Food & Hotel Asia 2012 Day 2 – FHA Culinary Challenge: Plated Desserts
I felt that the entries for the “Plated Desserts” category from the FHA Culinary Challenge during Food & Hotel Asia 2012 are of reasonably high calibre this year. GIven that many of these were from students from culinary schools and institutions all over Asia, quite a number of them are of restaurant quality with hardly any visual glitch or flaw to pick on. Having said that, I didn’t get a chance to taste any of these, so comments would be highly biased as I’m judging the entries literally by their “cover”. Or would they be coverups intead? *evil grin* Some are very avante garde and moderne while others clearly displayed a good foundation in classical techniques. Here I share with you a fraction of entries which I personally feel are a cut above the others. I shall leave it to you to decide which is your favorite. I’ll tell you mine if you would tell me yours. :)
Nothing much to critique apart from some looking truly stunning. I generally prefer those with clean lines and simplicity. And its not just about the food, the choice of plates is also very important, as it needs to complement the dish presented. I love to see a good ratio of white base from the plates for contrast with whatever is being plated. A good friend recently told me, sometimes less is more. And I couldn’t have said it better.
To me, plated desserts is all about visual impact. Don’t get me wrong, how it taste is also very important, if not the most important. Just that in plated desserts, the appeal of the piece to the eyes becomes highly accentutaed, to the extent of sharing almost equal weightage to how a piece taste. A feast for the eyes before it makes an impression on the palate. So making a plated dessert becomes multiple folds more difficult than just to appease one’s tastebuds. One has got to be an accomplished artist with a good eye for details, and at the same time a top-notch pastry chef with the right tastebuds. And I would dare say that true masters of both realms are far and few between. The avant gardes sometimes compromise taste for looks, visual textures for palate textures. The classicists couldn’t care less about looks as long as it tastes good. I’m more inclined towards the latter school of thought. That said, from the smoothness of a ganache glacage, to whether macarons developed proper “feet”, it is irrefutable that visuals play a major role in our decision-making on what deems as a good piece. But is it really so? Or is it merely our eyes playing tricks on us?
Food & Hotel Asia 2012 Day 2 – FHA Culinary Challenge: Plated Appetisers
Food & Hotel Asia 2012 Day 2 – FHA Culinary Challenge: Petit Fours and Pralines
Food & Hotel Asia 2012 Day 3 – Asian Pastry Cup Day 2 & Finale
Food & Hotel Asia 2012 Day 2 – Asian Pastry Cup Day 1
Food & Hotel Asia 2012 Day 1 – Introduction and Recce