06 Jul Taste, Health and Beauty

beauty of foodI often talk about our mission of spreading our passion for food, and our mission of making food – especially healthy food – taste better. But as lofty as those goals are, I have always felt just a little dissatisfied in that description, as if something was still missing.

I realize now, the missing piece is beauty – the beauty of food. That is what mixology and molecular gastronomy add to the mix. As both an art and a science, these two practices deliver a factor of fascination and wonder to the creation and presentation of a dish. A cocktail, for example, becomes a much more satisfying experience with an embellishment, such as a garnish and a rim. That is part of what mixology does. A dish with some molecular gastronomy magic such as transparent raviolis or a foam infusion becomes a beautiful, memorable thing.

A little extra

To paraphrase Seth Godin, presenting beautiful food to your guests means you took a little extra time. It shows you cared enough to add some beauty or rhythm to the thing you brought me. If we could define our typical customer in a short sentence it would be “someone who cares and who can afford to pay a little extra for beauty.”

The simplest form of beauty comes in the art of plating. When you place food upon a plate, you are making an offering to your guests – an offering that is multisensory. The visual appeal and the aroma of served food contributes to the overall experiences of taste and satisfaction, but so too, does texture. Not only of the food, but of the plate, the cutlery and even the napkins. They all speak to the senses and to memory.

When chefs and servers plate a meal, they take pains to ensure a clean presentation with no spills. The layout becomes a three-dimensional work of art, using colour and space to enhance the food itself. Care is often taken to choose the right colour of serving plate, and to add a garnish – that final splash of fresh creativity that says, “I made this just for you.”

Beyond simple plating

Mixology and molecular gastronomy push the envelope further playing with the physics of food for additional delight. Colours, textures, or even just out-of-the ordinary designs such as spheres or multiple levels of colours demonstrate that food consists of materials that can be manipulated into great art.

It should be no surprise to learn that these two categories represent two of our biggest growth areas. We are all about great food. Many of our customers recognize that great-tasting, healthy food pairs very well with great design and presentation. Consequently, our molecular gastronomy and mixology products sell very well.

When you think about the fact that people need to eat almost constantly – we may divide our meals up into three “official” events (breakfast, lunch and dinner) – but many of us snack throughout the day, and, in fact, more regular “grazing” of healthy snacks is a better route to weight control and health than is the act of sticking to fixed meal times. But the fact is, we relate to food constantly.

Therefore, anything that can make a specific meal or snack more enjoyable or memorable will forge a connection – between consumer and supplier – that generates further good business and further satisfaction.

What does Qualifirst do?

So, one of the ways that we at Qualifirst answer the casual question, “what does Qualifirst do?” is to simply state, “We help add the human touch back to food.” That phrase represents the care and creativity that those who are passionate about food wish to demonstrate to their guests.

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