International Chefs Day, the global celebration of professional chefs around the world, took place recently.
Established by the World Association of Chef’s Societies in 2004, the day often includes culinary contests organised in lots of big cities, where leading restaurant chefs come and show off their skills.
This year’s theme was ‘Art on a Plate’, which aimed to raise awareness about healthy eating.
There are hopes that it will help children change their attitude towards healthy food, turning wholesome recipes into edible ‘art’ that will be healthy to eat and fun to make.
So, to celebrate the special day ourselves, here are five inspirational dishes that’ll definitely give you that food inspiration to get into the kitchen.
Get ready for our version of ‘Art on a Plate’!
Andres Lara’s Guinness Stout Cake
Award-winning pastry chef Andres Lara has created this beautiful Guinness stout chocolate cake, with hubiese marshmallow, grilled pears, cocoa sorbet and peanuts! Oozing effortless style and sophistication, this creation looks almost too good to eat…almost!
David Everitt-Matthias’s Lobster
This Michelin-starred lobster and carrot recipe from David Everitt-Matthias looks intricately beautiful. The delicate lobster meat, sweet caramelised carrots and vibrant carrot purée, are all offset by the smooth, buttermilk purée and a spiced crumb. What a colourful inspirational dish!
Graham Hornigold’s Raspberry and Chocolate and Rose Delice
This ultra-romantic raspberry dessert is a feast for the eyes! Beneath the delicate pink cocoa butter shell lies a cornucopia of delights, including a raspberry mousse, chocolate sponge and a creamy lychee panna cotta. If you’re a dessert novice you’ll need a few pieces of specialist equipment to make this recipe, such as food-grade spray guns and decorative rose moulds.
Daniel Clifford’s Chicken Wings with Reblochon Pomme Purée
This recipe takes edible art to a whole new level! With daring, deep colours, and contrasting elements, Daniel Clifford is definitely onto a winner here. However, this gourmet chicken wing recipe is a complex dish that requires a lot of forward planning, so if you want to attempt something similar, make sure you have all the necessary equipment beforehand!
Josh Eggleton’s Pimm’s Jelly with Cucumber Shot
This one takes standard jelly making and turns it completely on its head. Reminiscent of long summer days, this dessert is an eclectic array of colour that could be easily replicated with the right equipment and a touch of imagination.
Top tips for creating the perfect dish
We hope that the above dishes have served as an inspiration to help get your creative juices following. So, here are our top five tips for creating the killer dish for International Chef’s Day…
Tip 1 – Develop a ‘working list’ of ingredients
It’s always an idea to jot down ingredients that interest you as you walk through the supermarket, scan restaurant menus, or just catalogue your food cravings during your day. Developing a perfect dish can take many trials, so it’s also important that you’re working with interesting flavours that can keep you focused and not bored. As a chef, you’ll use what’s around you, seasonal produce or the freshest looking meat at the butchers. Items that are abundant and in season are often cheaper too, meaning you can buy enough to last while keeping within your budget.
Tip 2 – Visualise your plate
Thinking about how your dish will look is an important stage to start thinking about early on in your process. Think about how people will eat your dish, which components should go on the spoon or fork at the same time? Which components should be eaten first in order to capture them at the best temperature?
Take inspiration from photo cookbooks and online resources to study how the best culinary artists combine their elements on the plate.
Tip 3 – Sketch it out
Once you have a general idea of how you want your dish to look, start drawing out potential ways of assembling your plate. Take your time on this step, as sketching out your ideas is a really effective way of wrapping your head around the look of the dish, and seeing where you could add or take elements for better appearance, flavour or texture.
Keep the sketches safe so you can look back on your designs and notes, these can inspire your futures dishes too!
Tip 4 – Taste it
You’ll often taste the least desirable parts of an ingredient to test out flavour, texture and plating combinations, saving the best cuts and pieces for when you present the dish for real. This is a mistake, and won’t help you in your process for perfection, always test out the dish in the way its intended to be eaten.
Tip 5 – Trial plating-up
Work from the sketches you made earlier and mock-up different versions of your dish, each with a different look and using different components. Trial out serving these dishes to friends or colleagues, their comments could inspire you to add different flavours or take certain elements away.
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