Entity interviews Maria Nguyen on the art of plating.

It’s the effortless tap of a wrist and the weightless touch of a fingertip that dresses fine dining plates with finesse. Elevated far above the current foodie culture, chefs today are known as mainstream artists, plucking and choosing ingredients to cohesively enamel a story with the elements of the visual: composition, color, spacial balance, texture.

And how are these plates celebrated? By Maria Nguyen, Editor-in-Chief of The Art of Plating, an aesthetically-driven site that celebrates gastronomy as a form of high art. Under Nguyen’s lead, the site has captured the rising trend and artistry of restaurants and Michelin star chefs, becoming the modern haute cuisine destination for food photography, tips, guides and interviews surrounding culinary excellence.

ENTITY sat down with Maria Nguyen to uncover the balance between fuel and creativity. She gave us five honest answers about life, inspiration, personal journeys and what her last meal would be.

Photo courtesy of Maria Nguyen, The Art of Plating.

Photo courtesy of Maria Nguyen, The Art of Plating.

ENTITY: If you could choose any other occupation other than what you do, what would it be?

Maria Nguyen: An architect. I have a design background so my eye is always drawn to lines, shapes and structure. I love things that are dramatically beautiful but also functional and tangible. 

ENTITY: What would you like your last meal to 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? 

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ENTITY: In this fast-paced, digitized world, do you have any advice for the younger generation that can help them make sense of it all? Any pastimes you’d recommend they preserve?

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: Name three habits that have helped you on your professional and/or personal journey?

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

ENTITY: Do you remember the last piece of art that caused an “aha” moment? Who was the artist or can you describe the piece itself?

MN: Cristina Iglesias. She’s this incredible Spanish installation artist and one of the last pieces I saw of hers was this massive cement wall. 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.

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.

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Edited by Gabrielle Sobel

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