There is no arguing about the fact that the most important thing about food is its taste. The second most important thing must be its nutritious value. And the third– its appearance. This doesn’t mean that food that looks bad also tastes bad. The final look of the meal you are preparing is the thing you can control the most, meaning that every food can be made to look exquisite. If you are interested in enhancing your meals’ aesthetic appeal, stick around because we’ll discuss the importance of arranging and decorating food, but we will also share some inside secrets on food presentation.
Eating is an experience for all senses
Good food must trigger much more than just your taste buds. It should smell nice and, of course, look great. If you have kids, then surely you’ve noticed that some meals look “yucky” to them. And truly, nobody gets the importance of food presentation as much as kids do. They will probably push away a plate of steamed broccoli, but if you arrange the broccoli flower buds in a shape of a flower or tree, they may even enjoy it.
Food presentation is art
If you have invested some time and effort into the preparation of a meal, surely you must take pride in what you have made. One of the best ways to show it is to invest some more time and effort into the presentation that will entice your family or guests. Food presentation shows your appreciation for cooking and it also allows you to express your creative side. The plate is actually an empty canvas where your artwork will reach its full glory.
Take your cues from artists
If food presentation can be considered art, surely it must draw inspiration from some specific art form. Painters or photographers could be the best artists to “steal” your inspiration from, since the paintings have focal points, contrasts, and proportions, such as the ones you would use in arranging the food on a plate. For instance, you can use the rule of thirds to find a focal point and play with contrasts to draw attention to the star of the meal.
Choose your canvas well
Even though the food and your method of arranging and decorating it will be the essential part of the final product, the plate (the canvas) also plays an immensely important role. Some meals will look better on simple white plates, while others will benefit from dark-shade organically-looking stoneware. Fortunately, finding quality, stylish collections like my favorite Royal Doulton is just as easy as it is rewarding since there are so many offers and the prices are affordable.
The odder the better
If you think that it is logical to arrange food in even numbers, think again. Ingredients arranged in even numbers can often look strange. On the other hand, if you arrange your food in odd numbers, you will create a fun dynamic that your guests will surely appreciate. This goes not only for the main part of the recipe but also for the details, such as scallops or sauce.
When we talked about art earlier, we forgot to mention that food arranging gives you much more freedom than painting or photographing. Here, you have a chance to add another dimension. By stacking or layering the ingredients, you are giving the meal more depth and making the plate look more interesting.
Keep it simple
Finally, don’t go overboard by combining all of these tips and adding too much of your own to them. The essence of a refined plate lies in simplicity, which is always elevated and beautiful. Keep the number of the ingredients to a minimum, use plates that complement the colors and style of the dish and find a composition which is not overwhelming for the eyes. Now that you know why it is important to present your meals properly and how you should do that, it’s time to get started. After all, practice makes perfect.
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