A gorgeously arranged plate is the equivalent of a well-put-together outfit for an important meeting or perhaps even a first date. It’s all about the first impression, so just as you wouldn’t go into an important meeting with a bunch of CEOs and expect to make a good one, you also wouldn’t expect to see delight on people’s faces when you present them with a messy and unappealing-looking plate.
Yes, the quality of the ingredients and the taste are essential, but in case of food, the form is as meaningful and crucial as substance. Most people aren’t professional chefs, but that shouldn’t stop them from creating an alluring and gorgeous looking meal. This is far from a difficult feat, and you’ll soon discover, to your delight, that just by following 5 easy steps you too can create an exquisite meal that will grab people’s attention and intrigue their palate.
5 Tips for Beautiful Food Presentation
Realize Size Matters
Like Goldilocks, your first task is to find the one that’s juuust right, but instead of the bed, we’re talking about the plate. Cramming a huge amount of food on a small plate looks messy and is a sign of poor execution. Even the simplest of dishes, such as a salad will look a whole lot more appetizing on a big plate, as the white space surrounding the meal simply oozes elegance.
While on the subject of plates, make sure to keep them simple. If you pay close attention, you will notice that most restaurants serve food on white plates – because that lets the food shine. Still, you don’t have to play it completely safe. You can always add a touch of subtle drama to your plate by choosing white china with blue details, or go even more upscale and opt for a plate with a gold rim.
Include a Pop of Color
Even the simplest of dishes won’t look dull if you add a touch of color. For instance, if you’re preparing the ever-so-simple chicken and potatoes, they can also look incredibly vibrant although they’re both of brownish color. Add greens, purple potatoes, pomegranate seeds or even carrots – any contrasting color will do, as long as the ingredients are complementary.
If you’re strapped for inspiration, learn from the best. For instance, Australian chefs have been placing a huge emphasis on the aesthetic aspect of food, and even catering – particularly catering in Sydney – has been brought to a whole new level. Companies such as Catering Project have certainly upped the ante in terms of appearance and taste, so, when you lack inspiration, always turn to food artisans and snag some.
Think in Clock Terms
One of the ingenious hacks often implemented by professional chefs is the clock method. For instance, if you’re preparing something with fish, that fish is the centerpiece of your dish. You want to place it at exactly six o’clock and leave room at 11 o’clock for your vegetables while a careful splash of sauce should find its place at 2 o’clock.
The asymmetry that is achieved by doing this will bring a kind of minimalistic elegance to the plate.
Use Your Cooking Arsenal
Aside from the mandatory pots and pans, you always want to make sure you have your additional helpers close by. Brushes and pipettes are your decorative allies as they will ensure you add the sauce with the utmost precision and creativity. When using these, you are given an abundance of choices – you can go circular, place dots and points, or even go zigzag. With the right tools, the world (or plate) is your oyster.
Implement the Less is More Mentality
If you place a large amount of food on a dish you run the risk of having an overstuffed and unappealing plate as a result. Of course, the goal isn’t to starve your guests, but smaller portions can be quite filling, regardless of what you may think.
Aside from that, when you’re working with smaller portions you’re given more wiggle room to play with decoration and styling. Another crucial thing to bear in mind is not to go overboard with elements. Four to six is optimal – any more than that and your plate will already be overcrowded.
Always be right on the dot, because no matter how much effort you’ve put in, no plate will look inviting if the dish is cold.
What’s your favorite tip for beautiful food presentation?
About the Author: Sophia Smith is a beauty and style blogger and eco-lifestyle lover. She is very passionate about natural skincare and makeup, fashion and mindful living. Over the years she wrote pieces for: LA Fashion, Eco Warrior Princess, Viva Glam Magazine, Art of Healthy Living and Oh My Heartsie Girl. You can find out more about her writing following her on: Facebook, Twitter, Google+.