Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Art of Fruit and Vegetable Carving...


It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon spent at the Tastes of the Hill festival in Richmond Hill, Ontario. This event celebrates diversity and multi-culturalism by offering international foods, trying your hands on traditional crafts and having close encounters with animals from faraway lands in their continent pavilions, and experiencing different on-stage entertainment. A big part of the one day event was the fun interactive food areas with a full line-up of contests such as pasta and watermelon-eating challenges, food demonstrations of various cuisines and kid's cooking classes. 

I went primarily to visit my friend Chef Frederick Oh at his food art sculpture demo booth. At his Richmond Hill Culinary Arts Centre, he offers many different cooking classes, corporate events such as iron chef challenges and interactive demo and dine events where guests learn to prepare their own meals along with the instructor and then enjoy the fruits of their labour together. If you want to learn the techniques in this unique art or want a display created, he's your man!





















There was a whole garden of vegetables from radishes, carrots, zucchini, leeks, tomatoes, celery in the structure all carefully placed with short skewers to create a work rivalling the beautiful Japanese flower arrangement art of ikebana.

Me getting into the action with a red beet rose.
Young participants at the Longo's watermelon-eating contest booth!

I asked Fred how long he's been doing this. He tells me it's been five to six years- something he learned when he was taking cooking classes in Thailand and this was one of the courses. It's not something he does all the time, but when you got it... you got it. And Fred rocks it!

Chef Oh transforms a plain watermelon into a work of flower art right before our eyes! Impressive!


Some of my fruit and vegetable carvings from a decade past when I worked in R&D for a gourmet food company...

A chrysanthemum flower made out of a leek.
A bell pepper flower and calla lilies made out of thin slices
of turnip for the petals and baby corn for the centres.



















And my very own watermelon carving taught from a class- took me a long time to get to this!





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