Attractively presented food plates will have benefits for companies, consumers and the cooks themselves. For companies, this can be a simple way to improve the company’s image in product quality and can increase the selling price while for consumers, the experience of enjoying food with stunning and visually appealing presentations will become a memory that can be immortalized in their social media activities. In addition, food with a beautiful presentation will arouse the appetite with a happy feeling. What about the chef, what benefits can he get? Creativity and uniqueness in creating beautiful food dishes will be inherent in them to serve signature dishes or special dishes.
From the description above, we can conclude that a well-presented dish can:
- Make the food as high-class food
- Improve the dining experience
- Build reputation
- Encourage creativity
- Increase profits for the company
- Make it a free ad with impact given to guests who will be happy to promote through their social media
- Increase the appetite
The display of food can stimulate a hunger response from customers is also a key element in marketing the menu that is sold. Without a stylist or photographer on hand, we can be sure that your diners will be attracted to take photos of the dishes which in themselves will look amazingly beautiful and can effortlessly encourage them to post pictures online and include the name of our restaurant. Another trick in supporting this activity is to use effective lighting and fixtures in the dining room to make the food more photogenic. It is unlikely that a well-presented dish will be eaten in a hurry. In this way, food plating is a powerful tool capable of changing consumer perceptions of food. Likewise for children who will definitely enjoy eating food that is shaped into cute shapes or interesting designs. Therefore food presentation can also encourage healthier eating, making it a useful trick to get kids excited about enjoying their food.
Tips in Food Plating
Presentations can help sell menu items for sale. The food platting technique has very general design principles, as choosing how to prepare a dish is very personal for each chef. Some of the following methods can be a source of inspiration and ideas for doing food plating.
Chinaware and Cutlery, choosing the right item for food can help serve food, this utensil doesn’t have to be in the form of chinaware, we can use stone, wooden cutting boards, or terracotta
The focal point, Most commonly, the focal point of any dish is the protein whether it be grilled steak, surf ‘n’ turf, or grilled scallops. In this way, vegetables, carbohydrates and sauces play a supporting role to become the main attraction. Precision spoons can be used to draw designs that subtly point to the meat or fish elements of a dish, the natural shape of certain vegetables such as carrots or broccoli either pointed to a focal point or placed vertically can draw the eye in that direction.
Play with Textures, contrasting textures tend to attract attention, and satisfy consumers. Grilled chicken with crispy skin, clean and fresh white creme combined with finely chopped spices, for example. It’s even more effective if you adjust the food to include contrasting textures in every bite.
Height and scale, preparing dishes with taller portions can direct diners’ eyes to the protein of the dish. You can also stack vegetables to create a height for a greater visual impact on the food plate.
Garnishes for taste, don’t often use garnishes just to add color or a visual ‘pop’ and not because they really match the dish. Use garnishes that add richness, such as sprinkling cheese over pasta or rosemary over grilled meats.
Color, the use of color can be used to highlight the strong points of a dish. Playing with dish colors instantly changes food expectations and tastes, turning eating into a sensory experience. The combination of bright accent colors and neutral tones provides a pleasant contrast. Liven up your plate with an extra splash of color, using ingredients that are known to complement each other and mix and match.
Edible Garden/Flowers, micro-plants and flowers can change the look of food, but it’s easy to add pretty embellishments in addition to color. Apart from being a decoration, these plants and flowers are also safe to eat
Less is more, the quality of a dish is often improved by eliminating one component, especially when the dish is served in several courses. The food should be made enough for diners to enjoy it with just one more bite. So the portion size matters as well as the number of components in the dish.
Food Plating Trends
Like any art form, trends in food plating can be the most abstract of stimuli and there is always room for fresh ideas. Vertical forms, Scaling, Clock face, Nordic, Angles, Landscaping and Free form are trends in food plating that are done by famous chefs at this time.
Source: Kelle Weber, The Art of Food Plating (2022)
Lecturer of Three Years Hospitality Study Program, Sekolah Tinggi Pariwisata Bogor.