How many times have you picked up a fancy food magazine and wondered how the food looks so beautifully plated, without a single element out of place? The simplest of dishes look like royalty, while your fanciest creation does not even look close to picturesque.
Plating a dish is an art, and as important as actually cooking it. Just by keeping a few things in mind, you can take your plating skills up a notch and get your perfect pretty plate of food every time.
Pick a good plate
To make your food looks appealing, the plate you serve it on needs to look presentable. It is the base of your entire dish and only when you have a good base, can you get creative with your plating. Try to pick out quirky, colourful and unique plates that add a little more personality to your dish. Interesting shapes, sizes and designs are always a plus and add an interesting appeal to your dish, making it more appetising to look at.
Clean the splatters
An important step in making sure your dish looks good is cleaning up the splatters on the edges. Just take a napkin and wipe away the little dots of oil, sauce or dressing. This makes your plate look neat and well served while requiring minimum effort on your part. Cleaning up little bits of food on the edges like bread crumbs or stray herbs also helps to make your plate look amazing.
Whether you’re prepping a simple dish or a fancy one, garnishing it right is of utmost importance. Just a sprig of mint or a side of coriander leaves can make the dish look complete. But make sure to garnish with edible options and something that compliments what’s on the plate. For example, if you’re serving meat, garnishing it with herbs or edible flowers that compliment the flavour is a great idea. Whereas if you’re serving dessert, fruits or some mint leaves would be a more pliable option.
Use different textures
Playing with textures makes any dish a lot more appealing, visually and otherwise. Plate up with a variety of complimentary and contrasting textures that will catch the eye and the taste buds of the person eating it. If you’re dish is crispy or crunchy, adding a small amount of some creamy element with give it an edge and will make the plate pop a lot more.
Play with colour
The colour of the food determines how it is perceived and a little splash of green or red on a dull plate can definitely take it up a notch. A colourful plate of food is a lot more attractive to the eye than something with a neutral colour pattern. Plate up with a mix of colour, complimenting each other to make your plate look more interesting and inviting.
While putting together your dish, make sure to focus your attention to the center of the plate. Place your main ingredient of the dish right in the center and strategically place the side dish to an angle. For example, if you’re plating grilled chicken, make sure the chicken is at the center while the salad, potatoes or grilled vegetables are towards the side. This designates a focal point in the dish bringing the attention to the main element, while making it look more presentable to the person eating it.
Stick to a theme
Before you starting plating, think of what you want your dish to look like. If you’re going for a more sophisticated theme or want a rustic appearance. This helps in determining how you need to go ahead with placing the elements and working on the colours and textures. If you’re going for a rustic look, the plating can be a little messy and imperfect as compared to if you’re going for a sophisticated look, where structure is important.