Realistic flames from scratch are one of the hardest things I have ever attempted in Photoshop (or other image platforms for that matter).
I don’t quite have it yet, but keep getting closer.
Sometimes I think the trick is layering, which is what I tried a bit of here (as well as liberal use of smudging, shape burst gradient stroking, and some liquify). Finding the right degree of randomization is tricky.
It is tempting to use a pattern fill from a photo of flames, but far more satisfying to spend an hour pushing light around.
A great meal is finished with great plating – a great image is finished with great presentation of its own.