Originally Posted by jekyl_hyde
True. Good food is good food, regardless of plating (which is the main difference in styles I've learned... also differing in price by $20-$1000 per plate, depending on what city you are in)
The plating is quite universal: Do what you feel like looks best. That has nothing to do with style, aside from japanese (mostly Sushi, though).
Styles of cooking differs in the foods that you use: Do you follow what the season has to offer, do you buy national foods, or imported foods. Then comes the manner in which you prepare your food. French food is all about the sauce, for instance, while Italian food is all about the pasta, or the tomato. Danish food is mostly about potatoes in some way (we have a fuckload of differnt kinds of way to prepare potatoes), German food is about sausages, pork and flesh in general.
For example: Take asparagus, chicken, cream, butter and spices. In Denmark, we would make something, locally known as "tarteletter". Tarteletter is basically Sugarless Puff Pastry, shaped into some kind of eadible bowl, in which we fill a stew of chicken, asparagus, and a sauce made from the chicken stock and cream. In France, using the same ingredients, they would pan-roast the chicken, give it a crunchy skin, Grill the asparagus, make a sauce using butter and cream, and probably some kind of carbon-garnish, usually some sort of potato. Same ingredients, different styles of food.