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Re-mastering the concept of the traditional lunch tray with a series of food photography images of lunch tray feasts that we might actually want … Read More
Re-mastering the concept of the traditional lunch tray with a series of food photography images of lunch tray feasts that we might actually want to eat. Read Less
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The Lunch Tray: Re-Mastered
Remember lunchtime in grade school, middle school and high school? That 45 minute hour of minimally-supervised trauma that happened every day at 11:05am? Your social status could veer up and down every day - on the better days you were accepted at a popular table, only to be shunned the next for some minor tween-age infraction. To make matters worse, unless your mom sent food with you from home, you had to eat cafeteria food. And more than likely, you had to eat it on an industrial plastic lunch tray, segmented to keep your grey green beans from touching your greasy pizza, and to keep the milk carton from sliding onto the floor when the jocks pushed you around. Grim.

When most of us think about lunch on a tray with think about school cafeterias, budget airlines and the proverbial TV dinner. Salisbury Steak dinner anyone? But does that mean that we should reject the lunch tray out of hand? There is something satisfying about being handed a complete meal, all neatly packaged into component parts. You've got your main course, a salad or side dish, a beverage and a dessert - all portioned neatly in a manner orderly enough to satisfy those suffering from chronic OCD. Airplanes apparently used to do it quite well, and I understand that some European trains still do. So the tray doesn't have to be bad, does it?

Time to take a new look at the lunch tray. 
The Big Easy Lunch Tray
Shrimp Po' Boy, crawfish boil with corn and new potatoes, beignet with chocolate and powdered sugar, beer. Photograph by Jonathan Gayman, food styling by Carrie Province.
The Brasserie Lunch Tray
Petit Filet Mignon au poirve, frites with mustard aoili, frisee salad with lardons, chocolate mousse, red wine. Photograph by Jonathan Gayman, food styling by Carrie Province.
The Executive Lunch Tray
Filet of Alaska Salmon with lemon and dill, mixed green salad with gorgonzola and raspberries, kumquat creme brulee. Photograph by Jonathan Gayman, food styling by Carrie Province.
The Macrobiotic Lunch Tray
Red and golden beets, carrot, daikon, carrots and seaweed salad, tempeh with chives and sesame dipping sauce, black and white beans, green tea. Photograph by Jonathan Gayman, food styling by Carrie Province.
The Internationale Lunch Tray
Baguette, pate du foi gras, stinky cheese, red wine, and cigarettes. Photograph by Jonathan Gayman, food styling by Carrie Province.