Don’t play with your food…

…you’ll be identified as a provincial chef otherwise, the backward type, you know. The cook at the Calgary Hotel high up in the Alps, where I’m staying this week, delivers almost classic examples for this theory. Instead of just serving his really well done and tasty dishes, he has a tendency to decorate the plates, to arrange the elements, to go for visual effect. Look at this:

Don't smile at me, you're just a starter!

You can’t avoid seeing a face here, can you, yet it’s not one of these childish children’s menus. In fact, it’s a nice starter, a heap of Rilette de canard (top left) accompanied by a spoon full of sprouts (top right), “underlined” by a strip of a very dark, sweet and sour vinaigrette made of balsamico vinegar and oil. The ingredients were good, their combination a success, the design though – is impossible. I’d put it this way: What isn’t really necessary has no right on a plate.


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