I’ve been a creative person my whole life! I showed that in both the food business (fresh produce), and the photography. Both my real passions! In fresh produce, I could build attractive and colorful displays in retail stores showing off fresh produce making it look very appetizing! Some of my customers didn’t have a chance! They just had to buy it! That’s the real beauty of merchandising. I don’t see as much of that any more due to labor costs, lack of food lover’s working there, and other reasons. Back in my day, we “stacked it high and watched it fly!” Costs and concerns of shrink (or loss) prevents stores from marketing fresh produce that way today. Some independent operators still get “creative”, but not as much as decades ago.
Photography also allowed me another creative outlet. I recall photographing new ice cream cartons for a local maker in Merrillville, IN back in 1975. I’m showing my age now, but that will be important later in this post.
When I see creative food preparation it is naturally impressive to me. Today’s chefs are very creative and the way they “display” their food is almost as important as what the food tastes like! My case in point is Chef Ruben Calvo. He is passionate about his food servings at his restaurant named, Ruben’s Mexican Grill – located in Dyer, IN. His dishes not only provide great taste, they are served in an artistic way too. Most of us American’s love Mexican food, and there is pretty good Guacamole in most Mexican restaurant locations, but serving it in a creative and editable tortilla cone… that’s pretty “artsy”!
Chef Ruben’s use of making a traditional Mexican dish called “Elote” has taken an ear of sweet corn to a whole new level! You have to try this dish, layered with a thin spread of Mayonnaise, grated Cotija cheese, fresh squeezed lime juice, and a sprinkle of blended smoked Paprika and Cayenne pepper. Just the look of it called out “eat me”! It was hard to take the minute to capture this image as I wanted to just dive into eating it!
Another wonderful dish was again a traditional Mexican soup called ‘Caldo De Camaron’ using corn, shrimp, squash, green pepper in a savory mild Gualjillo Pepper broth. It was a meal in itself! Served with bread, which I used to soak up the great tasting broth. More bread please Chef Ruben!!! Ha Ha!
And as it that wasn’t enough food and image presentation stimulation, Jodi and I topped off the dinner with dessert. Served warm and stacked in again, a creative way, these little sugar donuts are a great ending to a wonderful dinner. Great plain or dipped in the variety of sauces that come on the plate!
Being creative applies to many different things in life. Be it photography, food, clothing, building, etc. I am always impressed to meet those who help make our world a wonderful and creative place to live. -Rick Bella for Bella Photography