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June 27, 2010 / joyful plate

Welcome-First Post

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Photo taken at Brasserie Sixty 6 Restaraunt, Dublin.

Welcome to joyfulplate. First consultancy. First blog. First blank page.

I was inspired to create joyful plate to share my philosophy about the joy of eating and drinking…about food art, food branding….and also about my continuing career in food.

Food is my life companion. Everyday I wake up I feel fortunate to know that food will be there for me, to meet both my needs and my wants. Fresh foods, teas and wines have the power to entertain, to excite…or to help me be healthy and calm. Whatever my mood is, whatever the day brings. What I choose to eat or drink influences my life. The key is to enjoy everything, but in moderation.

When I was in the Wine & Champagne business, I’ll never forget an incredibly exciting but indulgent day in Chicago. It all started mid-morning, when most professional tastings happen (when your palette is clean). We tasted a beautiful range of vintage champagnes, each paired with gorgeous foods like Fin de Claire oysters, sardines from Portugal and Parmigiano Reggiano. For lunch we went onto an Italian restaurant for a rich Osso Bucco …then a Chianti Classico tasting mid-afternoon. We were literally eating and drinking every hour on the hour! By 8.00 our sales rep greeted us at Charlie Trotter’s (a much-coveted reservation that he worked so hard to get). When we sat at the table and the waiter started giving us the royal treatment, I broke into hysterics… all I could order was, broth. I was right there on the edge of gluttony. I reached my max, I could take no more. The point is, food delights…but too much of anything, no matter how good it is, it just too much (to this day I am so sad about missing that lovely last meal!).

On the other extreme, there’s the notion of being too puritanical about food. This may be unpopular at the moment, but for me, eating in a purely functional way can be extreme. I attended this week long spa-hiking program in Utah in the early 90’s long before the concepts of “detoxing” or “bridal boot camps” existed. We were quarantined with no caffeine, no wine, no sweets and ate only hyper healthy things all week (lots of seed based things). I did lose about quite a bit of weight, but will never forget the pain I felt from the intestinal bloating! Maybe it was my body rebelling, but it just felt over the top.

When I eat fresh foods I enjoy, in moderation, my body seems to react well. My philosophy at joyful plate is all about balancing eating for pleasure with eating for health. We need both.

Food delights, with a sense of pleasure, stimulation, fantasy and fun.

Food nourishes, by cleansing and healing to transform our health.

Food cares, by giving to those in need.

A healthy balance can bring joy to our lives.

Enjoy!

Michelle Lawton

Founder, joyful plate

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