Truth be known, I have been composing food right on my kitchen worksurface for many years. As a food writer, I enjoyed the big palate the worksurface offered, perfect for combining elements and creating new combinations, both visual and gustatory. So when I renovated ‘the improvised life’s laboratory kitchen, I chose white Corian for the new worksurface, as much for its pristine whiteness as for cost/value. But all my composing-on-the-surface was done in private for recipes-in-process. I’d never viewed it as a way to serve guests UNTIL I read about caterer Pinch Food Design‘s custom-built Chef’s Table: a borderless, food-safe silicone surface that easily squeegees clean; it’s supported by sawhorses made of crown moulding that emulates the flowing lines of a tablecloth, adding warmth without the need for actual fabric.
At parties, Pinch’s chef’s compose their dishes directly on it, allowing guests to experience the creation of food as performance, “an engaging presentation that brings the kitchen out to the party”.
If you want to try this at home, Pinch recommends unrolling waxed butcher paper down the center of your table like a runner and building your bites on top. Or if you have a marble counter top, you can build directly on the smooth surface. You’ll find a recipe for Diver Scallops with Kimchee Gastrique here.