We are currently living in the age of food as the ultimate artistic expression. That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of other art forms out there to be consumed and enjoyed, but right now, I believe we are in the Golden Age of Food, where we are witnessing it being re-invented and revolutionized into a whole new temptation for our senses. Ok, stay with me on this.
I first came to the realization that food was this age’s purest expression of art when I had a dinner at Chicago’s well known molecular gastronomy restaurant Moto. The food I was served by Chef Homaro Cantu literally made me laugh, made me feel nostalgic, made me feel all sorts of things I didn’t know a meal could elicit in me.
This is the kind of thing I felt when I read a good book or turned on my favorite David Bowie album! Since then, I’ve looked at every meal as its own little story and I have learned to enjoy my meals so much more; even the junk food I occasionally indulge in has become a bouncy pop song or a screwball comedy in my mind.
The Decline of Modern Art
There is a certain decline in quality of artistic expression these days, whether it be over produced singers, over budgeted comic book movies, or once classic paintings printed on everything from mouse pads to umbrellas, and that is why I think people have turned to chefs and food in general to create a purer form of art.
Like a painter or a writer, a chef is coming at food using his or her own personal view points and tastes to create a window into their world for their audience, except food is so much more personal. When was the last time an author wrote his novel just for you? Or a musician wrote a song for only one person to enjoy?
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An Abundance of Choice
The tools and ingredients available to today’s chef has access to has also done something remarkable; they have re-versed the over-production phase of the art form. More and more people are turning away from mass produced food with watered down flavor profiles. In they are in favor of small batch, artisanal products.
Because of the revolutions in technology over the last 20 years it has become easier for passionate individuals to produce and market these niche productrs. It’s why things like microbreweries often run out of their most popular products, just as a painter can physically paint only so many originals in their life time.
"More and more people are turning away from mass produced food"
Chefs across the world already know this, of course, so now it’s up to the consumers to start wising up. Customers need to see their food for what it is; Art. Art that nourishes both the body and the mind, a feat that no other art form can boast.
Once you stop looking at a plate and start seeing the story on the plate, things become a whole lot more delicious. A great chef put's everything they have into creating a masterpiece. It's time for the rest of us to embrace this living fluid art form.
Have you had an artistic awakening? Do you believe times have changed or is it just Instagram hype? Please share in the comments.