I have to admit, I think I spend 360 days of the year staring enviously at those gorgeous meals from Michelin Star restaurants.
But when places like Noma have a price tag that costs more than my house (jk I don’t have a house) it’s hard to imagine I’ll ever be able to enjoy true haute cuisine.
To make up for our utter lack of cash, my sister and I have come up with an alternate solution to enjoying gorgeous gastronomy. It’s all the flourish and fancy of a 5 star meal at a fraction of the price (and it takes only minutes to put together)! Read on to see how:
Step 1: Choose a platter that’s interesting.
I’m using an older piece of china with a giant crack going through the middle. I think this really will help add depth and drama to the dish.
Step 2: Pick an easy protein.
Since this is a main course I want it to be filling and delicious- but I don’t want to spend all day cooking! I’m going to be using a fully cooked chicken sausage that I got from Whole Foods. It’s organic and super yummy- and best of all I don’t even have to dirty a pan to cook it. I think serving it cold will add to the overall effect of the dish.
Step 3: Add color and dimension.
So one thing I notice high class restaurants doing is using stunning swoops of sauces and other little additions to show diners that this is dish is truly on another level.
Here I’m using a Trader Joe’s pesto (which will go great with the sausage) decorated with culinary grade dried flowers. The overall look I’m going for here is ‘natural meadow’ so I made sure to keep the pesto and dried flowers looking organic and not too ‘structured’.
Step 4: Balance the dish.
Since I focused so much on soft curves and ascending swoops underneath the sausage, I want to use the space above to play with the idea of a linear design. I’m using dried blueberries to create two parallel lines. This mimics the meat’s straight and tubular appearance while still allowing the slightly varying sizes of berries to add character and drive interest.
Step 4: Add something unexpected.
So now that my dish is pretty much complete, I think the final trick to making a dish appear ‘Michelin’ grade is to add a touch of the unknown. I’m using dead branches from a marigold plant that I forgot to water during a heat wave.
The branches are so interesting and create a sort of forestlike cage around the dish. I love how they simultaneously hide and reveal different parts of the meal.
A really nice thing about the branches is that diners are confronted with the concept of how to eat the dish- which I think is super important in a high class restaurant (it should never be immediately obvious).
Maybe one day I’ll be rich enough to afford the real thing (it won’t be from this blog, I promise you that) but until then this is good enough for me.