One of the wonderful things about eating in a fine dining restaurant is the beautifully arranged plate of food that appears at your table, each element meticulously placed to best showcase each complimentary ingredient. The art of plating helps to distinguish a truly fantastic dining experience from its mediocre competition. So…how can one create this experience at home? Whether you are plating one of your own creations or displaying food that has been delivered, knowing how to properly arrange food on each guest’s plate makes all the difference to their overall experience. You can do this! We are here with all our best kept secrets.
Consider the style of your food. Are you serving a fine dining tasting menu on your very best dinnerware or is your meal more on the casual side? Perhaps a delicious recipe from your comfort food cookbook. For a tasting menu, get out your tweezers and give the fancy schmancy plating a try with intricacy and artistic design. For comfort food a larger portion size works well with fewer courses.
Think about portion size. Think about the entire culinary experience you are creating for your guests. Each course should leave them wanting more, right up to the dessert course when they will discover they are completely satiated. While you don’t want them leaving your home and heading for a drive through, you want them to really enjoy each plate and have an appetite for the next course.
Don’t forget about colour. Colour is a very important aspect of plating! Serving a monochromatic meal is boring and does nothing to stimulate the appetite. There are many creative ways to include different coloured ingredients from fun garnishes to fresh vegetables. Include contrast and consider the shade of your plate.
Use height. Add drama and fun to your dishes by creating height on your plate. Stack and build up with your ingredients to add dimension. Try placing your protein on top of your starch with a brightly coloured garnish on top.
Garnish like an artist. Use all the tools at your disposal from knives, peelers, squeeze bottles, piping bags to paint brushes. That’s right…paint brushes. Use your sauces and condiments for paint. Think of your plate as your canvas. Have fun with it! Fresh herbs and edible flowers add a fun touch of colour and texture.