A balanced meal is satisfying. One can stop eating after eating a balanced meal. They can be very simple to the most complex and exotic. The design principles are the same. Here your artistry accesses all the other topics.
The concept for this class was inspired the day I was listening to clients talk about the dinner they were asking me to cook. A brown paper grocery bag was nearby and I used it to sketch the meal, the way one might jot ideas that just can’t wait, on a paper napkin. Each time the client lit up with an idea I put it into a category. I formed the dishes into a textural atmosphere that the client told me they liked. Their tastes and flavors were fashioned into the protein, grain and vegetables of their choice. Often the unspoken topic drove the menu design. But I knew what to look and listen for.
Each time I asked a question I would configure their answer to fit into the newly forming meal composition chart. When I had composed the structure — the “bones” of the meal, I went home and filled in the missing elements.
This gave me place to start cooking, but I always left some things unsolved. That way, as I worked in the kitchen I could adjust colors, tastes, textures and the actual ingredients that had shown up for the meal, like guests invited to my table.
As a young person, when my dad was at the dinner table, he would turn dinner time into a presentation of the principles of art and design. He was an artist and a teacher. We listened, and chewed our peas.
When it was time to have my students put the techniques of the curriculum together to create meals, his wise words filled my chart and rule book. Today, SNC has a very clear chart, with very clear rules, and clarity on where to change or be flexible within the rules.
The theories of meal composition are woven throughout the entire Natural Cook Training. As the program goes further, the meals become more complex.