Sculpting with Food
Published Feb 1, 2010 - (Updated Dec 3, 2012)
Featured in Vallarta Lifestyles Magazine, Winter/Spring 2010 issue.
In culinary parlance, the garde manger, or keeper of the food, is the person responsible for preparing and presenting cold foods. In addition to that, within the context of modern kitchens in hotels and restaurants, the garde manger is also responsible for creating artistic food presentations, many of which involve the elaborate carving of fruits and vegetables. Executive chef Gerardo Sandoval of Café des Artistes del Mar recently treated us to the 45-minute process required to create one such carving, an imposing, feathered Indian. Using a small paring knife, chef Sandoval first mapped out and carved the surface features. Patiently, he then began carving into the watermelon, creating textured layers with its flesh. A truly demanding position in any kitchen, the garde manger is a true artist, expected to be equally adept at creating memorable presentations on beautiful plates and platters with fruit and vegetable accents, or even on ice carvings.