and some from work.

Photos from my small pastry business before.

And some photos from our kitchen (yup, my husband's had the first taste in all of these).

*Apicius was a Roman gourmand known have said those words in the first century. Truly a wise man. 

**Amuse Bouche (sometimes also referred to as amuse guele) literally means "to amuse the mouth" or "mouth amuser". It's treated as a single-bite appetizer. Literally to tease you before the meal. It differs from an appetizer because this is a much smaller portion. An hors d'ouevres like a canapé can be considered a form of amuse bouche.

***Bon appétit avec ton yeux! - Have a good meal/appetite with your eyes!

#donyaluzee #food #eyeseatfirst #foodphotography #foodporn #beautifulcuisine #beautifulplates #artoffood #foodart 


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