Open your nearest cookbook. Turn on the Food Channel. Peek in the window of the ‘hatted’ restaurant down your street. All the beautiful dishes, immaculately presented, have something in common; beautiful, large plates.
Presentation, any chef will tell you, is vital to every finished dish. While the taste of the dish may forgive lacklustre presentation, setting down a creative, well laid-out dish will give your eager diners the opportunity to fall for your meal before they’ve even taken a bite.
The Essential Ingredient stocks a wide range of exclusive dinnerware, all designed to make your food look as good as possible. From large serving plates for your risotto to small, angled spirit bowls perfect for a ball of your homemade lychee sorbet, these white dishes make your food the hero.
We also stock dishes for specific purposes, such as olive oil dishes for the table and soufflé ramekins.
And, of course, they’re all microwave, dishwasher and oven safe.
Once you’ve got your culinary masterpiece and your perfectly matched plates, how do you create the best presentation?
- Keep your presentation clean and simple
- Never go for looks rather than flavour. This includes the use of herbs as a garnish, unless they go with the meal
- Use an odd number of ingredients on the plate to avoid symmetry
- Add hot sauces right at the end, as they’ll affect the appearance of the other components on the plate
- Avoid moving things around once they’re on the plate, as this will simply make a mess
- Visualise what your dish will look like before you start arranging it on the plate
- Don’t clutter the plate
- Cut things in half if they look too big in relation to the other components on the plate
- And, of course, don’t serve the food cold because you spent so long dressing it.
He also explains that most contemporary plating designs are based on a ‘clock-face’ principle:
Think of your plate as a clock face. For hot dishes, the meat is generally placed at 6 o’clock, with the remaining components at three and nine. Cold dishes start with the key element in the centre of the plate, with the remaining ingredients presented around it.
Of course, as with most cooking principles, these rules exist to be broken.
By simply giving some consideration to the presentation of the meal as you plan it, and to the plate on which it will be served, you’ll be creating your own innovative masterpieces every time.