When food is put in front of us we eat first with our eyes. We imagine the tastes and the textures that we’re going to enjoy, how the flavours will balance each other out, we’re curious and hopefully excited about what we’re about to eat. Therefore the presentation of a dish is vital for creating the right impression on the dinner. The look of a dish should stimulate the appetite and create a sense of anticipation of how the meal will be enjoyed. This article will give you some tips and tricks on plate presentation and how to do it right.
So here are La Belle Assiette’s tips to improve the visual presentation of your plates:
Tip #1: Choose your plates carefully
Beautiful crockery is essential as it acts as the backdrop for your food. Play with colours, patterns and textures. In general use pale plates for bold vibrant colours so that the contrast is highlighted. Darker plates can be used for lighter coloured foods. If you use patterned tableware, make sure that the overall look is muted enough so as not to distract your guests from their meal. Use large plates as you will have more room to present your food.
Tip #2: Use mini-dishes
When serving dishes such as stews or beef bourguignon, use mini-casserole dishes and ramekins for a fun look.
Tip #3: Don’t serve huge portions
Of course, you don’t want to starve the people at your table, but remember that the smaller your portions, the easier they will be to style. Also stick to 4-6 elements on each dish, any more and you risk overcrowding.
Tip #4: Contrast colours and play with symmetry
This will add energy and fun to your presentation. But remember not to repeat the same look too often, otherwise you’ll be in danger of becoming monotonous!
Tip #5: Position your ingredients with care
Imagine that your plate is the face of a clock: the centrepiece of your dish (meat for example) should go at 6 o’clock. Place vegetables at 11 o’clock and perhaps starchy foods at 2 o’clock for slight asymmetry.
Tip #6: Arm yourself with the right tools such as pastry cutters and moulds
Very helpful in giving shape to your dishes and to build layers!
Tip #7: Use a brush or pipette
This will allow you to be more precise when creatively applying sauce: points, straight lines or zigzags… the choice is yours!
Tip #8: Piping bags should be a kitchen essential
For precise assembly and plate dressing, a piping bag will be your best friend.
Tip #9: Use small individual sauce boats
Really useful if you are serving a curry or a stew. This allows your guests to help themselves to as much or as little as they like, and it will be neater!
By using edible flowers and micro herbs you can completely transform the look of your dish!
See more beautiful plate presentation photos from La Belle Assiette chefs on their profiles!
We hope you have found this guide useful! If you have any other tips, please do share in the comments below.