It seems weird to talk about baking in the midst of art projects, but it’s important to me to think about baking as a creative opportunity. Food engages with some many different senses and consequently holds the potential to elicit strong feelings and memories. Why not explore it as an artistic medium?
I also think it’s important to embrace the natural qualities of ingredients to make food beautiful, and try not to disguise things too much.
Certain principles of art can be applied to the non-visual aspects of a dish, such as harmony, emphasis, and contrast. Harmony can be created by pairing ingredients with similar flavour profiles. Emphasis is important, especially after naming a dish and creating certain expectations.
Here’s a pie I made. I created contrast by pairing a crunchy topping with a soft middle and used ginger to stand up against the richness of the filling.
Of course, there are a lot of other things you can think about when baking that are totally different from the considerations of a traditional artist. For example, whether the two punchy flavours you’ve combined for contrast will linger in the palette for the rest of the evening. I’m not trying to suggest that artistic principles can be directly applied to food, but it might be helpful for food to have its own set principles.