How to Plate Your Food to Look as Delicious as It Tastes

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Apr 7, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Deliciously plated foodAre your cooking skills out of this world but feel that the way you present your meals leaves a lot to be desired? We want to help you be proud of every aspect of the meals you prepare in your outdoor kitchen, so we're sharing with you our tried and true food presentation tips so you can "wow" your family and friends from first sight to first bite!

Tips on How to Plate Your Food

  • Use the whitest plates you have. When you're first starting out, white is the way to go. It's neutral so it doesn't take away from the food itself, and it makes all the vibrant colors truly pop! But once you're comfortable with your food arranging skills, you can branch out to more exotic plates. Slates, cheese boards, and granite or marble slabs are all great options that will add to the beauty of your presentation. 
  • Think in odd numbers. The asymmetry of odd numbers just makes your dish look more appealing than if you were to feature an even number of items. So you're better off working with with one large piece of fish rather than 2 small ones, 3 tacos instead 4, 5 chicken wings instead of 6, and so on.
  • Play with height. Not only does this make even the simplest food look more interesting, but it adds depth, and lets you work with more food in a smaller space.
  • Contrast is key. We talked before about how contrasting textures really help make a meal, but don't stop there. Contrasting colors and sizes will make your food more visually appealing, so play with bright sauces against dark, leafy backdrops, or vibrant vegetables alongside a light piece of grilled chicken.
  • Don't garnish for the sake of garnish. Your garnish should be a part of your dish, not just a little sprig of something hanging out on your plate. Choose to garnish with foods that complement the flavors of your meal and won't taste out of place when eaten.
  • Get the tools of the trade. Put your sauces in squeeze bottles for controlled lines and dots, get a brush to paint on a puree, and use an angled spatula for any flipping or to even out jagged lines.
  • Keep it clean. Nothing will take the focus away from your presentation faster than a rogue piece of rice or an out-of-place droplet of sauce. Before serving your masterpiece, do a quick check of each plate and clean up anything that isn't in a place you intended for it to be. 
  • Remember: it's art. We meant what we said in that last bullet about your work being a masterpiece. And just as with any great artist, you're going to have to have to practice your craft. Keep working at it, keep trying new things, and keep getting better! 
    • One last thing: never judge your finished product up close; always take a step back to get a view of what your plate actually looks like! Again, like art, your plates are best viewed as a whole from a step away rather than individual aspects from just inches away. 

If you're ready to use your backyard to its full potential but still don't know how, give us a call at (888) 747-4554 or contact us online. Or, if you already know exactly what you want, request your free estimate and get started today! You're going to love working with Unlimited Outdoor Kitchen; click the banner below to see what past clients have to say about their experiences with us!

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Topics: Cooking Tips