But there is yet another dimension to food to be explored, says Italian-born chef Tiberio Simone, a James Beard Award winner and author of a provocative new coffee table book, La Figa: Visions of Food and Form (www.LaFigaProject.com). Shot by Matt Freedman, it features full-color, artistically rendered portraits of the naked human body decorated with fresh ingredients.
According to the chef, if we were to incorporate food in your love life, he says, you'll discover the sublime.
"Food and touch are truly the basic ingredients of life. If done properly, they will not only provide pleasure, but also engage and delight the senses," says Simone.
Take a peach, for example.
"Start by looking at its shape and colors," Simone says. "Press it just hard enough to feel the firmness and the touch of velvety skin, just like when you touch the skin of another person. I believe that fruits and vegetables respond to touch by releasing beautiful aromas for us to breathe in."
Simone says his Italian heritage and his culinary fluency heightened his awareness of the sensual similarities between fresh, organic foods and the human body. Like the human body, every food in its natural state has beauty in its lines, shape, color and texture. And like the human body, food gives us exquisite pleasure on a primal level.
"Spend a little time looking for the sensual aspects of food, and I guarantee you will become a pro at enjoying the sensual side of life," he says.
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