Thursday, Might 21, 2015|3 a.m.
I was out walking in my neighborhood the other evening and discovered myself admiring the experienced green thumb execution in the yard work of a number of my neighbors. Throughout the street lives a real, genteel Southern woman, our own Ninny Threadgoode. Her garden is beautiful and very well purchased. Everything belongs.
Each plant is thoroughly pruned and completely organized so, from color, height, shade and light. It’s a horticulture symphony in continuous blossom, flowers, plants and herbs. A day does not pass that I do not see her out dealing with that organized masterpiece with the precision of a heart surgeon.
A couple of homes down, another next-door neighbor has an equally remarkable garden. But this next-door neighbor is certainly more of a totally free spirit. She is our Annie Savoy. Her garden grows wild with a number of varietals and colors. To the untrained eye, it might resemble a yard full of weeds well in need of a spray or 2 of Round-Up.
She shares plants with the next-door neighbors, placing tables out front with indications that read, “Take one.” Upon closer evaluation, you can see that she has thoroughly selected the plants in her lawn to offer something to nearby wildlife. Her lawn has in fact been called a habitat by the city.
These next-door neighbors share the same interest and gusto for gardening, but their expression comes out in 2 completely various methods. Both are gorgeous in their own way and are quite admirable. However, if you talk to either neighbor independently, you can inform that in their heart of hearts, they believe that the way they do it is the best way.
Whatever your choice, you know after speaking with both that they have a really clear understanding of the best ways to manage and control the plant types. They have achieved exactly what they set out to do with their plans. In spite of their distinctions, they have the core strategies and foundational understanding of gardening in common.
The mirrors of this into the culinary world are incredible. On one hand, you have these remarkable chefs on the world’s best list like Rene Redzepi (Nomo in Copenhagen, Denmark) who presents meals that have been diligently organized with every detail planned and every drop of sauce or sprig of garnish put so.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have chefs like Francis Mellman (Bodega Escorihuela in Mendoza, Argentina) who are more concerned that the food they present engages all your senses, maybe placing a mound of prepared meat apparently in a haphazard way on a plate.
Both chefs are incredibly passionate about the pursuit of producing fantastic flavor profiles and bringing individuals enjoyment through food, however they go about it in entirely various ways. The discussion of what is offered is night and day, from the visual to the tactile experience.
You can observe this across all innovative fields, from visual arts to performing arts– the contrast between those who pick the timeless and polished technique and those who diverged and cut a brand-new, less organized course.
Art is a best example. Take a look at the works of a realist like Diego Velazquez, then look at works of an abstract giant like Jackson Pollock. Artists will certainly produce a really compelling argument about why the style they chose is the utmost expression of creative belief. But, in the end, it is your experience as the viewer that eventually fulfills their intent.
The thing that is so interesting to me, in all of this, is that whatever the imaginative outlet, the real masters of any art have the very same standard understanding of strategy and fundamental basics. They are all masters of the exact same techniques, however it is how they utilize those strategies to express their visions that produce the range that we, as consumers, see.
Any artist worth his salt understands ways to stretch a canvas or which brush to use to make a particular stroke or which colors to blend to get the best cerulean sky, however it’s what they put on the canvas that sets them apart from the next man.
There will always be those who say that one style is better than the other or paramount. However the weight of each style is equally essential, and I can value the charm in both.
Some individuals may look at a painting of a realist and appreciate the minute information and recognize the painstaking effort behind every stroke as genius and appeal, while others may take a look at the same painting and say it is too apparent and draw no inspiration from it.
In the same vein, someone might look at an abstract painting and call it a mess of paints and colors put on a canvas, while another may take a look at the same piece and be entirely moved by exactly what the artist has interacted through the colors and passionate strokes of his brush.
It is the exact same with food, which is my true interest. Whether the plate is arranged with the accuracy of an architect, or the product appears to have been tossed on the plate, if the chef is really gifted and able to interact his vision to others, you will certainly see that there is believed and interest behind both meals– and I guarantee you can taste it.
Even the process of spraying a plate in a manner that appears to be haphazard to the restaurant can actually be a long and purposeful procedure. Or, in fact, the mere act of open plate distribution is the expression.
Trust me when I inform you that true chefs leave nothing to chance. There isn’t a single condition that hasn’t been thought about. In some cases the idea is orderly, and occasionally the meant expression is mayhem.
It is the enthusiasm behind both that drives the industry and feeds not only our bodies, but likewise our souls. Speak with a chef of either style, and it won’t take long to be drawn into their love for food, and it will end up being noticeable that what they are putting on the plate is truly an expression of themselves.
The plate you get at your table is the physical representation of that expression. They likely will not be standing beside you discussing each detail and why it exists the method it does– there’s no time at all for that– and ultimately it’s not the point. Your interpretation is the other half of this dance.
So, no matter what your preference, just keep in mind to value the charm you see, whether it’s wild and unchecked or carefully and meticulously arranged. It’s the enthusiasm and the love behind the food that you truly need to enjoy.
Ben Vaughn is a prize-winning chef and popular TELEVISION personality best known as a host for the Food Network. A food lover, family man and author, Ben’s most current book, “Southern Routes,” chronicles his journey to discover the very best dishes and restaurants from North Carolina to Texas. “Southern Routes” is published by HarperCollins and will certainly be released late summer. He has started shooting his brand-new TV series “Breakfast Club” right here.
Ben’s culinary career began in South Florida and thrived as he ended up being chef/owner of trendsetting and seriously well-known restaurants from Memphis to Atlanta. He’s received recognition from the James Beard Foundation and presently functions as CEO and cooking director for his restaurant group Fork Knife Spoon. Ben prepares to open the first of several non-Strip dining establishments this year starting with the debut of his Southern Cooking area.
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has invested the previous 15 years offering readers the within scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum play area.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/ Robin_Leach.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/ VDLXEditorDon.