Electrolux Newsroom Asia Pacific

Create culinary art with plating tips at home

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Using contrasting colours and textures make a dish more visually striking.The use of common garnishes like parsley can add a touch of colour and contrast to even simple dishes.Rest your meat on accompanying vegetables or carbohydrates to create height and depth.

A memorable dining experience these days doesn’t stop at how a dish tastes. The overall sensory experience is paramount to creating lasting impressions, and like a work of art, the colour and texture of what’s on the plate is as important as its flavour.

The arrangement, styling and overall presentation of food is known as plating. While an important art in fine dining restaurants, it can also be practised at home.  In addition, taking the time and effort to plate food can help with portion control, as chefs are more aware of how much food is going on the plate.

Plating doesn’t require special ingredients or equipment to practice, although a good eye for visual aesthetics and colours help. Here are some general considerations for plating.

Keep an eye on colour and texture

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Photo Credit: Eric Low
Using contrasting colours and textures make a dish more visually striking.

When planning a meal, take the colour of the food into consideration. Blue potatoes might be more visually striking than normal yellow potatoes when served with pale meats like chicken or fish.  Go for contrasting colours and use garnishes such as a sprig of green parsley on red tomato soup if needed.

Similarly, contrasting textures can make a dish look more striking. If you have a dish that looks smooth, like a soup, put a stick of celery or carrot in it. Crumbly ingredients like feta cheese or nuts can be sprinkled over salads.   White plates are best for making colours stand out. Don’t shy away from using coloured plates if they enhance the look of the dish, but  keep in mind that bold patterns can take focus away from the food.

Use the right cooking methods

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Photo Credit: Eric Low
The use of common garnishes like parsley can add a touch of colour and contrast to even simple dishes.

Using cooking methods like blanching or searing can enhance the look of food. For example, blanching can make vegetables look more vivid and fresh. Blanching simply requires that you dunk the cooked vegetables in icy water after boiling to fix the pigments in the leaves. Blanched vegetables thus look brighter and more delicious.

To lock even more nutrients in vegetables, you can cook them quickly in a microwave like the Electrolux EMS2048X before dunking them in the ice water.

Go 3D

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Photo Credit: Eric Low
Rest your meat on accompanying vegetables or carbohydrates to create height and depth.

Play with height and depth, such as having a tall pile of rice next to a stir-fry, or presenting a grilled salmon filet on a mound of mashed potatoes, to create contrasts. Don’t overdo it, however, or the dish may look hard to eat.

Use the Rule of Odds that is common in art, which states that objects displayed in odd numbers bring unity to a composition of objects. By arranging stuffed mushrooms or shrimp in odd numbers, there is always one item that looks framed by the surrounding ones. The result looks more harmonious and natural.

Have more questions on plating? Head over to the Electrolux Chef E page on the Little White Book to get your answers today!

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