Plating 101: Six Famous Dishes That Look Just Like Modernist Paintings
While it’s a given that most chefs draw their plating inspiration from the art world, occasionally their dishes verge from mere inspiration to recognizable if not conscious homage. Because we love art, food that looks pretty, and opportunities to sound pretentious, we scoured modernist art and found that, in many cases, plates and paintings sometimes look eerily similar. (But as Big Bird once said,
don’t eat the pictures.)
1.Tableside Dessert at Alinea
Never prepared the same way twice, the dramatic dessert is plated (sometimes by
Grant Achatz himself) next to the diner, in a manner often compared to...
2.Jackson Pollock, Number 8, 1949 (Detail)
But you saw that coming.
3.el Bulli's Sushi
So simplistic. So pure. So...
4.Mark Rothko, Untitled
It's evocative in essence, guys.
5.Nathan Myhrvold's Anatomy Of A Burger
Found in his gorgeous cookbook
Modernist Cuisine, this dish evokes the question: how did he get all those components to hover in midair?!
6.Rene Magritte, Son Of Man
How did he get that apple to hover in midair?! (And no, "It's art, just stop thinking about it" is not an answer.)
7.Sant Pau's Mondrian
Fine, here's an example where food really does imitate art: the Mondrian, served at the Sant Pau in Spain, is actually a cod brandade with olive and sweet pepper gel, intended to evoke...
A Life Worth Eating)
8.Piet Mondrian, Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow
(And just in case you weren't sure whether that dish was supposed to be a work of art,
this video should make that instantaneously clear.)
9.Sant Pau's Moon
Again, something about Spanish chefs and modernist art! To be fair, chef Carme Ruscalleda draws her inspiration from Japanese, French, and Spanish cuisines, sort of like...
10.Vincent van Gogh, Road with Cypress and Star
(Yes, van Gogh really did
study Japanese art. He was doing fusion before anyone else did fusion.)
These kinetic pieces spear bites of crazy Alinea food, which are to be eaten without hands.
12.Alexander Calder, Mobile
We're surprised that Alinea hasn't taken their food antennae and attached them onto mobiles yet. They just need to hang them from a string! It's not that hard.