Food as an art form

We all have to eat and whilst some of us are better at cooking than others, any cookery that aims higher than a boiled egg is an attempt to make an art of a necessity. This could be the first type of art that humans ever attempted, and today, it’s still the most universal.

Today, we can’t even scroll through our Facebook and Instagram feeds without craving some of the eye-catching dishes people post. Innovation and creativity are just some of the traits most commonly attributed to a successful chef, and just as a painter wants to show off his work, a chef wants his food to be tasted and explored.

Food is a unique type of art as it plays with all of your senses. Not only do we see the dish arrive, we smell it, taste it, feel the texture and very often hear it sizzling. There aren’t many other things that let you use all five senses when observing it.

As children, we were all told not to play with our food, but for Ferran Adria, playing with food became a stellar career. Arguably the most influential chef of our time, Adria, of Spain, has had an impact on gastronomy all over the world, pushing the culinary boundaries and transforming the art of food into an art form all its own.

Chef Adria’s idea was to engage the diner’s five senses, hoping to surprise and delight the diner and invoke childhood memories with his creations. He achieved his revolutionary cuisine with the aid of freeze-dryers, liquid nitrogen tanks and gelling agents to form extraordinary dishes such as melons reconstituted as orange caviar balls, spherical olives, vanishing ravioli and his renowned culinary foam.

When Adria closed his world-famous restaurant, El Bulli, in 2011, those on the two year waiting list were devastated, while those privileged enough to have dined there boasted that they’d eaten in the ‘best restaurant in the world’.

Adria has been in Australia this month launching Australia’s largest food festival, Good Food Month. The month long celebration invites food-lovers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra to celebrate the country’s vibrant food culture, with a jam packed calendar of events including everything from fine-dining dinners to outdoor festivals.

Closer to home, food as an art form is also being celebrated. The Experimental Food Society Spectacular is the UK’s first ever annual culinary arts exhibition and a showcase of its most ground-breaking gastronomic artists.

Whilst the 2014 date is yet to be announced, the exhibition features culinary art displays, demonstrations and workshops, and offers visitors a chance to meet the Experimental Food Society, sample edible art, watch some of the artists at work and pick up tips on how to get experimental in the kitchen. The Eiffel Tower constructed from hundreds of Curly Wurlys, glow in the dark ice cream, a lifelike American Harpie Eagle and a roasted pig made entirely from sugar are just some of the extravagant pieces from previous years.

If you’re yet to be convinced that food is art, this event is for you!