In the culinary world, the presentation of a dish is considered just as important as its taste. For them, it’s a way to showcase food art and create a visual and tasty masterpiece. Culinary artist take decorating their plate just as seriously as they would while creating the food in the kitchen. But for the average Joe who just likes to experiment with their meals, or perhaps want to host a fancy dinner party, there are very simple ways to spice up a plate.
Key components to a beautiful presentation:
Like any work of art, there needs to be a focal point, complimentary colors, texture, and of course flavor! A focal point is what the eyes look at first when presented the plate, so it needs to be appetizing at first glance. The colors of the food need to depict a colorful yet tasteful display. They do not always have to be big pops of color, a subdued display can look just as appetizing. Texture is a big element when it comes to looks. If you have soup, put some fresh veggies on the side, or place some crumbled nuts on top of a juicy steak. Whichever dish you choose to make, the aesthetics should look pleasing to the eye.
What professionals have to say:
Chef Gordon Ramsey likes to think of the plate as a clock face. He suggests that for hot meals the meat should go at the six o’clock and the other components at three and nine. For cold dishes, the main part of the meal should be placed in the center with everything else surrounding it. Even on cooking shows like Chopped, where chefs compete against each other by creating timed meals like appetizer, entrée and dessert rounds, one of the main components the judges look for is food presentation. It might taste fantastic, but it needs to look good enough to eat too.
Simple ways to beautify any dish:
If you are having guests over for dinner, making your dishes look appetizing can be a great way to impress them. Having the eating utensils in the right places and plates ready to serve is a good start. Picking what type of plate the food is going on is just as important as how you arrange it. Pick different shaped plates to spice up your table. Playing with color and texture when setting a plate is important too. You can match plates and napkins to the type of food your serving, think of it as incorporating complimentary colors like an artist would in a painting.
You can’t eat the decorations:
It’s important to remember that the aesthetic of the plate needs to match the taste. A dish could look beautiful and intricate, but if it doesn’t taste good, then what’s the point? Culinary artist pride themselves on their presentations, but having the food taste good is just as important. Remember to constantly taste your recipe while making it, and adding final touches of garnish will never hurt!
Health Life Magazine / South Georgia / July – August 2017
Food Category Article
Art on a Plate
Written by: Alex Dunn