Wusthof Cross-Post: What We Taste is What We See

I'm doing an endorsement with Wusthof knives, and as part of our deal I've been giving them content to post on their site. Because they're made out of Flash, I can't link to it, so I'm going to be posting some of them here. If you want to read more, and get some recipes, both from myself and the other two chefs in this campaign, head on over.

Half of what we taste is what we see. I’ve learned over the years is that how a dish looks affects how people think it tastes. I’m convinced that vegetables would be more popular if they didn’t lose their color and wind up looking like greasy piles of brown mush so much of the time. So if you want your dishes to look fabulous there are a few easy tricks I use in at Dirt Candy that anyone can try at home.

1) Streaks, squiggles, swirls, and dots - who wants their dressing just dumped on the plate? Put it in a squeeze bottle and drizzle it over your salad in a squiggle, or make a big swoosh on the plate before you put down your salad using the back of a spoon (just make a small puddle of dressing on one corner of the plate and run the back of a spoon over it like a streak). You can do the same thing with sauces.


2) Ring molds - instead of just dumping a salad on a plate, use a ring mold (or a tin can with the top and bottom cut out) to layer the salad in the center of the plate and then pull it away. It’ll collapse slightly but it makes a much neater and more impressive looking stack than just throwing it in a heap.


3) Color - you want to keep your vegetables as bright as possible. Nothing is less inspiring than blah colored vegetables collapsed in a soggy pile like a dead thing. Shock and Blanch your vegetables before cooking them, or even using them in a salad, to make sure they stay bright and their colors pop.

All this art is by the excellent Ryan Dunlavey from the Dirt Candy Cookbook.