I’ve been learning tons of techniques and working hard to broaden my cooking horizons and although I’ve made some pretty delicious dishes I wish they would look more like the plates at the end of those cooking show competitions. The way your food looks is as important as how it tastes so I tried to figure out what takes a plate from average looking to irresistible and although I don’t have any formal cooking experience I think I cracked the code. Here are some simple tips that will take your already special dishes the extra mile and have people thinking you spent years at Le Cordon Bleu!
1) Use White Plates to make you Food Pop!
2) Bigger is always better. Choose bigger plates so you have room to get creative and don’t overload your plate.
3) Don’t be afraid to use your hands. When watching cooking shows or competitions you will notice that chefs use their hands when plating, this provides more control than, lets say, tongs. Just wash your hands thoroughly before and after.
4) Showcase the star of your dish. Protein is usually the start of many dishes, plating it on top of a base like the starch will really make it the star of the show, and brings me to my next tip…
5) Plate up! try to get some height to your dishes. You can stack your meal like mentioned above or lean your protein up against your starch, or even create a mound or peak with your rice or mashed potatoes.
6) Strategically use sauces. Carefully spooning sauces in the middle of the empty plate can create a nice background for plating your meal, conversely, plating the meal then drizzling sauces around the empty spaces of the plate gives a nice visual.
7) Revisit the color wheel. Garnish with complementary colors, for example adding sprigs of fresh green parsley to those red meat dishes, will make your dish visually appealing.
8) Wipe up when your done. Use a clean towel to wipe up any splatter on the plate that may have occurred so that your finished product looks perfect.
The first fish/rice dish is plated in the standard manner that we all are familiar while the second is plated in a professional manner using the techniques described above. Both dishes are probably tasty but which would you rather try???