Presentation, Presentation, Presentation

I was told a long time ago that we taste with our eyes long before we taste with our taste buds.  I think this is so true.  If a dish looks pretty, regardless of how it really tastes, the perception is going to be that is going to taste fantastic.  Sometimes this is true and sometimes not.  I have had plenty of foods that are beautiful and beautifully presented that either don’t taste good at all or are bland and boring once you put them in your mouth.  Either way, often they are a big let down and a disappointment not worth the calories.  By the same token though, if a dish or recipe is presented poorly, a lot of people are going to automatically turn their noses up at it and frown; until they taste it, and are then proved wrong.  Many years ago, when I was living up in San Francisco, working at a public relations firm, I experienced this first hand.  One of the ladies I was working with was getting married and our boss threw her a beautiful bridal shower.  She ordered a beautifully decorated and expensive cake for the party.  Everyone was oohing and awwing over the cake.  It was OK, but I don’t recall it being spectacular or really even that memorable.  But it was beautiful.  I had made a cake to bring to the party as well.  The recipe was a cake we created for one of our clients (most of clients were food clients).  I was so proud of my little cake too, but during transport, my little cake got all jostled around in the car, and by the time I arrived at the party, it was not nearly as pretty or desirable looking as it was when I first put it in the car.  I was really embarrassed to bring it in because it was now an ugly little cake, and it suffered by comparison to the big beautiful cake on display.  But eventually, through a lot of prodding, I brought it in and shared it with everyone.  It turned out to be a hit, despite being the ugly little cake.  The lady who was getting married said what made my ugly little cake so beautiful was that it was made from love.  Love is ALWAYS the most important ingredient to any recipe.

Moving on to the present.  I never forgot that experience or that lesson.  So now, I do my best to make sure my dishes are presented nicely AND taste good too.  I want the best of both worlds.  🙂  Last night for dinner, it was a Costco chicken night.  We love Costco’s rotisserie chicken.  It is one of the best out there.  It is fantastic all on it’s own, but I fancied it up to make it even better.  We couldn’t have just the chicken for dinner with no side dishes.  Larry just threw his on the plate and ate it up.  He doesn’t care.  He’ll eat just about anything.  But I had to make mine nice and pretty.  Making it pretty made it taste even better.  Presentation is everything.  Well, almost everything.  Taste is certainly very important too.

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I served the chicken over wild rice and topped it with my creamy Brussels sprouts and mushrooms and the rest of my zucchini cheese bread.  Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms and Cream Sauce, Zucchini Cheese Bread  My wine choice was a cool, crisp Sauvignon blanc.  I t was a quick easy dinner that looks like I spent hours in the kitchen, but in reality, dinner was done in about  45 minutes.  The end result …. DELICIOUS!

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Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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