Plating for Beginners


Just like any skill, plating can be incredibly frustrating at first. But the fun thing about it is that it’s both an art and a science in its own way. This is the chance for you to make the meal more palatable with perfect colour combinations and creative displays of the food items for the customer.

Presentation plays a huge role in enhancing the appetite of the diner. Taste is still ultimately the most significant factor, but before you can get them to taste the food, you need to set the stage so that they like what they see and want to take a bite of it.

Find the perfect plating theme

Plating hardly comes off on its own as a separate entity. It operates under a particular context. Is it an extravagant wedding or an understated birthday party for a debutante? These details matter. Know what is appropriate for the setting, and your design or art on the plate will follow. The last thing you want is to have something that will stick out like a sore thumb. Aim for harmony as much as possible.

Experiment on the design and the overall look or texture

You will need multiple tries in some cases until you get it right. Have some allowance in your food ingredients for experimentation so that you can move things around without worrying that it will affect the headcount. Have these extras handy so that you can test ideas before you even bring them out to the rest of the food you are planning to serve.

Complete your gear in plating

Chicken and liverspread on a sizzling plate

Have your weapons ready. By this, I mean your food presentation supplies. Not having the necessary supplies will always have you borrowing from other people or hamper your workflow. If you plan to be an expert, invest in some good supplies. Some standard materials include the cutters that can help you make your desired shapes, your plates and some method of measuring dimensions if needed. Decorating brushes, garnishing kits and moulds that go in different forms are your best allies in this.

Document your progress

Take pictures of your plating work so that you see your progress or lack of it. From day one up to the end of the year, track your progress by taking good pictures of your creations. Sure, you enjoy it, but you also document it accurately so that you see if you have a signature style or certain occasions are more suitable to your plating method. This is also a way for you to show it to other people so that they can give feedback on what works for them and what does not.

Consult an expert in food presentation

It pays to admit that you are a complete beginner. An expert in food presentation can help point you in the right direction, especially if you plan to turn this into a full-blown business.

Food plating is a journey, and it is best that you learn as much as you can and enjoy each step of it in any way possible. The world’s best culinary presentations make a lasting and memorable experience to people, and this is a surefire way to help build your brand and establish your food business or hobby.

Read more at Fruit and Vine.

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