How to Make your Dishes Look Stunning in Easy Steps

Ever heard of the saying The eyes feast before the mouth tastes? Food presentation is as important as how your dishes taste and to make your dishes look just as good as they taste, read these simple hacks for food plating and presentation that will indulge all your senses from sight to smell before you get down to taste!

By Mariam Elhamy

Choose the Right Plate.

Choose size, color and shape all in regards to what you’re serving and the portion. Don’t make the rookie mistake of using a huge plate for small portions, it makes the food look scarce.

The color of the plate should make the food stand out, white plates usually provide a neutral background for your colorful creations. However, other colored plates can work very well, depending on the color of the food presented.

When picking the shape, be mindful of the shape of what you’re serving, a square plate for lasagna and a round plate for pancakes works best. Use the rule of thirds by placing the item you want to highlight to either the left or right side of the plate, rather than the center.

Use the Clock as your Guide in Food Placements.

Placing the items should be as easy as looking at a clock, protein should be between 3 and 9, carbohydrates from 9 and 12, and vegetables from 12 and 3. Place saucy runny items first so that they can be held down by other foods placed on top or next to presentation

Always Serve in Odd numbers.

Especially when serving small items like tapas, shrimps or bite-sized appetizers. This creates more visual appeal and a bigger quantity.

Don’t Overcrowd your Plate.

Keep it simple by focusing on one ingredient (the protein) ensuring that the other ingredients will play a complementary, supporting role. Stick to no more than 6 elements on each dish to prevent them from looking overcrowded.

Don’t Leave your Dish Pale.

Always create color and contrast by adding green vegetables, herbs or brightly colored fruits to accentuate the presentation

Use Height to your Advantage.

Don’t let everything just lay there, angle long flat items against the bulgier ones.

Diversify Textures.

Use smooth mashed potatoes with crunchy vegetables or crunchy nuts with presentation

Time for the Sauce!

Don’t just pour sauce all over your dish. Instead, drizzle over the main ingredient or create dots in the empty areas around the dish.

Use Garnish Wisely.

Don’t just throw in anything you have. You want to make your dish pop without taking away its flavors with strong pungent garnishes. Stay away from large chunks of raw onions or citrus. Use garnishes that actually match the flavors of your dish.

Finally, use a napkin to wipe away any splotches or smears from the edges for a crisp perfect dish.

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