When you’re looking for a person to date, the first thing almost every human being notices is if they are attracted to that person. If you don’t find that person attractive you lose interest and look for someone else. Same goes for food! I can’t tell you how many times I have turned down my favorite dishes just because they were not visually appealing. Sure it may taste good and all, but how is someone going to know if your food is good if they never taste it?
The more visually appealing something is, the higher the chance is that you’re going to investigate or take a closer look at what ever it is. The art of food presentation isn’t all that easy! I’m personally not that creative, nor am I artsy enough to present my dishes on high calibers but i do try! And if i can succeed anyone can!
So if you’re wondering if there are any secret methods out there to help you, well you have come to the right place! Here are some tips to help all of you future pastry chefs! (I know, most of us are not chefs haha).
- Creative coloring- When you look at plain vanilla ice cream what do you see? Plain…white…bland looking dessert. But if you add some fruits like strawberry, or blueberries, all of the sudden it turns into a visual delight!
- Mix textures- Have you ever noticed that sometimes when you bite into that cold refreshing spoon-full of ice cream, you can’t help but to think of ways this could be even better. Just by adding some chunks of cookies or marshmallows can change the way you enjoy your dish. It adds more variety and quality to your dish…It also can make it taste even better!
- Plate Presentation- Think of your plate, dish, or pan as an art canvas. Then think of the dessert you’re going to make and use that as inspiration for how you will design the dish. It’s like painting a portrait, everything should compliment somewhat, and it should relate back to what your dessert is. You wan’t to leave that mysterious quality of “i wonder what it tastes like” but you also want it correspond with your dish. Be adventurous and creative!
- Consider your vessel- Even though designing your dish is important, you want to make sure your canvas is proportionate to your creation. To small of a plate or bowl may end up limiting the potential of the dessert because what if the dessert falls off the plate? That wouldn’t be a pretty picture to clean up! So remember be proportionate and it will elevate your game!
- Mixing temperatures- the best example i can think of for this is a classic dish that consists of cool refreshing ice cream and warm mouthwatering brownies. Usually fire and ice, and hot and cold don’t mix…but for some reason, in the kitchen almost anything is possible! This doesn’t only apply to food temperatures, but it also applies to your vessel’s temperature. If you are serving a cold food, put it on a chilled plate or bowl, that way the food wont melt as fast. Where as if you are serving a normal cake that isn’t hot nor cold, a plate at room temperature will do! When things start to melt and get messy, is when people stop enjoying the food as much, because it becomes more of a burden then a pleasure.
- Use a focal point- Have one thing be your main focus, but allow it to flow into other aspects of your dish so that way it looks more like one dessert instead of multiple different things. This adds character to your dish!
- Be a little dramatic- Think outside of the box! A good example of this would be (even though this isn’t a food example) different drinks you would get at the bar. Some drinks have shot glasses filled with other liquor that when stacked next to each other and above the main drink, if you move one part of the drink, the shots will fall in like a bomb, creating a more dramatic effect! It adds fun to what you’re doing!
- Don’t make it unstable- we all love the look of a piece of cake when its freshly cut and standing upright on a plate. But, if it’s to tall it could fall, making the presentation fall to pieces. Again make sure its proportionate and level so that way your dish looks prettier, and it makes you look like you know what you’re doing haha.
- Garnishing- Who doesn’t love visually appealing garnishing on-top of a dessert? Just adding fruit or nuts on top of a cake, doesn’t automatically pretty. The garnish has to flow with the dish. If you put hard nuts on top of a soft cake, a fork won’t be able to pierce those, making the dish less enjoyable to eat.
- Consistency is key- Sure it’s always nice to be creative and display multiple different designs. But eventually it all becomes confusing and redundant when your dishes have no chemistry with each other. They should all match in size and design relatively.
These are all little tips for us newbies out there! These are only the tip of the iceberg.
These links have more in depth advice ans strategies for making your food look finely presentable!
If you have any other tips you’re willing to share, then please comment! We are all here to spread our knowledge and equal love for some scrumptious delights