14 Tips for Plating Food

On a typical night at home you might not think about how your dinner is plated. But the next time you host a dinner party, think about how your food is arranged. The way you plate your food can make it look more appealing to your guests and leave them impressed.

1. Pick unconventional plates. Traditional circular plates and bowls are common and can be boring. Think about using wooden or slate board instead to give help your dish stand out.

2. Think about the backdrop. Plating food is an art form. A bright, white plate will make the colors of the food pop.

3. Protein = focal point. On most plates, protein will be one of the larger ingredients to your dish. Solid pieces of protein such as baked fish or grilled steak should act as the focol point of your plate. Try presenting it on a bed of vegetables.


4. Keep it simple. A hectic plate isn’t appealing to the eye. Sometimes it is better to keep your plating simple rather than try to make it elaborate.

5. Layer flavors. No one likes biting into a dish and getting a mouthful of one flavor. Layer your ingredients so each flavor is in every bite.

6. Think about all the senses. Plating isn’t just about sight. Smell, taste and touch all play a big part in creating the perfect plate.

7. Make it colorful! Pops of color will entice the eye more than a dish with ingredients that are all the same color. Using fresh ingredients is the best way to incorporate bright natural colors into your plating. Try using contrasting colors for even more plating appeal.

8. Height is key. Adding height to your plate can create a new element that is often overlooked. Stack your ingredients if possible but don’t make it too tall, otherwise it will fall over.

9. Garnish, garnish garnish! The right garnish can make a bland dish look enticing. However, don’t just throw anything on your plate to add color and texture. Be sure to use a garnish that goes with the already established flavors in your dish.

10. Texture. Incoporate different textures when you plate a dish. Mixing crunch with crisp will appeal to your diners.

11. Odds over evens. Items in even numbers look awkward on a plate. Be sure to plate in threes or fives rather than twos or fours.

12. Keep crumbs away! Stray crumbs and drips of sauce can detract from the clean look of your plate. Wipe this away before serving to keep your plate loking as good as a professional.

13. Negative Space. Instead of trying to cover the entire plate, work with the natural space it gives you. Embrace your artistic side and view the plate as a canvas for you.

14. Embrace imperfection. Trying to make your dish look “picture perfect” might end up making it look too thought out. Try to keep it simple and embrace your dishes natural elements.

Do you think about how your food looks when you plate it? Have any advice?


*Feature photo originally posted on Instagram by @theartofplating


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