Food for thought.
I am very tired now. It is 4am and I was having a small drink of Sake and listening to Jay-Z. I have to wake up in 3 hours. I love writing this blog, so I wanted to post something for you. In Japan food is very important and especially how it is presented. If you have ever been in Japan then you know that nearly every tv show has a food segment in which, seemingly, every food item is absolutely delicious!! Or umai in Japanese.
Today with my work, I attended a food photoshoot. It had me thinking about food working all day from 9am-9pm.
The Japanese are very picky with food presentation. A onion out of place….reshoot!! The picture is too bland, then add some laquer to give it sheen or tsuya in Japanese.
This is the client (bottom) working with the photographer to set-up the bowl of fruit. Notice the off-centre style set-up. This is the Japanese thinking that if things are too perfect then they don’t seem natural. Interesting. Look also for this thinking in Japanese gardens.
Here is another good shot of the off-centered style. I couldnt seem to grasp the main logic behind the specific angles of the paper undersheet. I did however realize that it is all about contrasting colour with the main dish usually slightly off centre or placed at an odd angle.
This was a very difficult shot to make for the cameraman. It seems that the soup was shining too much and reflecting on the inner side of the bowl. It took one hour to get this one right. This shot will be made into a banner at the store.
On a side note, none of this food was in fact, fake as it was all prepared right beside the photo area in a real kitchen. Also, none of the food was readily available for consumption because it being fondled by numerous people. Not something you want to eat. Another note is that most of the foods that will be eventually sold as hot dishes, such as noodles were shot cold. The steam is difficult to control and thus not photogenic. Apparantly, you cannot use fake food in advertisements in Japan. I guess the famous pictures for BigMac ads wouldnt look nearly half as good if they were shot in Japan.
After looking at so much food all day without consuming any of it, I had to get my fill of Japanese food. What should I eat? Well, it was 10:30pm before I got to my station where I live. I was up for shopping and cooking at home, but then there is a string of Ramen shops along the road near the station and for the price/effort issue, my choice was obvious. I chose a ramen shop called “Arashi” which means storm. I was hoping it was not to be a storm in my stomach, but more of a storm of excitement enduced by the deliciousness of the Ramen noodles. Food for thought.
This dude prepared my noodles. He even wanted to shake my hand as I left the place saying mankitsu or “I fully enjoyed it.”
Here is a photo of my noodles:
Thoughts for food?