Well for this post I am going slightly “off piste” as they say…
I recently stumbled across a programme currently airing on BBC2 called “The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes” fronted by actress Caroline Quentin (I have loved her comedic style) and award winning architect Piers Taylor.
I have to say if I had not followed the hospitality route in my career I think I could have possibly gone the route of being an architect. I have enormous respect for this profession as I believe well designed homes offer us something so amazing to live in and can also transform our lives.
The series is looking at homes around world that are designed in Mountains, Forests, Coastal or Underground environments – I cannot wait for the final episode!!!
Firstly the chemistry between Piers the architect and Caroline is so infectious. He is something of a purist whilst she looks for the more practical side of how the home will function as a home.
I have watched the first two episodes on catch up and cannot recommend them more highly as the ingenuity of the architects is amazing. The mountain top property in California that uses disused 747 plane wings as the basis of the roof is inspired and then the mountain top cabin on top of a Swiss mountain that can only be reached by cable car were great examples of clever design with their environment challenges.
In the Forest episode the two standout properties were both in the US in an area north of New York City (The Catskills) and have to be seen to be believed. Money seemed to be no object with one whilst the other one seemed to be an amazing family home in a much loved area, amazing.
It’s got me thinking of the similarities with the two professions of architect and chef. Both need to be aware of what works and combines well together and how combinations can influence and enhance the finished product. Well-designed delivers something memorable whilst over designed can frustrate.
Equally the presentation of a finished dish can provide something memorable but also the challenges of ruining the final look of the dish by over complication or sloppy presentation.
I love to sit, think and visualise (sometimes sketching) about how I will present a dish but always have a practical head on.
For me when plating food it should look good and invite you in to consume, embellishment is fine but needs to be relevant to the final dish. What annoys me most is that too much can only mean one thing that the dish gets cold or requires too many hands in its final presentation making it impractical to execute in a pressured environment. Many similarities to what is good architectural design.
Equally, I also like to think about the influence of colour and the plate or receptacle I am using will impact on the finished dish.
I know there is a website that bemoans the use of the more unusual presentation of food – “We Want Plates”
If used correctly the more unusual can provide you with something memorable and I also firmly believe the humour can sell what can be a drab product. A topic for a future discussion perhaps!
The TV program has been inspiring and hugely entertaining, wonderful designed homes that are pleasing to the eye in some beautiful settings.
Not unlike well prepared food, presented in an imaginative way that eats well.
I am interested in what you all think, especially those of you in the design or architecture business!