While I handle colors, shapes, textures, and compositions with care during the day to make my clients happy, I also try my best to bring these things to my off-duty time as well, including when I create meals.

Light and fun stuff is always on my menu — and in the photo above, it was a Japanese feast for 5. This popular cuisine made from vinegared rice and raw fish can seem quite difficult to produce in one’s ordinary kitchen… except when you treat your kitchen like a design studio, and approach food preparation with great attention and care. Thanks to H Mart, the national Asian grocery chain, I was able to find all the fresh ingredients I needed.

Cutting the fish to perfect thickness and rolling the maki in consistent sizes requires practice — just as we do in our training as as designers, we spent time learning how geometry, crafting, and paying strict attention to detail plays a role in creating beautiful sushi. Using the right tools is also important, too — even if it’s a sushi knife and not an X-Acto knife.

After I completed the individual pieces of nigiri sushi, sashimi, and maki rolls, I worked hard at making things look just as they should; in this type of cuisine, presentation is everything. I chose containers that matched the shapes of my creations — this was a nice way to decorate without having things get fussy. I made sure all the same kinds were grouped so each piece would be easily recognized; that the quantity of each kind was consistent so they would all receive equal attention; and that the colors and textures were strategically distributed to create the best use of color, and most thoughtful organization.

The extra amount of attention put into creating a beautiful meal made my night, and delighted my visitors.

Just another example of how design exists in our lives, beyond the page or screen.