Stop for a second and scroll through your social media channels. More than likely, your stomach will start to growl at all the delicious dishes you’re scrolling through. But sometimes, culinary skills don’t translate into an appetizing photo. Maybe it’s the lighting, maybe it’s the camera. More often than not, however, a dish’s visual appeal results in a yay or a nay from whomever’s looking. We’ve all been there. We spend hours slaving over a homecooked meal, enjoying every bite with unprecedented gusto, and then…we post it for the world to see…and crickets. The LIKES are dismal, and the comments few and far between. Almost certainly, the problem is in the presentation. Plating can make or break a dish, especially since “Smell & Taste-O-Vision” is still something of the future. So next time you spend hours preparing the perfect meal, take a few extra minutes to add some little details that will make your dish shine. Pick the right plate, find a focal point, add a little color, play with the texture and garnish with ambition. There’s no better complement a cook can receive than requests for an encore…or second, third and fourth servings. Bon appétit!
Are you an amateur chef who has mastered taste, texture and flavor profiles but are completely clueless when it comes to presentation? You’re not alone! Fortunately, there are a ton of resources out there to take your plating prowess to the next level. You can start with a subscription to leading food mags such as Lucky Peach, Gastronomica and Delicious. There are also a bunch of award-winning books on the subject including 1,000 Food Art & Styling Ideas by Ari Bendersky and Working The Plate by Christopher Styler. Too busy to get a subscription or flip through a hardback? Blogs Pretty Tastes Better and Seven Spoons will give you quick-fix tips to amp up your recipes. Whether you decide to get your inspiration online or in-person, one thing’s certain: First impressions are lasting ones — in life and in the kitchen.