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We live in crazy times, don’t we? In today’s world every bite, before it touches the palate, is carefully captured under HD lenses, filtered layer by layer and glorified on social sites – how can we eat without clicking isn’t it? So we asked a very stylish chef to give us his take on how a plain Jane dish can be made into a sizzling haute serving that comes with an insatiable #foodgasm! Read on to find out how fashion and food can be fused on a platter without much fuss.
By Chef Pradeep Bhandari
I have always considered my food presentation as an art and a medium that I use to explain my food to people. If you ask me what exactly is food presentation? I would say it’s a practice to arrange your food on the plate that tempts all your five senses in some or the other way – from catching your eye balls to intoxicating your olfactory senses with tempting aromas and smooth textures, food presentation is a combination of all that adds an extra zing to food. It takes some practice and personal experience to be an expert, however I am sharing a few basic tricks that will rev up you platter in a jiffy.
1. Thumb rule for any good presentation is a clean base — no matter how delicious and tasty the dish is, if it is served on a dirty plate it will kill the joy a savoring meal. So make sure your plate is sparkling clean before you lay down the food. A preferred colour is white as it lifts the hues and shades of the dish that is being served.
Express yourself like an artist who enjoys creating things out of box. Forget about forms, structure, height and width of the dish, let your food on plate look natural or create provocative appearance with various aids. Use a large white plate or pick up a wooded /stone serving tray with matching spoons to give a rustic touch to your food.
2. Don’t overload your plate, ensure there is right amount of ingredients and the plate compliments the dish (not too big and not too small). Make sure you have five components to a dish i.e. protein, carbohydrates, vegetables, sauce and garnish to create a naturally balanced meal. If you overload the plate with larger portion it will look unnatural and spoil the artistic effect.
3. The main food is often placed in the middle of the plate while the rest of it remains empty or is discreetly decorated with side dishes, sauces, spices or garnish to make it look like a signature on the artwork. The idea is to keep the eyes focused on the food. Don’t hesitate to leave a regular blank space between your composition and the edge of the plate.
4. While playing with colourful ingredients, think like an artist and use a paintbrush or squeeze bottles to distribute sauces and show off your creativity. You can also make and use different kind of colorful foams to make your dish look different and enjoyable. Foams and frostings make food more versatile and fun to taste.
5. Decoration of dishes is very important; it gives personality to a specific meal and a final touch to your delicious story. It can be done by in ways but I would recommend that use edible food and garnish that will improve taste and act as a supplement with main course.
(The writer is an IHM Dehradoon graduate and has worked with Metropolitan Hotel, Taj Hotel and Resorts and J W Marriott. He has gained an expertise in Western and European cuisine, with a special flare in Italian fine dining. Currently he is based in Dubai and working on a fusion cuisine with a globally renowned chain of hotels.)
If only cars could talk they would scream (perhaps, honk) out loud with their unique personalities; to decode the car craze for speed lovers we bring in Swati Bagga, a certified F1 racer and car lover, to talk about seven cars for seven days of the week. The heiress of SB Group of Companies, a passionate supercar enthusiast and an automobile expert, she spends a lot of time studying car trends and technologies.
This car crazy girl has a fleet of cars like Ferrari, Jaguar F Type, Lamborghini Gallardo, Mercedes Benz SLK and BMW Z4 parked in her backyard, and she loves her swanky rides more than anything else in the world. Swati mentions that her speedy affair with cars started at a young age, and she recalls, “Cars are my ultimate passion, and sometimes I feel they are part of my system — I breathe, live and adore my cars. I have studied automobiles and I take very good care of these beauties.” Though she had a tough time picking her favourites, Swati shares her experience with Miss. Junebug about how she associates each day of the week with these gorgeous rides.
First day of the week and early morning I head for work, hence I swear by a comfortable and an easy drive. Since the ground clearance of the SLK is not that low and the compact size of this beautiful tristar makes it a very comfortable and a relaxed drive. Sometimes in the morning as one heads to office, and the weather is good one can press the hard top convertible hood button and enjoy the open air experience. For me it’s a pleasure drive that comes with luxurious space and ease, and that’s how I like to begin my week.
I am a religious and spiritual girl, and for me it’s a must to go to a temple on Tuesdays. Especially when I talk about Tuesday there is a lot of rush on roads and I prefer to use a sedan on this particular day so that I find an easy parking and people don’t fiddle with the car. I like to pick an Audi A6 or Mercedes Benz E- Class or sometimes even Ford Fiesta as it gives me a sense of relief while driving in crowded areas. These cars are easy to handle in the small lanes, especially in areas where traffic is an issue sedans are a big relief.
Presently this is one of my top favouite cars out of the whole lot that I have owned and driven. The Jaguar F-type has its own charm as this British machine speaks pure “royalty.” It is a pleasure to drive this beautiful machine, which is also very artistically designed and has won a lot many awards internationally. It can give any other super car a big complex with its beauty, luxury and advanced technology. This car is very special to me as it is my birthday gift and also it is the very first Jaguar F- type of New Delhi. I like to drive it as much as I can take it where ever I can.
Well I must admit the bull needs a lot of pre-planning of the route map when it needs to be taken out. The Lamborghini Gallardo has a very low ground clearance and hence the bumper can get damaged if encountered with a rough path or a bump on the road and it can also give a big jerk. The Lutyen Zone is the best area to enjoy driving this car as the roads are big and pretty neat to handle this beast. Cars like Lamborghini cannot be taken to local markets and due to their size parking problems. The best place to take such cars is to a 5 star hotel, as safety of the vehicle is a major concern as there is ample space to park them with ease. However, when I am out I make sure I self park and don’t hand over the keys to the valet as this mean machine is not everyone’s cup of tea!
As the weekend starts I prefer taking out the cutest car — BMW Z4 – although, it is not only cute but also comes studded with a very powerful engine. It shares two common things with its rival Merc SLK — the first is the hard top convertible roof and second its size. This car can be taken anywhere without any problems, even to local markets / malls with much ease. Not to forget yes it has a low ground clearance too but not so low that it can be managed. So this powerful German cutie is an ultimate ride for Delhi/NCR roads and that’s what makes it my weekend special. I just love driving this baby as I have the freedom to take it out anywhere without worrying much about its maintenance.
The most ultimate luxury liner according to me is the Mercedes Benz S – Class. Saturday is a family day and I love to drive this car as comes with a Harman Kardon system, recliner seats, fridge, led screens and in-cabin entertainment system, a powerful engine and much more. It is a sure shot luxury experience and that’s why it my favourite sedans of all times. It’s a complete package and one can have easy conversations while driving as the comfort of this vehicle makes one feel like you are sitting in your living room. In short I would describe it as “elegance personified” and that makes it perfect for a weekend ride.
7. Sunday: The Prancing Horse- Ferrari
Here comes the Goddess of roads. What should I say about this car! It is a masterpiece, fine crafted porcelain and the ultimate feel good factor. As a car lover, it’s my dream come true. I take it out on Sundays for an early morning spin and love to take it on the track. The track is the only place which can do justice to the speed of a car like this. There is no comparison to this car, and can never be. Not to forget it has F1 Aerodynamics as well. It is not less than a rocket on road. Yes it too has low ground clearance like most of the other cars of this category but not to worry at all it has a lifter which lifts the car automatically the moment its sensors sense any hurdle, so there is no need to worry about a bump or a breaker so much. This vehicle ensures the best possible drive ever, and a perfect end to a swift week!
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