June’s Artist Palate: Create with Color Now

You eat first with your eyes.
There are a few principles I learned way back in cooking school that inform every meal I make and menu I write. Two of these hold strong in my daily cooking: vary color and vary texture. Though basic, mastering these two principles can allow you to successfully “whip up” a meal on the fly. Consider this: even if the flavors in a meal are all delicious, if everything on your plate is green and chewy, you will finish a meal wanting. You will want something, anything to provide balance with a complimentary color or texture. Try it: wouldn’t you crave chips after a meal of cucumber soup, kale hummus and avocado? Exactly.

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June is a remarkable time to slow down, observe, and take in the beautiful spread of colors and textures that abound at the markets. The sensory experience of food starts with your eyes – soak in the sights. I encourage you to approach cooking and menu planning this month from an artist’s perspective. Have fun with it: don a proverbial beret and get your creative juices flowing with these tips:
 PAINT YOUR PLATE IN RAINBOWS
Keep your shopping cart and farmer’s market basket chock full of color variations. I try to buy 7 different vegetables each week, even if it means one tomato and one cucumber. Switch it up and try different ones the next week. Buying the rainbow ensures that you have colors to play with when you are whipping up a salad or vegetable dish on the fly. Don’t forget fresh herbs! They pull a meal together, adding to the sensory effect of a dish.
CAPTIVATE THE PALATE WITH TEXTURE
Like every great artist, use texture variations to enhance the enjoyment of your food. Create dynamic within a improvised dish by juxtaposing prickly frisee lettuce with toasted walnuts and avocado. Flash fry whole sage leaves (15 seconds in hot grapeseed or coconut oil until they start to curl) and top a chilled soup or hummus. You get the picture! 
Now go make something beautiful in your kitchen! Make the most with what’s on hand. Just like art in grade school, there is no wrong way to create. You just need the right fundamentals to guide you:)
Seeking more direction to learn how to freestyle cook and boost your repertoire?My private and small group improv classes are some of the most fun I teach!
Contact me for more info, I’m always here to help.
Happy Summer!
Chef Abby

 

Seeking more direction to learn how to freestyle cook and boost your repertoire?My private and small group improv classes are some of the most fun I teach!
Contact me for more info, I’m always here to help.
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