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How to plate your food like a pro chef

Chef Janine Fourie, gives us her top tips on how to turn your plate into a work of art.

by: Big Easy | 27 Feb 2018

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Good plating can elevate an average dish to a new level and make the dining experience even more memorable. The presentation of food in a restaurant is as important as the flavour, as per the old adage, “you eat with your eyes”. The way food looks on a plate indulges the senses and makes you want to eat it.

“Food has definitely taken centre stage in recent years,” says Executive Chef Janine of Big Easy at Hilton Durban. “Plating up isn’t like the old days where the meat and three veggies were lumped next to each other on the dish. You can be as creative as you like when presenting a meal, and remember, there are no rules!”

If you are having guests for dinner let your creativity flow and add the wow factor when you are entertaining. Thoughtful and attentive plating is sure to improve your dinner guests experience. To help you prepare for your dinner party, Executive Chef Janine offers a few tips for plating up:

· Choose the appropriate plate
Although the options are endless when it comes to choosing crockery, choose white for the best impact as the food stands out and the colours are more vibrant. “Square or oblong plates, even tiles or wooden boards can be used,” says Executive Chef Janine. “However, a steelite craft range plate still serves as the best option because it makes the food more appealing.”

· Use colour in your food
Besides taste, we eat with our eyes. “Fruit and vegetables when used creatively can elevate your dish. Make the most of them and not just as garnish on the side.”

· Keep it simple, less is more
“Keep the focus on the freshness of your ingredients and cooking style and don’t have too much going on in your dish. Less is definitely more!”

· Use garnish

Don’t add garnish just for the sake of adding colour, adds Executive Chef Janine. “Make sure the ingredients balance and complements the other food on the plate.”

· Indulge the senses

“When plating, always keep in mind the old Chinese saying, ‘You eat first with your eyes, then your nose, then your mouth,’ says the Big Easy Durban chef. “Earn applause from your guests by serving up a feast for the senses! Who knows, they may end up taking photos of your meal!”

Beautifully plated dishes take time and patience to develop. “it’s not unusual to see our guests taking photographs of our meals,” says Executive Chef Janine. “We regard it as a compliment that the food is a feast for the eye, as well as the taste buds, so after you’ve created your own dish why not show it off a little and show off your accomplishment!”

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