When it comes to art, food probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But here at the Florida State College at Jacksonville Culinary Institute, food is an art that is close to many people’s hearts and stomachs.
“A recipe is just a guideline. it’s a guideline to get you started and then it becomes your own,” Chef Joseph Howard, culinary professor at FSCJ said. “You have, you start out with a plate and that becomes your canvas, right. And that canvas, you design the food, right. whether it be symmetrically put on the plate, different colors, different flavors, obviously different whether it is crunchy or whether it’s soft. So it does become a canvas just like an artist. It is art, it’s not just throwing stuff on a plate.”
The pieces of art here present themselves as dishes. It requires the hands of a lot of skilled and dedicated artists to create the final masterpiece.
“I am so grateful for FSCJ and for Chef Harold, for this opportunity to come full circle in my life,” Phyllis Parker, FSCJ culinary student said. “Everyone can take the same ingredients and still get a different flavor from them, unless you do an exact recipe. That’s why it’s important to have a primary recipe in a kitchen. Because my style gonna come out, his style gonna come out, and that’s where the art comes in with the situation.”
The tools here aren’t brushes or microphones, they are knives and spices. Every little decision made can greatly affect the the overall presentation.
“I think food is an example of art because people put a lot of work into it. They think about how these flavors interact together, how they are going to take all these individual flavors and make one main one, one big one. How are they doing to make something special of all these little ingredients. It’s like a sculptor looking at a marble. He sees the sculpture inside of it, all he’s got to do is figure out how to get to it. Well that’s exactly what putting ingredients together is,” John Perritt, FSCJ culinary student said. “It’s like you know what you want, you just gotta get there. And if you do it right, it is an exact representation of where you’re from, or who you are. It’s an expression. And, and you can eat it. So that’s cool too.”
There’s a lot that goes into the art of cooking. While it is fun learning how to create these tasty creations, the best part is getting to eat them. The people who eat the food are the critics of the culinary arts. Although chefs cook for their own reward, it comes down to other people’s approval.
This art looks so good you could eat it, and luckily, that’s what you’re supposed to do. So, next time you sit down to a delicious meal, remember the creativity and effort that went into the art on your plate.