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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bedside Reading: Books about Presenting and Eating Food

Right now I have six books (besides the two trashy novels I'm reading) calling out my name. All six have something to do with food from styling it, photographing it, choosing and storing ingredients to cooking it. The books currently inspiring my dreams of future dinner parties are Eat Love Food Concepts by Eating Designer Marije Vogelzang, Delicious, Plate to Pixel, Food Styling for Photographers, Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food, and They Draw & Cook.

Unfortunately I've been too tired lately to cook; the most I do in the kitchen at the moment is reheat things or brew a cup of tea. While we haven't tried any of the recipes in Eat Good Food yet, we've learned a few things about storing food. First, I learned my mom was right: if you're not going to be able to eat a loaf of bread in a couple of days, the best way to store it is in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Second, we learned that tomatoes are best kept at room temperature and not in the refrigerator.

I've always believed that we eat with all of our senses. If a dish is not appealing to my eyes, I have a very hard time even trying a bite. Even when I'm dining alone, I still plate my food artistically.

I remember the first time I saw Wayne Theibaud's work at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. I became obsessed with recreating my favorite foods using the limited color palette of my Crayola Broad Line Markers. I had paper cutouts of all my favorite Farrell's desserts from an ice cream sundae to a rootbeer float.

Eat Love takes food from nutrition to art, providing inspiration for food-themed gatherings where guests are presented with edible art. The other two books on my nightstand, Food Styling for Photographers and Plate to Pixel, offer practical advice on how to capture the impermanence of  edible art and excite the rest of the senses. I can't wait to try out some ideas I've come up with after just skimming these books.

As I dive further into these books, I'll share a few of my favorite tips, illustrations, and recipes.

Bon Apetit!
Credits: All images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for Recipes for the Good Life.

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