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Monday, April 29, 2013

Food as Art

Food Glorious Food
My daughter, Kari Graves is a chef and has worked at some pretty swanky places, such as the Four Seasons, Scottsdale, Arizona, the Seelbach in Louisville, KY., Belterra Casino and countless smaller fine dining restaurants.  She graduated with a degree in culinary arts from Sullivan University in Louisville, KY.

When I asked her to be a guest poster, she was all on board,
so here is 
"The Beauty and Art of Food.

When she was about 5 we took all 4 children to the Beehive Tavern, in Augusta, KY., a fine dining restaurant in a very small town on the Ohio River.
Kari ordered chicken curry for dinner which she had never even heard of, it just sounded fun to her.
She helped finish off her brother's plate and my plate. 
She loved the carmel flan and chocolate mousse we had for dessert.
The next day we were walking down the street and she asked when we could go back to the Beehive.
I told her is was a pretty expensive night and we had to save it for very special occasions.
Then I asked "did you like it last night"?
Kari replied "They cook good".
I should have known then there was food in her future.

She currently lives in Nashville with her 4 year old son and she works for a high end day care who wanted a chef for their children.
She's loving it!
It just seems to have come full circle.

The fun behind eating great food is constructing really great and beautiful dishes. Every dish I eat or make I not only consider how it tastes but how it looks, the colors used, the textures. What are the elements of a great dish? What catches the eye of not only the consumer but the artist? Finding the balance is not only what makes a great dish but a great chef.

                When we go into a clothing store, grocery store, art gallery what draws our eye? Colors, balance, proportions, the same can be said for a beautiful plate of food.  As cooks we want our food to taste wonderful.  It is the chef in us that brings out the beauty and art of every dish we make.  You will find a variety of colors in a fresh green salad, accented with ripe red strawberries, walnuts for texture, and yellow cherry tomatoes maybe.  We as chefs see a brilliant green sauce as part of our paint pallet as we look on a plate of perfectly cooked white chicken paired with olive oil poached roma tomatoes or roasted purple beet puree.  I try to bring your eye in first so you want to eat it.  I work hard to slice a fruit plate with exact consistency, uniformity and balance with colors and shapes. I look for all of these items in every dish I make.
                The drive behind cooking and a great dish starts and stops with great product.  Picking vegetables from the garden right to the table is the best way to feel like you have made a great dish.  I take pride in every ingredient and treat it well like an artist takes care of their best brushes.  Great fresh ingredients are our paint and our knives our brushes.  In my mind cooking has always been an art for me.  

Inline image 2 
So there you have it friends.
Art is all around each of us, if we choose to create it, look at it, wear it or eat it.


  1. I would love a chef in the family, so great to meet your daughter. The second photo doesn't show up for me, maybe it's my issue. She's right, the first thing that brings you to a meal is the beauty of it and then you get to get the pleasure of eating it.

  2. Thanks Barb. It's a lot of fun. The second pic was weird uploading, but I can see it. I had to tap it to see it but it's there. Computers are weird!

  3. I met your daughter at a Flying Squirrel Adventure Race. We were among the many volumteers that were there. I had the pleasure of being paired up with Kari. We spent the day talking and getting to know each other. Then I got to meet the love of her life, Aiden. I will always remember that day! We haven't met up since, then she moved to Nashville. I hope someday we meet again. In the meantime we will keep up with each other on FB.

  4. she had a ball at that event and it started something in her that got her to enjoy life again. Aidan is hilarious and keeps her busy. Thanks for letting me know this.


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Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.