Good Plating Techniques Vs. Bad Ones
People tend to “eat with their eyes” before any other sense. What exactly does that mean? It means even before someone puts a morsel of food into their mouth, they automatically are first drawn to what the food looks like on the plate. Does it look appetizing? Does it look edible? One of the things we all most enjoy about dining at an expensive restaurant is that moment when our entree arrives, decked out in all its glory. We marvel at what the chef has wrought, and can't wait to dig in. Honestly, if the presentation is excellent, the food need not be. Plating food properly is that important . . . or nearly so. I am going to touch on some of the differences between a “good plate” and a “bad one”.
The first thing to remember when plating a dish is to “Not get too carried away” with your food presentation. A plate that's too elaborate can be as bad as one that's too careless. Besides, you want that hot dinner to still be hot when it reaches the table, so you don't really have time to get too fancy. Select foods and garnishes that offer variety and contrast, while at the same time avoiding combinations that are awkward or jarring and that draw attention away from the main ingredient(s). Always remember, your plate is only as good as the primary ingredient that the customer orders from the menu so don’t over do it.
The next topic is to me is definitely the most important in my opinion. That topic is colors and shapes. Again, a person is drawn first to what they see on the plate. Two or three colors on a plate are usually more interesting than just one. Visualize the combination: poached chicken breast with supreme sauce, mashed potatoes, and steamed cauliflower. Appetizing? Or how about fried chicken, French fries, and corn? Not quite so bad, but still a little monotonous. Now picture roasted red peppers, grilled stuffed chicken breasts on herb-flecked orzo, and a drizzle of green pesto. Dazzling! Many hot foods,...