Food for Thought

Plating Techniques

February 27, 2015

It’s no surprise that every chef has their own signature style of presentation. We eat first with our eyes, and every chef can attest to the importance of presentation. Presentation, presentation, presentation!

I thought I would share some personal tips on how I typically plate. These tips are easy to follow and can transform any tasty dish into a work of art.


1. First things first. The focal point of the plate should be all about the main ingredient (i.e. the largest portion of food on the plate). EVERY garnish, sauce, or vegetable should be there to highlight the main ingredient.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.45.32 AM

 2. Try to use different shapes and textures of food to garnish the plate that contrast the shape and texture of the main ingredient.  Since the fried eggplant below has a crispy/crunchy texture, I figured the creaminess of the bur rata cheese added a much needed layer to the plate.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.46.34 AM

 3. Contrasting colors are necessary for a lively looking plate.  Plates usually look appealing when they have 2 neutral colors and 2-3 bright contrasting colors.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.37.06 AM

4. Use your plateware wisely.  I’m pretty Conservative when it comes to plateware.  I’ve never been the kind of chef to use overly complex plates, so for the most part I usually like simple, clean, white, spacious plates. 

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.39.25 AM

5. Lastly, make sure the plate makes sense!  If your food doesn’t taste good, it will translate into the presentation. Only use components that add to the overly all flavor and functionality of a dish.  I will NEVER use a garnish that serves no purpose other than as a visual contribution.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.47.57 AM

At the end of the day practice makes perfect, and the best part about practicing with food is it’s fun and DELICIOUS.

Keep at it and you could be the Picasso of plating and that much closer to Master Chef status.


You Might Also Like

  • Jonathan Cao-Nguyen March 3, 2015 at 3:07 am

    Thank you for the advice! I love the tip about the contrasting colors. How would you plate soup though? It’s pretty tricky!

  • Josh March 3, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Loved this blog post, Byron! Your plating is always impeccable.

  • Joel Estonactoc March 6, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Good to know. ..Thank you. …you are awesome…cool blog/website. …keep it up…