Gorgeous Plates: Making Your Food Visually Amazing
If you’re a foodie, you probably already know eating starts with the eyes. Whether you love food or love photography (or both!) there’s just something special about a meal that’s a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.
Chefs take great pride in creating works of art with their dishes, but you don’t need years of culinary school to put together attractive or even Instagram-worthy meals at home. Follow these simple steps:
- Start with the plate. Think about the texture, color, size, shape and presentation of your plate. Look for either a plain dish which will highlight your food or one in a contrasting color or texture to really make the colors come alive. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and serve your food on slabs or planks, either. For food safety, just make sure cold dishes are served on cold plates and hot dishes are served on warmed plates.
- Think about the arrangement of elements. Approach your meal like a still-life. Look at the shapes of the foods you are plating and consider which ones go together because of their size, texture and color. Consider a few arrangements.
- Make use of white space. You don’t want to overload the plate. Leaving some empty space is very effective. In fact, you can create a dramatic look by grouping an entire dish on the bottom or side of your plate, slab or plank.
- Create art with sauces. Sauces can create a stunning effect, especially if they are bright or dark in color. You can use the back of a spoon to swipe sauce down the center of your plate and then arrange your food around it artistically. Another option is to place your sauce in a squeezable container and create swirls or geometric designs or even dots over and around the food.
- Use garnish. Garnishes can be anything from curls of cheese to microgreens to sprinklings of toasted nuts. These go on the dish at the very end to add a finishing touch. This is usually what the diner first notices, so make sure the placement and type of garnish are just right.
- Don’t forget lighting and table setting. The light and the table where your meal will be served play a big part in how the plate will look. Experiment with lamps, candles, outdoor lighting and different levels of light — and don’t be hesitant to switch up the look of your dining area. A bare wooden table, a formal place setting, a country tablecloth or modern art on the table all create a different dining experience, so experiment to your heart’s content.
- Practice. Every meal at home is a chance to try something new. To keep dining fresh and exciting, check out restaurant Instagram pages, food channels online and other sources of inspiration. When you dine out, take the time to check out what chefs are doing to make their food beautiful to get some ideas.
Do you love stunning farm-to-table meals that look amazing and taste incredible? For culinary inspiration or just a break from cooking at home, reserve a table at Bricco and let Chef Bill Collier and his team dazzle you.