Solution: Cipher Salad
Written by kt3, with art by lydian
Each object on the table represents a letter in a common puzzlehunt cipher/code clued by the text.
- The bits of food on the plates are Morse code (clued by "morsel", "dash", "dot")
- The straws in the glasses are semaphore (clued by "flagged")
- The flower vases are binary (clued by "sometimes on and sometimes off")
- The tip containers are Braille (clued by "out of touch", "not ... nice to see")
Decoding and reading the letters gives the answer, APPETITE.