A guest in hotel quarantine in New Zealand has passed the time by turning his average-looking meals into culinary pieces of art.
On Tuesday Sam Low, 28, will celebrate his last day in quarantine.
But his fans, which include Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, will miss his appetising creations.
Armed with only the essential items he brought with him into quarantine – tweezers, a sketch pad and a sharp knife, the chef has been deconstructing and plating up every meal he eats, making it look Michelin quality.
“Food has always been my creative outlet,” Mr Low told the New Zealand Herald.
“If I’m feeling down, I just like to go into the kitchen. It’s like my colouring-in, or my entertainment . . . and this whole food replating thing makes me connect with food a little bit more.”
Mr Low, a latte art and barista champion from Melbourne, has been posting his transformations on Instagram, where he has more than 11,000 followers.
He said he had read up about hotel quarantine before he packed, working out what kitchen items he would need.
“I did a bit of research before going into quarantine and compiled a list of things to bring,” he said.
“Kewpie mayonnaise and Chinese chilli oil, but also a few plates and some cutlery.”
Each meal takes him 20 minutes to transform and all of them start with removing the cardboard they come in.
After that though, it takes unique tricks to get his meals to look that good.
For the lamb, he had to remove the carrots from the broth, before patting them dry and rearranging them with the salad, and for breakfast, he’ll rinse the poached pears before cubing them.
His work has even been noticed by the Ms Ardern.
In a Facebook post, Ms Ardern said she was thankful for everyone working and staying in isolation.
“The amazing people who work in our quarantine and isolation facilities across New Zealand do an amazing job,” she wrote.
“Every day they’re working to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to everyone in our facilities, including ensuring the food is packaged really carefully,” she said.
“That doesn’t mean there can’t be a bit of creativity once a guest receives it though!! Someone tagged me into the posts of [Sam Low].
“Love the creativity, but especially love the appreciation for all our people working so hard to look everyone coming home. Thanks [Sam Low]!.”