With the rise in popularity of people artistically expressing themselves as amateur chefs with dinner plates and bowls as their canvas, a dinner party is ripe with elaborately plated meals. You might think that with all of this creativity at work you wouldn’t be allowed to actually eat your meals, but don’t worry. The thing about plating is that, like the seasonal food from Local Roots NYC, it’s meant to be enjoyed to the fullest. At dynamic dinner settings such as our upcoming Winter Brights Supper Club, you’ll notice many different ways food can be plated artistically and how certain plating can even affect the way you taste and experience food. Throw a pro dinner party for your friends this and try some new plating techniques to make your farm to table menu even more special with some tips, tricks, and expert advice with the help of Modernize to help you be the creative plater you were meant to be. Bon appétit!
Pretty as a Picture
Imagine the rim of your dishware as the frame of a picture, suggests chef Susan Feniger. Plate within the “frame” by working from the center outwards, leaving about a half or a whole inch of white space. You can also add some height to your food by stacking layers instead of laying it flat (might we even suggest a handful of micro greens from Local Roots CSA share to bolster your food tower?). It’s a great way to not only create an interesting visual, but to offer your guests a new and interesting way to eat the same foods. As an added bonus, by stacking and layering ingredients on top of one another you also get more flavor in each bite.
Create a Look and Feel
A plated meal can look unbalanced when there is too much of one thing, or it’s piled together all in one spot. An attractive and well-plated meal doesn’t just rely on olfactory sensations, but in the composition and balance of each individual ingredient working together as a whole. So, consider what kind of textures, colors, and tastes you have on your dish and arrange it in a way that makes sense. Having an odd number of things always presents well. Use a focal point or two on your plate and work around that—and don’t be afraid to go for a light or heavy garnish to top it all off!
An Ode to the Season
Just like Local Roots NYC’s philosophy that seasonal food is meant to be appreciated and enjoyed, Travis Swikard, a New York City chef, echoes these thoughts saying, “Food should be created with passion, thought, and technique, but plated with a light hand, with direction from nature. Colors should reflect the seasons, with contrasting light and dark shades that evoke emotion. In the end, keep it simple and let the ingredients be the stars”.
Written By Katherine Oakes, yoga instructor and vocalist.