Its Own Real Estate….

January 9, 2014

4TheRestOfUs Logo 1Cooking is one of my passions. I have always enjoyed it since I started cooking for my dad, brother and me at the age of ten years. Mom decided to look for greener pastures, which she found, and left us on our own.  I didn’t really know much about cooking so I learned as I went. Dad, growing up on a pig farm, knew how to make a pretty wicked pork chop and he learned how to make milk gravy on toast in the army during WWII. The soldiers called it “shit on the shingle” back then. (Like always I am drifting off topic here.) The point is cooking has been a part of my life.  I worked my way through college in a dormitory cafeteria and have been cooking at a local soup kitchen for a decade or so now.

I used to dream about opening my own restaurant but that dream has quickly faded as being just too much work for this stage of my life. One of the things I might have used as my signature for my restaurant is that

“all of my food is so good that it deserves its own real estate on the plate.”

2013-12-20_16-50-26Which finally brings us to the actual point of this post. It is the current trend to pile all the food in the middle of a plate and then drizzle a little sauce around the rest of it. I added the picture to the right to make sure you get the idea.  Now that I have for the most part given up politics about the only thing on the satellite channels, which my wife would never let me drop, is cooking shows. I do watch them occasionally to get some new ideas for the homeless shelter but a little goes a long ways with those shows for me.  My mind is drifting again so to get back on topic you simply can’t tune into any those shows and not see ever ubiquitous food pile. I am a simple guy but I do on occasion enjoy a really well prepared (read expensive) meal. Of course when it comes it is always in the piled mode.

I don’t know about you but I guess I march to a different drummer in the culinary world. I like my food to reside around the edges of the plate, not piled in the middle. Maybe it is my lower class upbringing rebelling once again against this upper-class stuff but it just seems down right stupid to pile the food in the middle of the plate.

Getting again slightly off-topic but for a reason, one of my earliest childhood memories was visiting my pig-farmer grandfather, as mentioned above.  He was maybe the ultimate “simple” guy and one of the things he would almost always do was before he started to eat he would diligently cut up all his food on the plate and then proceed to mix it all together and then eat is with his knife! He would proclaim “it all goes to the same place so why shouldn’t it start out that way”.  Maybe the current trend is just a variation of what my grandfather did.  But I kind of doubt it 🙂


3 responses to Its Own Real Estate….


    Thank you for bringing to our attention the disturbing trend in cuisine that is The Food Pile. I am with you in thinking that a pile of food in the middle of the plate is ridiculous, and the garnishing drizzle is simply misguided. In the world of the restauranteur, presentation matters, but the drizzled food pile trend appears to elevate presentation above the actual food preparation. One wonders if one is supposed to admire the food instead of actually eating it. The cynic in me is of the opinion that the food pile is just a tactic to disguise the reduction in the quantity of food on the plate while making the customer feel okay about paying more for it. That is, the higher price is justified by the feeling that one is not merely dining but supporting artistic expression as well.



      Thanks for the comments John and welcome to RJsCorner. Come back often. I agree with you that presentation now seems to trump taste and quality. I wonder if all those food channels on cable TV have something to do with that??

      So many of us seem to run around like sheep chasing every trend that the marketers dream up. But I guess that is what keeps our capitalist system rolling isn’t it???



    My husband is of the “it all goes the same place anyway” variety, and I am of the obsessive “I don’t like my different food categories to touch on the plate” type. He thinks I’m funny. I think he is. Worse, he’s Republican and I’m so very NOT. Somehow we’ve managed 44 years together.