Hungry Planet, the new exhibit at Franklin Park Conservatory, revolves around Peter Menzel's large-scale photographs of families from around the world surrounded by a week's worth of food. The intent is to emphasize the disparity between the amount of food consumed by Americans and, say, people in Mongolia.
It got me thinking about what a week's worth of my meals would look like. Now, I understand that my meals wouldn't be making the same kind of statement as Menzel's. No, mine would be less political, more work of art.
I feel so lucky to be able to eat in the city's best restaurants, many of them highlighted in this issue, and to be served the city's prettiest plates of food. Plates that make my heart skip a beat when they're set down in front of me.
I try to share as many of these meals as I can on my blog, but sadly a camera phone can't really capture the magic of a gorgeous plate of food.
Professional photographers like Will Shilling and Jodi Miller, however, can capture that magic. For evidence, just flip through our latest issue. Their photos are a stunning tribute to the quality of food being put out in Columbus.
So when I put together my own photo exhibit of food in Columbus, I'm going to have Will and Jodi tag along with me and take pictures of everything I eat.
In the meantime, in the spirit of this issue's top 10 theme, I'm going to show you the iPhone photos of the 10 loveliest plates I had the pleasure of eating as we put together this fall issue.
10. Ultimate Caramel Apple Napoleon at Black Creek Bistro Pastry chef Michelle Milhous-Garland created this abstract work of art especially for Crave. For fun, compare the Jodi's photo of the same dish, at the top of the post, with my iPhone version. See what I mean?
9. Calamari appetizer at Milestone 229 It's served spilling out of a Chinese takeout container, with chopsticks. Very fun.
8. Love Connection at Lexi's An impossibly tall stack of delicious corned beef and pastrami makes this sandwich something special.
7. Ceviche Salad at El Arepazo Summer in a dish. A confetti of citrus-cured fish and diced vegetables served on crispy corn tortillas.
6. Crispy Sesame Roll from Dragonfly's ComFest booth I was as surprised as anyone to find such a sophisticated bite at a festival. Considering it was from the culinary genius who created the veggie "lasagna" gracing our cover, though, I shouldn't have been.
5. Farmer's Market Parfait at Jeni's Lemon yogurt layered with port wine compote, fresh berries, shortbread cookies and hand-whipped cream, served in a mason jar.
4. Jicama Salad at Barrio Simple and sweet-jicama matchsticks and oranges topped with a charming little tangle of herbs.
3. Takoyaki at Fresh Street These Japanese street food dumplings are served in an adorable little wooden canoe.
2. Pear Tart at the Refectory The city's best looking dessert, starring masterfully layered pear slices. Full disclosure: That's a Jodi Miller photo, not an iPhone photo. My own photo was somehow lost into the cell phone ether.
1. Pistachio Flatbread at Basi Italia I've had the occasion to eat several meals at Basi recently and was served several gorgeous dishes. This crispy prosciutto dish was one of them.