Plating or arranging on a plate have gradually become essential parts of the way food is presented, especially in top restaurants. It offers customers a unique experience, helping them to "eat" with their eyes, not just their mouths. Here are some secrets of this type of food preparation.
It may not be the most important aspect of everyday food, especially when you don't have the time or the desire to prepare a work of art on a plate, but you can also learn something about the so-called plating, which can amaze your guests. on special occasions. Especially in "fit" restaurants and in modern businesses you will find the attention given to the way the food looks on the plate, because the first thing the customer does is see what he ordered.
The placement in the plate is overlooked by some chefs who put more value on taste, just as important in order to satisfy the customer, but also the attention given to the way the dishes look can attract the guest's attention. And you can learn a few little tricks that will help you display your chosen dishes in a "professional" way.
By understanding the plating techniques and integrating them into your own habits, you will improve the presentation style and you will enrich the culinary experience of those who come to visit you. Before you start preparing a certain dish, it is necessary to consider all the components, from the garnish to the sauces. Only when you have them all at hand can you start plating.
Choosing the plate
It can turn any dish, no matter how simple, into a real painting. Selecting a round, square or rectangular object, for example, or in another shape, will give you the "canvas" on which to reveal the desired culinary story.
Finding the right size has the role of giving balance. Make sure that the plate is large enough for the ingredients to be placed aerated, but not too small, so that the preparation looks too crowded or the portion is insufficient.
The color of a plate is also important, the options in classic shades being preferred, for example white, because it contrasts well with a vivid chromatic of vegetables and sauce, and offers a neutral background. The edge (or edge) will remain unused, being considered "frame", dividing the remaining space into thirds. This rule indicates that the focal point should be to the left or right of the plate, not the center.
How to position the ingredients
A simple technique is to consider the meaning of the clock hands. When you start placing the preparation, the protein will be between 3 and 9 o'clock, close to the one that will consume it, the carbohydrate sources being placed in the upper left, between 9 and 12 per hour, and the vegetables will be between 12 and 3 o'clock ( to the top right).
In the first phase, you will put the liquid or fluid ingredients, which you will use as a base, so that they are kept under control by the other products and do not move their position too much on the way from the kitchen to the table.
When you put small types of ingredients on your plate, such as vegetables, slices of meat or stuffed pasta, place them in an unequal number of pieces, because they will look more attractive and will leave the impression of a larger amount of product.
I produce small areas where all the ingredients can be tried in one gulp, thus revealing the ideal taste, as you thought.
Do not fill the plate inefficiently. Maintain a balance by focusing on the source of protein and less on industrial quantities. In this way, you will have a focal point next to which the help elements will be.
Attention to detail
One of the best preserved details of the plating is the attention to detail, finding a concept that keeps protein in the center, but does not forget the garnishes and sauces, maintaining an essential balance in the plate, both visually and tastefully. . The color contrast will help in this regard, by adding colored vegetables as small points of chromatic accent. Try to combine ingredients in complementary colors, which will further enrich the look.
Another way to attract attention is to produce size, putting higher elements, on which you will balance or against which you will prop up ingredients characterized by length. For example, you can put the meat on polenta or a "circle" of rice or puree, and "supported" by them will be the stalks of asparagus or baby carrot.
And the texture is important, making a good impression when you add to a fine puree some crispier vegetables or to a steak some cheese with crushed mold.
Inventive use of sauces
After you have positioned the main elements of the dish, it's time to think about delicious sauces. To place them like professionals, you can use a spoon, a silicone brush for cooking or a bottle with a dropper, especially helpful when you have to install several portions, such as when you use sets of plates for 12 people, for example. You can place drops on one side of the preparation or spread the sauce in small drops over all the constituent elements so that each mouthful tastes good.
It can successfully complement a dish, giving it a real flavor, or it can turn a good taste into a bland one. It is recommended to choose edible garnishes, which compliment the taste of the other ingredients and do not distract from them.
The last details will be added everywhere, so as to add color and texture, choosing small pieces, preferably cooked.
What tools do you use
In order to make it easier for you to place the smallest details or to give certain shapes to the dishes, you need certain utensils. These include the following:
Decorative brushes are in the kit of any professional chef, and can be larger or smaller, depending on the shape you want to give a sauce, for example. They can be used for fine lines, but also for large works.
The molds help to mount or cut the ingredients in certain shapes and sizes, to give a pleasant appearance and give proportion to the preparation.
The indispensable larger or smaller tweezers, sharper or flatter will give value through the ease with which the small strands of germs or other final gaskets are placed.
The grater will not be missing when it comes to adding cheese, chocolate and even vegetables.
The dropper bottles, which are tightened to reveal the sauces, will be indispensable if a really special plating is desired.