Food & Drink Magazine

Food, Presentation, DaVinci

By Marialiberati

copyright 2018 Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati

Food, Presentation, DaVinci

Leonardo da Vinci is well known for using a scientific eye to develop his artistic style. He observed that objects are three-dimensional and used his observations of light and dark to paint vivid and realistic portraits and landscapes. This is a concept called chiaroscuro. It seems obvious to us now but it was revolutionary in Leonardo’s time. He also observed how objects’ details and colors change when they fade away into the distance, a technique called sfumato, and used this tool to his advantage to create a sense of great depth. Sfumato is also known as “Leonardo’s smoke” for how he made mountains and other distant landscape features blue and smoky. While this is not as conducive to the culinary arts as other aspects of his style, it’s still worth noting.

Other notable features of his art are the cross-hatching that slants to the left, caused by his left-handedness. This is also the reason he wrote backwards, to reduce smudging. He used many left-handed and adapted tools in his work.

Presentation is a huge part of what makes food so delicious. By using Leonardo da Vinci’s art style, you can make unique and pleasing arrangements of food that are Instagram-worthy.

Pay attention to the way light will change the way your food looks. For example, pancakes look great when eaten by a window rather than beneath overhead light. The angle of the light makes the syrup shine and brings out the texture of the pancakes. In fact, using natural light whenever possible will make meals more enjoyable.

Pay attention also to hand dominance. There are subtle differences between how right-handed and left-handed people eat, and arranging the plate accordingly can make meals more enjoyable for everyone. Try eating with your non-dominant hand. How would you arrange the meal to make eating it easier? This could also have an impact on silverware arrangement.

Presentation is important when it comes to food. Think about the difference between a burger from a fast food restaurant and one from a higher-end place. There is the obvious difference in ingredients and preparation, but the atmosphere and how the dish is arranged play a large part as well. Many people say that even commonplace dishes like macaroni and cheese taste better when eaten on nicer dishes, with garnishes, or in more pleasant lighting than the typical overhead kitchen light. You don’t need to wait for a special occasion to make your food look as good as it tastes.

For DaVinci Style Recipes get your copy of the best selling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:DaVinci Style

Food, Presentation, DaVinci


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