We humans tend to appreciate and enjoy food more when it's displayed in an eye-catching setting such as those pictured in this panorama.
Every year the Los Angeles County Fair holds a competition in "tablescaping," which consists of designing and arranging a dinner table's place-settings, centerpiece, and menu to fit a theme (see below for this year's themes - how many can you can spot in the panorama?).
In order to win, a tablescaper must demonstrate remarkable creativity in terms of selecting setting components, deciding upon an appropriate number of courses and what makes up each, as well as (in some cases) thinking up clever names for dishes served for the more whimsical themes.
Further, each contestant must abide by strict rules with regard to utensils and types of dishes according to the theme. For example, points would be deducted for including a soup spoon in a kids'-themed setting, and for not including it in a formal setting.
Judges score each tablescape in various categories: "All entries will be evaluated based on Creativity, Originality, Use of Color, Interpretation of Theme, Correctness, and Presentation."
No matter what kind of sustenance you might prefer, you can find inspiration for making it look and taste better here.
For 2007, the contest looked for the best tablescapes related to these specific themes (as detailed in the contest entry form):
Class 1- James Bond 007
Create a table taken from your favorite James Bond Movie. It has glamour, sophistication, mystery and the martini is shaken, not stirred.
Class 2- A Day Down Under
Explore your wild side with a trip Down Under, whether it’s the fabulous Coral Reefs, The Rainforests, or The Awesome Outback. Let your imagination soar.
Class 3- It’s My Party and I’ll Do What I Want To
Set a table that inspires you to the fullest. Be creative, silly, serious, or conservative. Show us what it’s all about.
Class 4- Don’t Take my Kodachrome Away
It’s all about the color. Whether you set your table all in one color, multi shades of the same color, two colors or the whole palate, we want to see the COLOR. Show us the COLOR!
Class 5- Holidays Happen
Give us your take on your favorite Holiday Idea. You can be traditional or not, or make up your own Holiday.
Class 6- Give a Dog a Bone
Prepare a feast for your favorite Canine. You know this is something you secretly have always wanted to do.
Class 7- South Beach meets L.A. County Fair
Now that you have lost all that weight, show us where the diet came from. I see flamingos, sand, pink and perfectly low fat food. Not your typical Fair fare.
Class 8- A Day at The Races
Dining Kentucky Derby style. Its hats, gloves, roses and the Winners Circle for you.