Having a background in the kitchen of fine dining farm-to-table restaurants, the importance of community and food have a huge impact on my work and are at times the driving force behind it.
Just as the relationships within a restaurant are vital to the chef's final dish, I believe that a collaboration with the chef, the cooks, the dining staff, and the diners themselves is an integral part of my process and has a great influence on my work.
In making a plate for a restaurant the desire to impart my own personal creativity and artistic touch must be balanced with restraint and simplicity in order to create a final product that not only stands alone as a piece of art but can be subtle enough to act as a canvas for the chef to showcase his own works of art.
There is a special connection that exists between the earth and food that I believe is integral to the dining experience, and is further highlighted by the vessels we use to serve, present, and consume this food. The importance of the story behind a plate of food, the dirt that nourished a carrot, dug up by the farmer, prepared by the chef, and served by the waiter, is as important to the dining experience as the food itself. And just as the story can improve the diner's final experience of that carrot, I believe that the plate on which it is served, and its story, from the earth to the table, is just as powerful.