Eat with Your Eyes

Social media has created many a chef. People in the kitchen, especially men, excite me! It is my goal in life for everyone to join me in understanding how amazing cooking can be. Go ahead with your spicy wings and stuffed bell peppers! There are hundreds of pictures a day on sites like facebook and instagram #kennyskitchen #realmencook #healthy #mealprepmondays. I actually think people aren’t even cooking to eat anymore they are cooking to show everyone what they’ve cooked. I love the fervor in the kitchen but there is one problem, if you are going to show off your culinary masterpiece to the world remember we eat with our eyes!

So this:

“Post workout meal. Scrambled egg whites and broccoli. How bad do you want it.”

-uh i don’t

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This:

“Loaded Taters & Lemon Pepper Chicken”

-more like mystery meal with green slugs

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And especially this:

“Angel Hair Pasta with grilled tilapia w. a red sauce aka HOT SAUCE”

-no grill marks, everything is white except the “red sauce” that looks like the sidewalk after one too many cranberry and vodkas, the wine in the back ,classyImage

Are not appetizing at all, I don’t want any of the above and I’m not just saying that because I am a chef. Before a scent can reach our nose our eyes have already made some sort of prejudgement. BTW-Sorry if you happen to recognize one of the above dishes as your own it’s constructive I promise.

No description in the world would make me want to eat any of that, mainly because my eyes have already torn it down.

Here are three key things to remember when photographing food you have made:

1. Bright Natural Light is your friend-NO FLASHES! Think of your food as a vampire cunning and sultry, the flash only dulls its power

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This dark chocolate cheesecake ( my absolute favorite dessert from Red Rooster) cannot be seen in it’s true greatness because it has been captured with a flash. If you live in Harlem you should most def. pay a visit just for this heavenly treat.

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Look how the natural lighting brings out the true essence of the cheesecake.The raspberries no longer look moldy they are just frozen!  There is nothing school cafeteria about this. mmm.mmm

2. Height Matters- Building different layers of food, ie stacking the protein on top of the starch instead of piling everything separate like your five years old, adds interest and spunk

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Here a pile of parnsip and potato holds the seared sea bass (notice it has a nice brown crust from searing), a carrot adds radiance with its natural coloring, a springy pea mint sauce and curly pea tendrils finish off the dish.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Paint a Picture- Use color and textures to tell your food story, take the consumer on a journey

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Here Santa Claus Melon. Figs. Goat Cheese. Honey Cashews. So simple. so elegant. garnished with sprigs of tarragon for that “finished” look. The muted purples, pinks,  and greens says to me “Paris in the Summer”

So now that  you know, no more excuses for #struggleplates, my eyes are burning. Go make me proud. Tag me @alilmixedup

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my life has been a very interesting journey thus far. in my quarter century crisis im and not certain of much except that i love cooking and entertaining, and pleasing people is my passion. (wait that sounded a little funny) i am goofy eccentric, and love to laugh, in fact i often laugh at the most inappropriate times. i place high value in honesty and working hard. i don’t really believe in faking it until you make it, without some base knowledge or some sort of depth to your cause. i believe in making mistakes and trying everything once as long as you bring yourself no harm and no harm to others. i am a new age hippy, my words to live by are freedom, serenity, and love. i look for signs of the world and listen. i do judge, anyone who says they do not is a liar, but i use my judgements against you to reflect back on me to see how i can better myself. i hate constraints of our society, including grammar, punctuation, and recipes. i think fast except when it comes to numbers. the culinary world has always been and shall be my safe haven and outlet. i want to inspire, teach, and learn.

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