You spend hours in the kitchen making that beautifully perfect dish(es) for your guests and it all goes to waste when they pile up the food in their plates. Obviously in a self-serve situation you may not have control over how people serve themselves but the dishes that you serve for them can be as pretty as they are tasty! After all we eat food with our eyes first. Here are 7 tips to plate like a pro.
1. Plate Colours
Have you noticed how the plates in restaurants are almost always white? The reason is simple; white is the one colour that compliments all colours. Of course this doesn’t stop you from using other colours. But be wise and select plate designs that don’t overthrow your food. For example instead of bulky flowers try a simple blue (my favourite colour is blue, what’s yours?) band/border. If you want to be spunky try solid colours such as reds, blues and greens. Black plates are amazing too!
2. Plate Shapes and Sizes
Don’t just stop at the colours of your plates! Experiment with shapes and sizes too. Serving plates, dinner plates, dessert plates, etc. all come in various shapes and sizes. So go crazy and get a few edgy ones for a kick. Although in all your craziness it would do good to remember to have at least one set that matches.
3. Serving Size
Don’t think people will judge you for not over piling their plate. They’ll be too busy being bowled over by the presentation! The serving size depends on the space on your plate. Use your sense to make out how much is too much.
4. Serving Height
You may not have room to spread horizontally but you can layer your food as long as it doesn’t topple over while carrying it to the table. Once again, your judgement is your best friend here.
Colours are what stand out the most in absolutely anything and everything we eat. If something has a dull colour people are going to hesitate to eat it. For example, a grey sauce will raise doubts but a grey sauce that has been garnished with cheese or cilantro (coriander) looks great. Use colours that complement each other, for example White, red and green in a salad are extremely appealing!
Invest in some quality moulds to help you plate. There are a lot of tools available to aid with food plating. And if you find it too expensive for your needs, get creative and make some of your own with plastic bottles and other such materials. Tip: Plastic bottles bend to a hot edged knife!
7. Piping bags and Squeezy bottles
Piping bags and tips are good for creating those beautiful flowers. Ziplock bags do the trick here but piping tips are a good investment, so don’t shy away from those! Squeezy bottles are a great way to make dots and designs on plates. They give you more control than a ziplock bag in any case.