Vikhroli Cucina

A foodle is worth more than a thousand words!

06 September 2018 , 0 comments / 0 likes

For the uninitiated, doodles may appear as scribblings by toddlers. But did you know it’s a great way to break the one-dimensional monotony of food photographs and catch the attention of the reader? "Food photography is often visually simpler to understand, but illustrations can portray things that a photo cannot. It can offer a new perspective on any subject" says Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal, culinary expert, writer and consultant.

At the Culinary Chroniclers Conclave, Godrej Nature’s Basket presented a masterclass on How to work with food doodles. “Doodle is different from photography and can be used as a storyboard” said Rushina who conducted the masterclass. Here are a few tips for all those interested in foodles:

  • Let your foodle do the talking: It is essential that you are able to explain food through your foodle. For example, if you have to make a dimsum, a written recipe doesn’t tell you the delicate aspects involved in its preparation. A foodle of dimsum allows you to break down the steps that went in its preparation, like, how to roll it, place the filling etc.
  • Know your food to foodle better: To foodle with precision, you must understand your recipe well. The more you know your recipe, more convincing the doodle. Create with creativity; get creative with your foodle to break the onslaught of images. If you are making a foodle of tea, make it engaging by showing the segregation of tea powder, water, milk, sugar, ginger etc. in the vessel. You can also label the ingredients for better understanding.

  • Foodle of a pani puri: Explaining a pani puri to someone who has never tasted it can be a daunting task. When foreigners interpret it as water-balls, you know the road ahead is not pleasant. An image of a pani puri doesn’t warn the taster about the burst of flavours it offers. This is where foodles are effective. You can draw a cross-section of pani puri by breaking down its anatomy into spicy water, tamarind chutney, sprouts, potatoes, crispy puri etc. This not only gives hints of its taste but also entices the reader to try it out.
  • Simplicity is effective: Focus on simple things to foodle. A biryani can be too complicated to express through a foodle, as its preparation involves a combination of multiple ingredients to be cooked differently. In the beginning, experiment with simpler, individual ingredients such as spices. The different shapes and colours not only make it fun to play around with but also make the end result beautiful.
  • Foodling has no limits: The fun part about foodles is that it gives you freedom. You can let your imagination run wild. A clear understanding of your recipe, an eye for detail and the will to experiment is all you need. You don’t even need any specific software, just a smartphone that lets you doodle.

Food illustration is an artist's depiction – it’s not something that can be captured with a camera lens. It's an artist’s job to make a dish look extraordinary, inspiring, appetizing and breathe life into everyday dishes. The masala dabba, the patila is quintessentially Indian which add a uniqueness of an Indian kitchen.

Speaking on the Tomatoes foodle, Rushina says, “Bright and fresh colours, lots of movement and playing with texture, light and composition of the foodle determine how the eye travels over an image and how well the image will turn out. And unlike pictures, here, the artist can take liberties! While you might be hesitant to use artificial colouring on real food, your tomatoes can be bright red! Your icing can be perfect!”

A good question to ask is "Why is this a foodle and not a photograph?" Food illustration is most exciting when you can see a unique signature of the artist coming through; it has to have character that a photograph could never capture. It's challenging to create interesting drawings of everyday food items, but in a way it is like creative cooking – it's about creating something exciting out of the ordinary!

Think you can give foodling a shot? Share your foodles with us in the comments below.