Food presentation is the art of modifying, processing, arranging, or decorating food to enhance its aesthetic appeal. The visual presentation of food matters a lot to many chefs and food consumers, too. It is not only decorating the food but also making it taste more delicious psychologically for the customers. Customers love it when the food is arranged in a proper manner and it pleases their eyes when it’s served. It also showcases the standard and level of the restaurant. Customers can judge the hygiene, food quality, and taste even without actually tasting it. Thus, food presentation is as essential to a dish as its taste and flavour.
With social media becoming an indispensable part of all our lives, even the banalest events are captured and uploaded to social media such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. Consider each of these images captured by your guests as your restaurant’s evangelists. Thus, you should ensure that each of your dishes is served in an aesthetically pleasing manner. With the number of Food Bloggers increasing, you never know how many people end up viewing the palatable images of your food!
Food Presentation Techniques that You Should Implement in Your Kitchen
Although it may seem trivial, plating and presenting food in an appetizing manner is an art, and much care should be given to it. Following are some tips to be kept in mind while plating dishes.
Correct proportioning of a dish is essential not only to its attractiveness but also plays an integral role in controlling the costs. The portion of each ingredient should be pre-decided and maintained while plating. You can read about how portion control can reduce food costs and improve your restaurant business here.
Choose the right plate size. The plate or bowl size should match the portion/quantity of food served. It looks unprofessional if the plate is too small for the portion of food served. It can make the dish look messy and overcrowded. On the other hand, small portions served in large plates look scanty. You can leave a half-inch space between the food and the edge of the plate.
The most important rule of food presentation is balancing contrast and variety. Decorating the dish more than it is required to can end up ruining it or making it hideous.
Position the main ingredient as the center of attention and make the other elements complement it, rather than hiding it. Also, give attention to the colors. Herbs and vegetables bring color and flavor to the dish. Play with color and texture of the dishes by adding different sauces. Psychologically, serving odd quantities of food items like shrimps, mushrooms create more visual appeal.
However, don’t go overboard with the styling. It is better to keep it simple than to create a dish that is just as difficult to eat!
3. Choosing the Right Tableware
A larger plate will give you more space to work with your creativity and the dish. But keep in mind that you do not need to fill your plate so full that there’s no room left and it starts looking overcrowded.
It doesn’t matter how delicious the food may be, no one would be tempted to eat it if it is served on an unattractive plate. It can make or break a restaurant. Present your plates according to the occasion. Also, cracked or broken crockery can be a real turn-off for customers. Conduct regular checks to replace any broken chinaware.
Food plating is all about timing. Make sure you don’t take too much time to decorate, modify or plate a dish that it turns cold when it was supposed to be served hot or vice versa. Remember to include the plating time in the preparation of the dish, and also inform your guests the time it would take to serve it. Try to follow the traditional clock pattern, present carbohydrates(rice, pasta or potatoes) in the afternoon and protein-rich foods at evenings.
The Garnishing process improves the texture and flavour of a dish. It can be as simple as a colourful ingredient which if paired makes a more alluring dish. You can use fruits, vegetables or dessert ingredients to garnish dishes prepared in your restaurant kitchen. Also, try to use easily identifiable organic garnishes whenever possible to avoid the hassles of removing it before serving it to customers.
Essential tools for stunning food presentation includes Squeeze Bottles, Shavers, Platings & Precision Tongs, Molds & Rings, Spoons, Plating Wedges and garnishing kits. You can read more about the proper food plating and presentation tools here.
In today’s world, diners enjoy their meals as much with their eyes as they do with their tongues. And more importantly, these same diners judge the restaurant by the pictures they present on their social media platforms.
With this article, we hope we were able to provide you some helpful food presentation techniques. Do let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below 🙂