Food art or food choreography is the art of cooking, preparing and presenting food in as creative a way as possible. The concept of food art may have popped up because of the fusion of various food cultures allowing for creative usage of foods and other ingredients. Innovative cooking and presentation techniques are usually a byproduct of travel, encountering new and exotic dishes and tasting food from all around the globe. Traveling and sampling foreign food has given rise to a hobby of many who practice and love food arts.
There are many examples of this kind of art work. A very good example would be the Japanese food painting known as chop suey painting which highlights the use of sauces and pickled vegetables. Another popular edible food paint trend focuses on finger foods, such as tempura, sashimi and sesame chicken, which are usually cooked in vegetable stock or seasoned with soy sauce. Glitter is usually added to give the finger foods a more 3-dimensional appearance.
In still life food painting, the artist usually paints in layers. A basic recipe or theme is used to determine the size of each layer and the type of food or vegetable to be painted. After the base is painted, top layers of fruits, vegetables or other foods are added. After that, bottom layers of the painted food are then applied to represent the finished product. The use of a still life painting technique makes it possible for the artist to play with different themes which reflect the different seasons.
Another fascinating trend in food arts is food carving. Cremation of vegetables is fast becoming one of the latest and most fashionable ways to decorate one’s home. Vegetable carving uses cutting techniques and various objects to carve fresh vegetables, fruits and other food items into beautiful patterns. In fact, the popularity of food carving is so much so that some people are even enjoying it as a hobby!
With vegetable carving, there is no need for any fancy gadgets. Vegetable carving can be done by using simple food tools that come in handy for example a knife and fork. Another tool commonly used for vegetable carving is a candlestick. Flowers and leaves are also used for designs. With the help of flowers and leaves, it is very easy to create optical illusions that somehow make the object look deformed. This technique is used especially well when the subject is large, like fruits and vegetables.
Some people also opt for adding other materials to their food paintings, like shells and ribbons. Shells and ribbons can be bought from craft shops or even made at home. They can be painted using a color that reflects the predominant color of the food, or a bright color that adds to the decorative effect. There is also a trend where the shells and ribbons are making opaque and then used as fill between the layers of the food. This practice adds texture and depth to the work.
Another popular style of food art involves creating works of art with edible art. This kind of work usually starts out as simple sculpting of fruit shapes. After the initial fruit carving is complete, the next step is to add to the work with edible art pieces that symbolically depict the different taste of fruits. The pieces may be combined to make one giant piece of fruit carving. This can then be displayed in the office or even at home.
Aside from carving fruits and vegetables, food art is also done on a more realistic level with 3D objects. These include figurines of characters from cartoon shows like Strawberry Shortcake. Cartoon characters are mostly made from cardboard, which can easily be molded using common household products such as plaster, or a mixture of cement and paint. These figurines are then colored using acrylic paints in order to create a three dimensional effect, making the figurine appear alive.