I’ve been a big fan of food for most of my life, and vegetables have been no exception to that rule. I love to cook and try out new recipes, and recently became about 80% vegetarian, prompting me to become more creative and use available vegetables in more substantial and filling ways. There are so many things that one can do with vegetables – they’re beautiful, nutritious, have a variety of textures, and can be prepared in nearly countless ways.
Now, I know that not everyone has the same tastes as me, but I honestly believe that the vegetables are not as much to blame as we might think. More mainstream eating establishments treat vegetables like “Garnish Only” food as opposed to actual food. Serving up pallid dishes of sauteed, over-oiled, and out of season vegetables (known only on the menu as “vegetables”) is hardly an optimal way to learn to love or experience them, and constantly seeing them served up as garnish can lead you to believe that they’re largely inedible or difficult to cook with – just there as a pretty aside.
I’ve begun working on this series, which I call “Garnish Only,” to highlight how many people view vegetables as a decorative aside as opposed to real food. By using staging materials, such as vases, that don’t necessarily correspond to what we think of when we think of food, I not only want to showcase the natural beauty of the vegetables themselves, but also exaggerate the idea that there is more to produce then its decorative qualities.