A food writer, cookbook collaborator, and recipe developer, Maria Zizka believes interacting with your food in a joyful way—eating salad with your hands, licking your fingers, or stopping to smell the herbs—makes the food, and the process of creating it, better.
7 Ways to Play With Your Food
1. Be hands-on with ingredient selection. Pick colorful and unexpected ingredients that engage your senses.
2. Combine sweet and savory flavors and different textures. Do this while cooking or eating. Maybe you dip a crunchy orange carrot into that creamy hummus and swirl it around.
3. Use your hands to create foods. Think pasta from scratch, or even butter.
4. Enjoy yourself during creation and presentation. “I think you can tell when someone had fun making something—the joy shines through,” says Zizka.
5. Make things you often don’t think twice about buying. You can create food (such as chocolate!) without that many ingredients. “It feels like magic,” says Zizka.
6. Look around. Be inspired by your city, the people in it, and the art around you. “I love Impressionism,” says Zizka, “and I love to just gaze at paintings and see what fruits are together in an oil painting that was created decades ago—and maybe a tart comes out of that because I saw blackberries and roses together and then it sparked some idea.”
7. Eat with your hands. Even salad can be finger food—just have a napkin nearby. “I love to eat with my hands,” says Zizka. “I think it definitely feels more intimate, like I’m interacting with the food in a closer way.”