Before you begin preparing your dish, you should consider the kind of cuisine you’re serving. You can’t start building your plate until all of your flavors are finalized, so it’s wise to have your ingredients prepared before you begin the actual plating process.
To do so, focus on balancing your protein, carbohydrate, and vegetable to create a nutritionally balanced meal. Ultimately, carefully placed ingredients create art, but the presentation should never overshadow taste.
For tips and tricks on how to create a beautiful plate, consider the steps below:
1. Choose the Perfect Plate
Selecting the right plate for your meal is key to an attractive food presentation. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Choose the right plate.
- Choose the right size plate.
- Choose a complementary plate color.
2. Placing Your Ingredients
Here are a few of the most important aspects to consider as you build your dish:
- Plate with a clock in mind. As you begin plating your ingredients, picture the face of a clock. From the diner’s point of view, your protein should be between 3 and 9, your starch or carbohydrate from 9 and 12, and your vegetable from 12 and 3.
- Use moist ingredients as your base.
- Place food to create flavor bites
- Don’t overcrowd your plate.
3. Pay Attention to the Details
As you plate your dish, you’ll also want to pay attention to the details:
- Think about color and contrast.
- Create height on your plate
- Use texture to enhance your dish.
4. Design and Create with Sauces
Once you’ve plated your main ingredients, you’re ready to top your dish with delicious sauces. Don’t just pour the sauce carelessly all over the plate, though. Instead, think of your squeeze bottle or spoon as a paintbrush, and your sauce as a medium.
5. Use Garnishes Purposefully
- Choose edible garnishes.
- Place garnishes purposefully.
Focusing on presentation also allows chefs to showcase their creations and demonstrate to guests that they’re getting their money’s worth. While there aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to “correct” plating, there are several important concepts to keep in mind as you prepare and present your delicious culinary creations.