Telling Stories through Food with @leesamantha

For more photos and videos of Samantha’s culinary artwork, follow @leesamantha on Instagram.

"When I first started creating food art, those in bento boxes (called charaben) had been around for a long time—but I was more interested in exploring food art out of the box and simplifying the technique,” says Malaysia Instagrammer Samantha Lee (@leesamantha). “Since then, I’ve developed my own unique style of storytelling on plates that explores a variety of subject matter and ingredients,” she adds.

A mother of two daughters, Samantha started devising ways to get them to eat in a healthier and more independent way by applying creativity to her presentation. She designs scenes on plates featuring celebrities, popular characters, animals and famous landmarks, made up mainly of local and fresh edible ingredients. Samantha’s ideas and creative inspiration come from a variety of fine arts as well as from her daughters, whom she describes as having “endless imagination”.

Samantha is also careful to keep food waste to a minimum. “Before I begin putting any new ideas on a plate, I sketch out my designs and write down ideas and ingredients I’ll be using. It helps me to be more organized and prevent food waste.” Her minimalistic approach shows in her camera work as well. She edits very little by choosing to shoot in natural light and avoids using too many props in her photos to “let the food art stand out and speak for itself.”