So you’re planning a great dinner to impress someone, but you’re not quite sure how to assemble the food on the plate to best effect? For starters, it’s good that you’re thinking about plating the food (that’s what the gourmet chefs call it).
Remember, when trying to impress someone with food, you’re creating a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. You want to make it pretty on the plate. Here are four tips for making your dishes look nifty.
1. Sauce as decoration
Perhaps you’re serving a dish that includes a sauce. This could be an integral sauce (one made from the pan drippings of meat) or a sauce prepared separately (such as a thickened beef stock).
In either case, pour that sauce over a delicious mound of rice pilaf or a healthy portion of pasta. If the sauce is thin, it will collect on the bottom, so you’ll want to make sure that it doesn’t spillover. A thicker sauce will bind better to the food on the plate. Either way, it can provide a simple but attractive presentation.
Although food usually makes a great statement all by itself, a garnish can provide a nice accent. Garnishes are one of those “little things” that make a big difference.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to break the bank to create an attractive garnish. A little salad on the side is an excellent accompaniment to many dishes. You could also add some fresh herbs, such as parsley, to complement the main event.
It’s typical to serve a white sauce with a slice of white meat, such as chicken. However, if you add mashed potatoes and cauliflower to that dish, then everybody’s looking at all-white food. Throw that on a white plate and watch it disappear.
Instead, vary your colors, using complementary or contrasting colors to produce a work of art as your main course. That’ll sure beat a bland, washed-out visual array.
4. The foundation
The foundation of your presentation is, of course, the plates themselves. Here, you’ll want to select dishes that are suitable for the occasion and the type of cuisine that’s set upon them. Something eclectic, such as an unusually shaped soup bowl or an oval plate, will add a bit of flair to your guests’ dining experience.
You could also opt for a contemporary bottle service presentation, which would definitely be original. As mentioned previously, be sure to choose colors in flatware that are suitable to the occasion.