As caterers, we understand that food plating and presentation are vital to a guests experience.  People “eat with their eyes” so creative plating adds to the visual appeal of a dish.  Here are a few tips to plating up the perfect dish for your guests this Christmas.

Choose the perfect plate…..

Having the right plate to present your dish on is like having the perfect canvas or frame for your painting

  1. Size – Make sure that the plate is the right size to frame the food and that your food stands out.  A plate with a rim is great for creating a border around the food.  Make sure that the plate is not so big that it makes your meal size look too small!
  2. Colour – The colour of your plate is key to attractive food presentation.  Black or white plates provide a nice contrast to the colours of your food, so is nearly always a popular choice. There are also a lot of other modern colour options available on the market these days, so it’s a good excuse to go shopping and update your old dinner set!  So give some thought to the components of your dish and what colour plate would be complementary.

To plate…

  1. The wet ingredients – such as jus, puree or sauce should be put on the plate first. Consider how much you are putting on the plate so as not to drown your meal! On top of this you can then place your starch, or your dessert. 
  2. Odd Numbers – It is always visually appealing (and a trick of the trade) to plate an odd number of the small bite sized items on your plate such as scallops, onion rings.
  3. Colours –While the focus of the dish is usually on the protein, think about the colours and how they will contrast on the plate. We like to use ingredients such as crisp green vegetables or fresh herbs, bright orange carrot or pumpkin puree or pickled pink onions to create our masterpieces.  These vibrant colours add to the visual appeal of the dish.  Edible flowers are also a great way to add visual appeal to a meal!
  4. Height – here at Dish we like to experiment with height when presenting our meals. The main we achieve this is by adding garnishes that give height to the dish such as a wafer, which is placed at a 45-degree angle against the side of a protein. Pea tendrils also add a pop of colour while creating elegant height to our dishes.
  5. Texture – Contrasting texture with complementary flavours add visual appeal, as on the palate. Imagine a creamy Asian-inspired sauce served with grainy rice, a soft slice of salmon topped with crispy cucumber and pickled pink onions – Yum! Crispy shallots add a pleasing crunch to a dish too!
  6. Garnishing – Garnishes are key as they are the finishing touch to any dish. Garnishes need to be edible and the flavours need to be complementary to the dish.  Fresh Vietnamese mint and coriander go exceptionally well with Asian style dishes, and help to enhance the flavours on the plate.  A sugar wafer or biscotti placed on a creamy dessert such as crème brulee add both contrasting texture, height and taste amazing!

    Dessert

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