DIY, Food

Pretty Plating

I subscribe to the idea that you eat with your eyes first.  A pretty plate of food can turn an ordinary meal into a special one.  It took me a little while to understand the basics of plating food in an artistic way.  I’ve learned a few tips along the way mostly from dining at great restaurants around the world and trial and error at home.  These are the things I’ve learned about pretty plating…

It starts with inspiration

{Left: Fluke crudo at Casa Mono Right: Corn risotto from The Boathouse}

I noticed in a lot of the nicer restaurants I was dining at this Spring and Summer, the plates were garnished with these microgreens (as seen on the photos above).  Visually, they add a nice touch.  I took a mental note of them.  When I saw them at Whole Foods, I knew I wanted to use them in my next dish.

{Halibut ceviche as seen here}

When I plate food, I usually start with a little sauce on the bottom of the plate (if there is any), then the protein.  I add the other components one-by-one depending on how the colors and flavors compliment each other.  I add a final tablespoon of sauce then the garnish.  I finish by wiping the sides of the plate with a paper towel.

{Apple tart at Auberge du Soleil in Napa}

I strive for my desserts to look this beautiful and taste just as good as it looks.  Maybe I’m biased about the presentation because it was in such a gorgeous setting.

 {Pac man dumplings at RedFarm}

When this dish came out, I just laughed out loud.  It’s so whimsical and it makes you feel like a kid again.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery

 {Strawberries and burrata at Tegui in Buenos Aires}

Sometimes, when I get home from my travels, I try to recreate dishes that I’ve had.  Like the strawberries and burrata at Tegui. I was just blown away by the plating.  It was beautiful yet stark, simple yet complex.

This was my interpretation of the strawberries and burrata salad.

Use white plates for a blank canvas

I always use white plates and bowls because I want the focus to be solely on the food.

Always add a little somethin’ green

A plate is ugly when it’s monochrome so I always add a bit of green mint, parsley, basil, cilantro, anything green to spruce it up and make it look fresh.