On my journey of discovery, I have really tried to nail down on what it is that interests me. Identifying where my passions lie will potentially lead me closer to discovering an area of experimentation that I will fully engage with. So I have begun by looking into prop styling. Digging deeper into this genre of design, food styling comes up often.
Now food is something that sparks an interest with me. My love for food has always been strong, perhaps slightly stronger than it should be. However, it is only in the last couple of years that I have come to appreciate the beauty of fresh food and all that it has to offer. Food surrounds us everyday. In our kitchen, the supermarket, our canteens, a coffee shop, a restaurant, etc. and this is fair enough, our bodies need it to survive. Food is a necessity. My growing awareness of my health, however, has meant I pay a lot more attention to the food I eat and how this is fueling and caring for my body. Because of this, my weekly shop has advanced and the range of foods I investigate has broadened. Food is now my comfort zone. It’s become my home. I feel comfortable using food as a tool in the kitchen and enjoy exploration in this field. That’s not to say I am any good at cooking. We all have kitchen disasters! But it is a direction that captures my interest.
There truly is an art to cooking. As I have learnt through trial and error. I have never had any formal culinary education, although the idea intrigues me. I have learnt as most do, from those I have cooked alongside, particularly my Mum. I cook as she did when I was growing up; I have naturally developed her way of working in the kitchen. This week though, I was lucky enough to attend a cooking demonstration by 2006 Masterchef winner Peter Bayless at the 2016 Wealden Food and Wine Festival. Bayless shared his enthusiasm for fresh ingredients with us as he prepared and cooked a delicious fajita dish. What I found most fascinating was learning how he completes the tasks that we may do any day such as chopping an onion or a pepper. Simply watching how someone else works opened my eyes to the amazing potential of what you can do with food. For example, I usually chop an onion whichever way round it ends up in my hand. Yet, due to the layers, the different direction you cut the onion will leave you with a different segment and a different pattern. This may seem simple, but manipulating the details could lead to an unexpected outcome. A pepper too, cutting horizontally rather than vertically will leave you with a very different looking pile of pepper. At the moment, this has just allowed me to have a lot more fun when preparing dinner, however, I hope to be able to incorporate these ideas and use new culinary skills in future work.