Entity interviews Maria Nguyen on the art of plating.

She’s built an entire empire based off of her love of food and design. And with an audience of nearly 600K followers on Instagram, Maria Nguyen certainly knows what she’s doing.

Nguyen is the Editor-in-Chief of The Art of Plating, an aesthetically-driven site that celebrates gastronomy as a form of high art. But what does “The Art of Plating” mean, exactly?

The art of plating is really taking food to the next level, putting an artistic and creative flair onto food. Making it into a high art, you know, the way that you express yourself on a paint canvas, you can do the same thing with food, except it’s edible,” Nguyen told ENTITY.

And though Nguyen boasts an impressive following on social media, don’t expect to see her site cluttered with selfies or fashionable Boomerangs at the farmer’s market. Back when she was founding her now-wildly successful brand, Nguyen craved a community in which to share her love of food styling and flawless plating.

“I had this vision in my mind and I said, ‘I’m going to build a community. I’m going to connect people around the world who are interested in this concept, and that’s how I’m going to build The Art of Plating as a brand,’” Nguyen told ENITY.

With that in mind, Nguyen said she immediately kicked off the brand with focused hashtags and design-driven food snaps. “You’ll never see our Instagram page where it’s my photo on there, or I’m in front of the camera…” she explains. “That’s not really The Art of Plating. It’s more of a brand.”

Nguyen graciously joined ENTITY for a chat, divulging four honest answers about life, inspiration and what her last meal would look like.

Photo courtesy of Maria Nguyen, The Art of Plating.

Photo courtesy of Maria Nguyen, The Art of Plating.

ENTITY: Do you have any advice for the younger generation who may find themselves too sucked into the digital world?

MN: Learn how to disconnect and no phones during dinner. (Unless you’re taking a photo of what you’re about to eat!) But in all seriousness, it’s so easy to get distracted from all the noise like emails, social media and constant notifications. We’ve been groomed to consume information 24/7. I’ve learned that meaningful connections don’t happen over email!

ENTITY: What are three habits that have helped you on your “Art of Plating” journey to success?

MN: Being adaptable, being grateful and just doing it!

ENTITY: What would your last meal consist of?

MN: My last meal would have to be the most decadent and luxurious dinner of all time with everything laid out on the table at once. Foie gras. Champagne. Caviar. Cheese. The whole nine yards. And French fries, because who doesn’t like french fries? 

ENTITY: Can you think of a piece of art that gave you an “a-ha” moment?

MN: This massive cement wall by Cristina Iglesias. She’s this incredible Spanish installation artist, and at first glance you’re probably thinking, “What’s so beautiful about a cement wall?”

However, when you walk closer and look at it from a different angle, you begin to see this marvelous tapestry mounted behind it. It just reminded me that life is all about perspective. Things can be ugly or beautiful depending on how you choose to position your outlook.

Nguyen built her Instagram account up from nothing, and now travels all over the world to showcase her talents, and of course, the work of skilled chefs in restaurants across the globe.

She proves that if you are passionate about something, that love will shine through, and people will want to see it – no matter what it is. There wasn’t a market for gorgeous food styling online when Nguyen first sought it out, so she created one — a true #WomanThatDoes.

READ MORE: How Lina Ramos Balances Being a Top Executive, Ironwoman Triathlete and Mother of 3

Plates by Chefs featured on The Art of Plating. 

Chef Ben Shewry, Restaurant Attica, Melbourne, Australia.
Chef Alex Atala, Restaurant D.O.M., Brazil
Chef Ryan Clift, Restaurant Tippling Club, Singapore.
Tim Raue, Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin, Germany.
Chef Curtis Duffy, Restaurant Grace, Chicago, IL.
Chef Vicky Lau, Restaurant Tate Dining Room, Hong Kong.

To view more artistic food content, visit The Art of Plating.

READ MORE: Is Gluten Intolerance Really a Thing?

Edited by Kayla Caldwell

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