Nothing stimulates the senses like food.
It touches us in a primal way and gratifies through limitless taste profiles, haunting scents, touch, even sound, but its most seductive face is visual. Just look at a picture of a gooey chocolate cake, a homemade lasagna or a bountiful paella and you’re off to another place.
Expert chefs know that presentation of food is a key component of the heightened sensual experience of a fine meal, along with displaying the chef’s artistry and reverence for the ingredients. While there’s nothing wrong with a blue plate special, we’d like to highlight a few restaurants where creative, artistic presentation and amazing recipes make food that is “pretty as a picture.”
One of the most artful presenters of food is Yumi in Sea Bright. This Asian restaurant consistently draws raves for its inspired recipes and impressive plating. Bowie Kok, manager of Yumi gives Chef Shuenn Yang the honors for his vision and bold desire to face every culinary challenge with style. “We call ourselves New Asian and New Style Sushi and our menu is unlike any other Asian restaurant.
Asian food has a 5,000 year+ history and we meld an international blend of ingredients and recipes from other cuisines and cultures, like risotto and prepare them with an Asian twist. Chef Shuenn is so passionate about food and he always wants to try new things. Most importantly, he wants to put the “Wow factor” into each dish.
Chef Shuenn, says, “It all starts in my head. I get a vision, then I start to choose all the elements, even the plates to make it a savory journey. Each bite should have a little different combination of flavors and the presentation should show you all the different flavors. When you see beautiful presentations, you get excited to try the food. We always use white plates, because they provide a blank canvas that shows the colors of the sauces and main ingredients. It takes a little more time and better quality ingredients but it’s certainly worth it.”
For nearly 35 years, Fromagerie has been a landmark in Rumson. In the early days, a young David Burke worked in the Fromagerie kitchen, and found mentors in Markus and Hubert Peter, founders of the restaurant. As he became more successful, Chef Burke remained friends with the original owners and it was Chef Burke’s dream to one day buy Fromagerie when it came time for his friends and mentors to retire. This dream came true in 2006.
Chef David Burke is known world wide for his creative and playful presentations of five star recipes. Blazing across distinctions between chef, artist, entrepreneur, and inventor, David Burke is a leading pioneer in American cooking.
Burke’s first Executive Chef post was at the River Café, where he earned three stars from The New York Times. Since then, he has opened the Park Avenue Café, the acclaimed davidburke & donatella, David Burke at Bloomingdale’s and Primehouse, his first Chicago restaurant, as well as David Burke Fromagerie in Rumson. He is also the inventor of many ground-breaking products and techniques including Pastrami Salmon™, flavored oils, tuna tartare, GourmetPops™ (gourmetpops.com), and Flavor Sprays, which was named one of Time Magazine’s top 100 inventions of the year.