Nice pictures of food – the idea behind DeMeal Prepper
What is the idea behind De Meal Prepper?
Jolanda Stokkermans: About three years ago I started a website about meal preparation with five menus to cook ahead for several days. During my search for nice pictures of the dishes, I decided to design and photograph the plates myself.
I didn’t want to make boring pictures, so I let my creativity loose. This got a bit out of hand, ending with me creating animals, skylines, and portraits on the plates. I am a graphic designer by training so that explains how the process evolved.
What does food art mean to you?
Jolanda Stokkermans: For me, food art is a way to relax and create something nice.
Appealing looking dishes are important in foodservice
How important is it to serve plates that look appealing in the foodservice industry?
Jolanda Stokkermans: I think the visual aspect of food is very important, so the more creativity you show, the better.
Delicious food can lose its appeal when it looks unappetizing, and plain food can be made more attractive when it’s presented in a creative way.
Do you have some easy tips for restaurants to make their dishes more appealing?
Jolanda Stokkermans: In a restaurant, there is little time, so they could work with a special color palette, contrast or completely monochrome, on the plate as well as in the food. Making a special shape, such as your logo or for a special occasion like Valentine’s Day or Easter, in your signature dish is also an option.
Food prep inspired by daily life
What is your inspiration in your work?
Jolanda Stokkermans: Just the normal things in life, such as nature, animals, music or a TV series. Sometimes I see a special shaped kind of food, then that’s my starting point.
What do you think is the secret to your success?
Jolanda Stokkermans: I never intended to gain many followers on social media, my kids encouraged me to set up an account on Instagram, but I think it’s best to just keep doing what you like the most. That will show in your work and will be what gives you the most satisfaction in the end.
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What about food waste, is there a way to be smart on that when plating?
Jolanda Stokkermans: I like to cook, and always try to find a way to make sure there’s as little waste as possible. Leftover vegetables and fruit can be used in a smoothie, a salad, soup, dessert, for example, and you can turn old bread into a pudding or make breadcrumbs in the oven.
Who is your target audience and who currently follow you?
Jolanda Stokkermans: I never aimed for a specific audience, but my followers are quite a worldwide spread, of every age.
What is next for you?
Jolanda Stokkermans: I do have projects and workshops to look forward to, but I’m also thinking of making short tutorial videos, of food art that can be made by adults as well as by children.