Is food art? The question prompts much debate in culinary circles and beyond, but Hugo Barberis, the 34 year old Paris-born chef at the Apricot Hotel in Hanoi, succinctly makes his point by asking “*Why would we call our craft culinary art if the presentation of food or the philosophy of food were not art forms? *”
“Like artists experimenting with their mediums while envisaging a masterpiece, chefs at the helm need to illustrate how flavors, aromas and textures interplay, creating dishes that not only present beautifully and aesthetically, but that also engage all of the senses,” Barberis carefully explained.
Like works of art in other fields, there is a broad spectrum of materials, or ingredients, to work with – although at the high quality end of the market, that may come at a price. The finest quality foods, such as fresh seafood, do admittedly require a substantial budget, but that’s not necessarily cause for alarm. People who appreciate art don’t mind spending sizeable sums on the pieces they love, and artistic fine dining can certainly fall within that category. But whether your artwork is authentic, fusion, or mix and match, it’s vital to use the right ingredients, as Barberis will attest.
“We have adequately factored into our budget premium ingredients as it is crucial guests indulge in only the best at a luxurious five-star hotel.”
“South East Asia is home to bountiful fresh ingredients perfect for fine dining and artistic food. There is already much demand for fine dining in Vietnam and broader South East Asia and we believe there is so much more potential, particularly for artistic food.”
However, it’s not only the food that should look good and taste sublime. In today’s world where guests want to be seen as they dine, the overall ambience must also be taken into consideration. Take Anantara Chiang Mai for example, whose imaginative ‘The Service 1921’ restaurant has created a whole new scene that allows guests the possibility of time travel back to the colonial era, with authentic Pan Asian cuisine and post-war interior design. The setting must complement the cuisine, or in other words, artistic food should taste nice, and look Instagram nice!
This is why it’s always the right moment for your hotel to find an artist in the kitchen who can create a memorable work of art for guests who are willing to splash out on a delicious masterpiece.