Food fancification 101
Instagram makes me laugh. All those top down shots of perfectly swirled crema on coffees, rainbow graded jars of salad and un-smooshed smoothies.
Then there’s the high-end restaurants that make every plate look like a work of art. They also make me laugh because they charge $20 for what is essentially $2 worth of nicely arranged ingredients.
I love observing how rich people live because there is a certain flamboyance to it; a panache we can all borrow to luxe up our rental-livin’-lives. The is the second part in the luxe up your life series. Read on for more tips on how to fake being rich.
1. Roots! Use very thinly sliced yellow and purple beets as garnish on salads. Also pickled radishes. Not fancy if you’re a starving Russian farmhand. Very fancy if you’re a starving Eastern Suburbs yogi DJ.
2. MICROHERBS. Toss them on everything, including desserts. It’s confusing but it’s fancy. If you don’t have access to microherbs (I mean seriously, who does?), throw some flowers on the plate. Violets, nasturtiums (flowers and leaves), geraniums, rose petals and snap dragons are all edible choices.
3. Stuff to put it in/on. Grey, black or brown earthenware plates, Waterford crystal whiskey glasses, mason jars with stripy straws for juices and Riedel stemless wine glasses (or the St Vincent de Paul equivalents – you’d be surprised what you can unearth amongst the World’s Best Dad mugs and stolen schooner glasses)
4. Fresh flowers and candles. At Noma Australia, they are using bunches of gum leaves and natural beeswax candles. Simple, cheap and effective.
5. Linen napkins all the way. Failing that, good quality white or black paper napkins.
6. Crumbly biscuit dirt. Crush up any old biscuit and put it on desserts, and voila, insta-fance.
7. Three ingredients. Matt Moran from Aria’s formula is simple; he serves a great steak (or piece of seared tuna or half a chicken) with a couple of veggies. It could be a wedge of dressed Iceberg garnished with chives and few roast spuds, a few Kalamata olives and charred capsicum, or Brussels sprouts sautéed with speck; whatever it is; it’s usually very simple.
8. Wine decanters. Get yourself one of these babies and no one will know that the wine came from Aldi.
9. Share plates. If you’re serving dinner to four or more people, pop all the dishes on platters and garnish them with herbs, olive oil or toasted nuts.
10. Slow cooking. It doesn’t matter how tough a piece of meat is, if you slow cook it for 12 hours in a low oven, it will become butter.
Learning how to cook is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself for your health and happiness. Learning how to fancify your food is pure, frivolous fun and you can never have too much of that.
What are your tips for making food look fancy? Care to share?