A truly transcendent dessert is more than the sum of its parts. Believe me – if I had a dollar for every minute I’ve spent perfecting the art of the souffle or exploring the mysteries of the meringue, I’d be rich. I’m what you might call an amateur pastry chef, and I only seem to get more obsessed with every passing year.
What’s the appeal, you ask? Well, crafting a fine dessert is an immersive aesthetic experience. You must bring together your visual, olfactory, tactile and even aural senses in order to create the desired outcome. Of course, the sense of taste plays the starring role, but it’s nothing without these supporting players.
This being the case, I’m inclined to say that the environment in which the dessert is made can influence the quality of the finished product. Every kitchen appliance needs to be finely calibrated, the lighting just so, and the tools arranged in easy reach. Beyond that, beautiful finishes go a long way towards complementing the sensory experience of putting together a dessert. This is why chefs tend to care so deeply about kitchen design. Melbourne has a reputation to uphold for being the culinary capital, and I guess that’s why the kitchens are all so impressive. Turns out design is an essential ingredient in dishes, figuratively speaking.
It’s something to consider, even for the amateur chef like myself. You don’t need a huge space or commercial-level appliances to make the very best food possible. If, like me, you have a relatively small kitchen, renovations can help you make the most of what you have, and create an environment in which to realise your wildest culinary dreams.
That might sound over the top, but for those who’ve caught the gourmet cooking bug, it will make sense. The kitchen is not just a place to slap some grub together, although it can certainly be that at times. It is a place to honour the essential act of preparing and sharing food – a temple, of sorts, if you’re that way inclined.