Ode To…, a weekly column where we share the stuff we’re really into in hopes that you’ll be really into it, too.
The Art of Plating Instagram will make you fall in love with tweezer food again.
For those unfamiliar with the term: tweezer food is a term — typically laced with vitriol by critics — used to refer to food that appears meticulously plated, often by tweezers, to create elaborate effects.
In 2012, the Guardian argued that tweezers used to garnish food is excessive and superfluous. And in 2015, Thrillist suggested that “the whole tweezer thing” ought to be retired for good. The general perception of tweezer food is that it’s over the top, laughable, pretentious, and is in no way an indication of a delicious meal.
While the technique of using a tweezer to plate elegant dishes was once revered, now it’s tragically mocked. There’s even an Instagram dedicated to creating elaborate tweezered dishes with corn dogs, Hot Pockets, and other garbage food used to poke fun at the technique.
Fancy restaurants have certainly over-tweezed in the past but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong to admire a perfectly plated dish. I would even argue that a beautifully plated dish is a form of postmodern art meant to be praised. And so does the Art of Plating.
The Art of Plating shares photos of the most magnificently plated food. There have even been times when I have gasped in awe of the creations spotlighted on this account. I’m not exaggerating.
The dishes are inventive and entrancing. Designs waiver from bright, crisp, and shockingly ornate to the more subtle and deceptively simple dishes.
You can even find quick plating tutorials scattered throughout the account: pastries getting piped, noodles being shaped, an egg yolk being infused with truffles.
It’s hard to imagine that each dish is in fact meant for consumption, and are not just small sculptures made purely to be admired by restaurant patrons, never to be touched.
In addition to the artistic value, I also appreciate the account for directing my attention to new chefs, like head pastry chef of the Mandarin Oriental Paris Adrien Bozzolo, and the Michelin star-winning chef Stefan van Sprang, whose Instagram accounts similarly stir joy and wonderment within me.
Maybe you’re a diehard hater of tweezer food, out on a campaign to remove them from every five-star kitchen. Or, maybe this post is your introduction to tweezer food.
Either way, I hope that you can see the beauty in these brilliant, beautiful dishes and the utility of the tweezer.