Anyone who has known me since my middle school days can tell you that I get an inordinate amount of joy out of arranging food artfully before serving it.
This pastime may very well have its origins in the little Leslie that spent more time peeling and arranging peas than eating them.
To me, design is not something that confines itself to the page, the blueprint, the prototype. Although my formal education has been in industrial design, rather than saying I get joy out of designing solely products, it would be more accurate to state that I get pleasure out of designing the things that make life enjoyable.
Even something as simple as decorating a cake can bring joy to both the decorator and the lucky people who get to eat it...
Just a judicious use of color has long been considered a sign of a healthy and good tasting meal. I always thought it was interesting that to say a meal looks good in Spanish, you say, "tiene buena pinta (lit. 'it has a good appearance')." The word "pinta" is closely related to "pintura," meaning paint, and it always made sense in my mind that you would compare the palette of colors employed in a meal to a painter's palette.
It is amazing to me how a eye for design can transform a mediocre meal into a feast for the eyes and the tongue. As the Japanese say, "you eat with your eyes." I was lucky enough to go to a workshop when I was in Kyoto taught by a professional Japanese chef. He taught us how to make things like carrot flowers to add visual appeal and character to a dish.
If you want an example of good food design, just look up "traditional Japanese bento box" on any image search. I won't lie, the elaborate elegance of these kinds of things are what I aspire to create someday...