My husband is darn good in the kitchen. And I'm darn good at the dinner table. (Translation: he likes to cook, I like to eat). He often talks about "plating". About how the first bite begins with the eyes. How presentation is everything. (Sometimes when I cook, and it doesn't taste so great, I remind him that my plating was fabulous).
This is a prime example of the psychological impact of design. If it looks pretty, somehow we just expect it to taste pretty too, even if we're not aware of thinking it. I'm sure if some scientists got together to perform a controlled study of people ranking how good their food tasted, the group who received well-designed plates would say their food tasted better than the group who had their food sloppily thrown on. (If anybody out there ever does this, please let me know if my hypothesis is correct.)
Talk about "design!" Preparing plates is an art form in and of itself. Here are some impressive examples of designing food for the eyes:
That last one looks it could have been inspired from nature—a daisy, perhaps?
My hat goes off to the chefs of the world—Culinary Designers, as I may start to call them. They have to be able to cook well and design well. Me? I'll just stick to designing. And eating.