OK, no one's ever going to agree on the single platonic perfect for food. But if you accept versions of perfection, I offer: Sicilian style fish soup, which originated as an eight pound whole cod I picked up from the wholesaler down the street. It was baked much like the haddock below, with root vegetables and heads of garlic for the soup. I set the meat aside, and used the cod frame to make a fish stock that gelled like, well, jelly. Rich mouthfeel from the collagen. Let it sit 24 hours with oregano and thyme from the garden. Fed to people chilly from a walk on the beach.
Note the loaf of Virgilio's semolina bread ('bread of the fishermen'... I like the end piece best). Food stylist credit to Eileen Fielding. The chopsticks, meanwhile, are for eating the salad. It feels more like using my fingers.