There is no more significant let down than spending all day in the kitchen, perfecting dishes, only to heap them onto the plate haphazardly. Even the best tasting meal can be improved by placing it artfully on the plate. Plating may look like it requires an advanced art degree; however, it can be made simple with a few tips and tricks the pros use.
Here is a look at some of those tricks you can try at your next dinner party. Wow, your guests with a few of these tips, utilizing the most basic of tools you can find at any craft or hardware store.
A Professional Toolkit
Here are a few easy to find items that will help you upgrade your plating skills.
- Melon Baller: Fruits and vegetables stand out when scooped with a melon baller.
- Pastry Brushes: Utilized to create flair with loose garnishes or add touches to desserts.
- Squeeze Bottles: Make purees art by squeezing them from a bottle rather than merely shoveling onto a plate.
- Tweezers: Make sure every delicate piece is in its place with tweezers, instead of trying to drop things in precisely the right spot.
Tricks of the Trade
These are a few thoughts that great chefs think about when plating up dishes to serve their guests.
Use Colors Wisely
Even the best tasting puree can be off-putting if it comes out some drab shade of gray. Adding color to a dish should be purposeful, in addition to being visually impactful. Utilize bright colors to offset an otherwise dull dish, like a steak or chop dish. A bright carrot or beet puree can bring an otherwise brown dish to life.
Clean the Dish
Ensure your plates are sparkling clean before plating by using a 50:50 solution of water and vinegar to polish them. After plating, go back with a cloth to wipe any inadvertent drips or swipes, so your presentation is clean and purposeful.
Texture Stands Out
Aside from flavor, the texture is often seen as the most important aspect of a dish. Contrast textures using a crunchy item like an onion cracker or a biscuit.
Three Dimensions are Better than One
Rather than stacking items vertically (circa 1990), try leaning items against each other or placing a crispy piece upright on a softer aspect of the plate. Three-dimensional looks stand out over simple, flat presentations.
Dinner and a Show
There is nothing more exciting than tableside service or interactive dishes. Carve a ribeye and add a finishing salt tableside, while your guests look on with impressed looks on their face. This can serve as necessity too – allowing your guests to pour their own sauce on a dish will keep the ingredients from getting soggy as you make your way to the table.
Dinner service does not need to look bland and boring. Even the best home cooks could be more impressive by taking a few simple steps to add flair to their dishes. Take a moment to think about the extra thoughts a fancy chef might have and add some drama to your dish. For professional help with your next event, contact the experts at Elegant Touch Catering in Perth!