"Culinary creativity may be the most perfect art form. It allows for free personal expression like painting, musical composition, or writing and yet fulfills a most practical need to eat. What could be better?" - Stanely Tucci
Those words resonate with me every day, and I assume with most of you who enjoy cooking as much as I do. It has always felt like art that I continue to learn about, practice, succeed at, and feed myself and my family's body and soul.
I have spent most of my adult life in the kitchen preparing meals and, of course, eating them. When my children were young, they would participate in the preparation and, to this day, still enjoy cooking. The kitchen is the heart of our home and is a place to relax and come together as a family. If you are not chopping or stirring, you most likely have your hands-in soapy water, washing dishes, and wiping counters. Everyone participates, and everyone eats.
Over the past few years, I have learned two new aspects of cooking: food styling and food photography. I took something I love to do and added completely different elements to it. If you have ever tried to style your food and photograph it, you will quickly understand this is not an easy task. I once was told by a photographer friend of mine that food is the hardest thing to photograph. I would say he is correct.
Culinary creativity is a passion that can continue to evolve for a lifetime. I remember as a child that we ate a lot of the same meals over and over again. Spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken cacciatore, roast with potatoes and carrots, a hamburger and rice concoction, and chicken with mushroom sauce. She made all of these from scratch besides the use of cream of mushroom soup with the chicken. It was like my mother had a handful of meals she enjoyed cooking, and that was as far as her art went. Her recipes are ingrained in my brain, but I have also enjoyed trying new flavors and techniques throughout my personal journey.
Whatever your culinary creativity looks like and feels like to you, embrace it and keep doing it. If it gives you satisfaction, I am confident it gives others who partake in the end product a great deal of pleasure. And that defines perfect art!