If someone had suggested to my mother that culinary presentation mattered, she’d have had no idea what they were talking about.
The table was set and the meal put on the table. What else was there?
Apparently, more. Plating techniques.
Something like this at a home dinner table would’ve made her laugh.
The topic “How to present food on a plate” would’ve generated a look of…confusion.
But it’s true that we taste things first with our eyes.
I’m a big fan of reality cooking shows like Hell’s Kitchen, where I’ve learned not only kitchen tips, but how to present food on a plate.
Here’s what I’ve noticed:
☛ Colorful vegetables against a white plate makes a great meal presentation.
☛ Simplicity rules.
☛ So does the rule of three. Or five. No even numbers of things.
☛ A focal point on the plate is key. Usually the meat or main dish.
☛ You don’t want it to look “too done up.” Try for that “hey, I just threw a few caramelized Brussels sprouts near the meat” look.
☛ Seared meat not only tastes great but looks great on a plate.
☛ Wipe up the plate edges (no spilled gravy!).
I love cupcakes, regardless of how they look. But then:
Which looks so much more appealing.
This post didn’t start out to be tips on how to present food on a plate.
Here is where I was really going–a post about presentation in general.
This tiny little owl totem (ok, ok so I bought one from Etsy after my shaman workshop) is adorable. But the Etsy artisan took time to package it like this:
How hard was it, really? A small brown box with an owl stamp, tied in a plain string bow. But that little touch made me smile.
I kept the artist’s card because I might just buy from her again.
And as long as we’re discussing “pretty”:
Just thought I’d make sure you knew where I stood on this. I’m not entirely superficial.