Have you noticed how ‘good’ restaurants tend to plate up their food these days? It’s either arranged picturesquely on the plate or its ingredients are stacked vertically – sometimes both. Like the meals themselves, each of these two poems seemed to call for a different structure:
1: Edible art
Master chefs are not just cooks,
They’re artists, too; and so
They ‘paint’ their food upon the plate
They surely know, these clever folk
Who in their kitchens lurk,
That customers just get stuck in
And desecrate their work?
All the effort, skill and flair
They put into that meal
Is mangled, cut up, squished and mauled.
I wonder how they feel?
I’d like to shower the chef with praise:
“Wow, that looks quite incredible!”
I never do, though. That’s because
Their ‘picture’s’ much too edible.
So when it’s put in front of me
I look at it and say,
“Oh dear, that’s much too good to eat,”
Then eat it anyway.
2: Perpendicular plating
Other chefs do things with food
That make it look seductive,
But how they put it on the plate
Makes me feel destructive.
As a child, I’d pile up towers,
And then I’d knock ’em down;
Now I can do that when I’m in
Posh restaurants in the town.
’Cos now, it’s chefs who build the piles,
With food stacked neat and tall.
I bet they’re proud of it – but pride
Comes right before a fall!
(It has to fall, to get at all
The lovely stuff that’s in it.
A work of art, that I demolish
In less than half a minute.)
It seems to be a current fad,
This perpendicular plating.
Perhaps they do it in the hope
They’ll get a higher rating?
But fashions change. There’ll come a time
They won’t do things like that again;
And Michelin-starred chefs will serve
Their food all laid out flat again.