Sources of food inspiration

My process to create new dishes begins most of the time with one, basic ingredient or recipe that I want to incorporate.

Once i’ve figured that out, I start to look for visual inspiration. I used to go trough my cookbooks for inspiration but lately i’ve been using instagram and pinterest.

The amount of great food pictures available is amazing. I don't look for anything specific, I just try to analyze pictures and figure out what i like about them. Up until this point, it’s only a visual process.

Dish developing sketch.

Dish developing sketch.

I’m always looking for great food photographers and inspiring chefs.
At the moment my favorite photographers are Signe Birck and Francesco Tonelli.
The chefs I admire most at the moment are Daniel Humm, Peter Gilmore and Ronny Emborg.

Eleven Madison Park of Daniel Humm is probably my favorite cookbook of all time. I love the simplicity of his dishes, which are cooked to perfection. The pictures in his book were taken by Francesco Tonelli. It’s no coincidence that they are both in my top list!

The Quay cookbook is a piece of art in its own right. The food, photos and book design are stunning! I love to just flip trough the pages and be inspired by Peter Gilmore’s dishes.

The Wizard Cookbook of Ronny Emborg is my latest discovery and i love it!  Im fascinated by the new nordic cuisine and Emborg’s book is a great source of inspiration. The photos and plating are beautiful and there are some pretty cool techniques in the book. It’s currently sold out on Amazon and its pretty hard to get a hold of it. The good news is that the whole book is published on issue.com and you can read it online for free.

When i have a basic idea of a „look“ i want to achieve, I start thinking about other components for my dish and how to create them. This is where I start thinking about flavor, cooking techniques and texture. I start asking myself questions like: Do I want a sauce on the plate? What type of sauce? What color? What texture? Should it be subtile or powerful?

I always try to sketch my plates and ingredients. I want to have an exact idea of how I'm going to plate it. To  be honest, most of the time my sketches don’t match the plating at all, and that’s ok. My first two or three plating attempts of a new dish are usually complete fails. Sometimes I have to take a step back for a few minutes or even a day on occasion in order to be satisfied with the dish. Some of my idea’s sound great in theory but once i’ve plated them, i realize they just won’t work and I find myself eating the ingredients out of frustration. 

I’m aware that i'm more focused at the visual aspects of the dish at the moment opposed to the taste. This is mainly because the main purpose of my dishes is to be photographed. My aim is to build a food photography portfolio which, i hope will assist me in building a career in food photography.

In the future, i’m going to try to focus more on the whole dish rather than just the look of the dish!