Eating in a fancy restaurant or being served by a professional caterer is quite a special experience. On the one hand, you’re thrilled at the look, taste, and aroma of your dish, and on the other, your own cooking no longer feels special. Yes, all that cooking art and glamor can easily make us doubt our culinary skills, but that is all about to change.
It might seem like plenty of work, time, and dedication is put into every meal, but in reality, the pros stick to only several time-tested food styling solutions to elevate the aesthetic appeal of any dish. Here are the top five easy tips you can use to style your food like a real pro.
Using everyday kitchen tools or even your bare hands, you can easily make a common dish look grand and beautiful. This doesn’t just mean making a smiley pancake, but rather incorporating interesting shapes into every meal.
From curling up vegetables to give a salad a unique appearance, to cutting the pork chops into diamonds and complementing them with a rice mound on the side – the possibilities are endless. So, let your imagination run free, but do make sure the shapes follow a certain pattern for every course.
The eye enjoys diversity and vibrancy, and what a better way to tickle one’s imagination than to serve a colorful plate rich in various hues and aromas? A common mistake amateur chefs make is not paying enough attention to colors when planning their dish. So, instead of going for chicken breasts with white rice or mashed potatoes that will have the aesthetic appeal of a damped cloth, choose your food based on how the colors speak to each other.
A good idea is to have as many contrasting elements on the plate as possible in order to make the dish more enticing and healthier at the same time. Stick to dark greens, vibrant reds, and don’t forget to complement the hue of the meats with a tasty sauce.
Think of the food as the final touch of all your efforts, meaning that the way you present it and the feeling of pleasure and excitement you create around it will only add to its success. To that end, you want to learn from renowned catering companies from New York and restaurants and truly make an experience out of the whole thing.
Play the music that’s just right for the occasion, set up the table to match the native country of the dish, and use plates and serving dishes to create the right atmosphere. This can be elegant and upscale, homey and warm, or even quaint and reminiscent of simpler times.
You can rarely over-garnish a meal, and even if you do, it will still be better than not garnishing it at all. Garnish is one of the best additions to any dish, as it will not only enrich the taste and aroma, but it will elevate the aesthetic appeal from dull to feeling like you’re dining with royalty.
Now, any pro chef would tell you to get creative with your garnishes, making sure the color, flavor, and aroma match with the main palate. Try incorporating everything from nuts and seeds, exotic spices, to leafy vegetables and even fruit in salty dishes. For the dessert, remember that sour garnishes play wonderfully with sweet flavors.
The perfect sauce can make all the difference in how a dish looks and tastes, and it will make any course appear more professional, even artistic. While you could pour sauce directly on the food, you can also play with it, drizzling it around the vegetables or even smearing it on the one side of the plate as if you were a surrealist painter gracing their finest work with a final stroke of their brush.
There are no grand secrets in the culinary world when it comes to food presentation, only tried and tested methods that elevate the aesthetics of any meal, sprinkled with a dash of imagination and creativity. With these essential tips in mind, you will be creating your own culinary works of art in no time.