Describe the difference in a meal prepared by Careme and one prepared by Point.
A meal prepared by Marie-Antoine Careme would look considerably more palatial than one prepared by Fernand Point. Careme was noted not only for his exquisite attention to details with regard to food preparation, but he set a whole new standard with respect to presentation. To Careme, the presentation was almost as important as the taste of the cuisine. He was known for creating large artistic structures out of his dishes, which he designed to look like prominent ancient buildings. In one source linked below, he was quoted as writing, "I want order and taste. A well displayed meal is enhanced one hundred per cent in my eyes."
Careme was also known for his attention to sauces, developing what was called his "mother sauces," which became prominent features of his dishes. A meal prepared by Careme would be a very formal affair, incorporating all the amenities associated with large, expensive meals. The entrée would, as noted, be meticulously constructed to resemble a prominent structure. In contrast, a meal prepared by Fernand Point would be simpler in appearance, although by no means cheap. Both chefs emphasized the importance of the freshest ingredients, and Point prided himself on presentation, but he was not given to extravagant constructions, preferring to appeal to more popular tastes and a more socioeconomically diverse clientele. Considered the father of modern French cuisine, Point was not as invested in sauces as Careme, so his dishes would not have involved quite as much in the way of heavy sauces, but that is not to say he did not take them seriously. A noted perfectionist, Point would have made certain that his sauces, while lighter than those of Careme, would pass muster with his clientele.
The main distinction between meals prepared by Careme and Point, then, is the presentation, with the former more interested in the aesthetics than the latter.
A fundamental question asked of most culinary students today, this highlights the unique qualities that one must understand for today's cuisine. Carême’s meal would feature showpieces, quite elaborately displayed as in a Japanese sushi style of utilizing everything from the fruit and vegetable such as creating rose flowers from peels, and dozens of courses, foods that are elaborately presented in the form of sculptured fruit and vegetable pieces, garnished and sauced. Point’s meal would be much lighter, many sauces without creme and using broths and clear liquid soups, emphasizing natural flavors and simpler preparations of no more than three to five spices or flavorings in each dish.