Taste is more important than presentation

Now before I get into this, I want everyone to have an open mind. If you want to be in denial and want to disagree with my reasons, this is not the read for you and you should piss off. 

We live in a digital era where everyone wants to see beautiful food because we eat with our eyes. This is the era where people overkill plating with edible flowers over fish, or a spiral of mystery sauce on a plate, or an ingredient that is not necessary for a dish. Now some cases are different. Some of the best restaurants in the world have dishes that look and taste good. But there is a group of people that put so much effort into plating, that it just looks like art from a museum rather being a dish in a restaurant.

When I went to culinary school, my chef always reminded the class that the food should taste good before it looks good. One of my friends in culinary school told the chef that we eat with our eyes. He said “Yes and no. How long does presentation gives that WOW effect compared to taste? What if the customer is blind? Do you scientifically eat with your eyes?” And that strikes me in a whole new way. The trick is to make sure that the food has to taste good. That is the most important step. Once that is done, work your way backward to see if there’s any way we can make this look prettier. For the past 7 years, I’ve been trying out new foods, educating my pallet, and imagining in my head if there’s any way to make this look better without running the product. 

Second, I want you to remember the time that you had the most beautiful dish you have eaten and the most delicious food you have eaten. Now compare these two dishes together. Are they the same? 99% I know that they’re not ( and if you said they are, you’re full of shit. You just want to prove a point). For me, the most beautiful dish I have eaten was at a Toronto restaurant called “Canoe”. It is located on the 52nd floor in the TD tower in the financial district in the heart of the downtown core. I got a raised in Ontario fillet mignon with PEI-grown potatoes and honey-glazed rainbow carrots that have been picked daily from their garden and served with the Niagara on the lake 2016 Pinot noir. It was the most beautiful meal I had. The most delicious meal I had was at a local noodle shop in Taiwan where they make and hand-pull their noodles from scratch and served with their chicken and herb soup. Oh, and I had one of their signature bubble tea. It was so good I came back for seconds. You see the difference? The most delicious food are the ones that are simple, cheap, and most importantly, comforting. 

Going back to the digital era, trends, and fads come and go so rapidly, that is so hard to catch up with what is going on. Like come on, remember when activated charcoal food was a thing? What about a gold-shaven burger? Liquid nitrogen ice cream? Microgreens and flowers topped on almost every-fucking-thing? Sorry. Got a little carried away. But do you see how fast these things come and go? Trends and fads affect our plating because we want to plate to perfection to match the current trend so we can get the most likes and comments on our social media posts. Taste on the other hand will always be fundamental to cooking and will forever be so because a simple roasted chicken recipe that’s made in the 1980s will obviously taste the same as it is in 2023.

Lastly, a simple reason why taste is more important than presentation, is that for presentation, most of the time, there will be stuff on the dish that shouldn’t be there in the first place. Why are there 8 different microgreens on my tomahawk steak? Why are there edible flowers over steamed fish? Why is there a giant piece of bacon in my soup? Removing these ingredients that serve no purpose will make your dish cleaner and more confusing. That’s why I always keep my recipes for you guys simple and most importantly, taste delicious (don’t @me for all the wrong lighting, dirty plate, and poor orientations. You can see the presentation is not my forte).

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