Having watched Chef’s Table, with it’s exacting food presentation done with tweezers, has made me more conscious of what I already do regarding food presentation in our everyday home setting. I definitely think about how I present our meals, even when it is just us.
I have lots of dishes to choose between when serving up a meal, many that I have even made myself specifically for a desired effect during food delivery. And for a long time I have had clear ideas about which meal should be served on what plates.
Of most importance to me is flavor and texture, but how a dish looks is also an integral part of the eating experience. Eat the rainbow, they say, encouraging you to eat a wide variety of food– not only the brown and white of my childhood. Vibrancy in food is related to nutritional value, so making your plate beautiful as possible is more than just aesthetics. It is a fun and easy way to insure that you are getting a wide enough range of diversity in your diet.
So during food preparation, think ahead to plating the food. Consider the contrast of not only tastes and textures, but color too. If something you are making is complicated, accompany it with something simple. You’ll see in these photos that the food is lovely (and therefore appetizing), but it is also varied (as much as the limited protein sources I eat allow).
There is nothing pretentious about this process; cultivate a natural feel for it and it will become second nature to you. We should enjoy not only food’s deliciousness, but its beauty as well.
If, as the case is with chili, the yummy food’s color is not that pretty, contrast it with a pretty plate and a lively garnish. A lot of feta cheese in that shrimp dish? Then I place it in a dark casserole. If there are a ton of colors, such as in a salad, pick a plate of whatever color is not represented, to give a feeling of harmony and wholeness. There is not much blue food, hence blue plates usually enhance a meal.
Ingredients in food are like art materials in art–they are a creative outlet. This is not only true in cooking inventive recipes and pleasing taste combinations, but also in how a plate stirs the eye in anticipation. Be innovative and expressive in how you put your food together, right up to how food is best plated.
Enjoy the photos in this post to get your mouth salivating and your ideas percolating. These photos show what (and how) we’ve been eating recently. There are a couple restaurant meals here, and one our younger daughter made, but the vast majority of them were made by me on average days.
I encourage you to enjoy food’s beauty too. It doesn’t take any more time– just a little thought– and the improvement in the experience is huge. Don’t those red strawberries look amazing sitting on my red car? Notice they are sold in a complimentary container! Enjoy…