# Daily Connoisseur # food plating tips

Food Presentation Tips for the Home Cook | Do's and Don'ts

Food presentation matters. We eat with our senses: what we see, taste, smell, and feel. So in today’s video, I’m sharing food presentation tips for the home cook.

I have a passion for fine living at home. And of course, a major part of living well is through our meals and food presentation is a big part of that. In today’s video I’m going to reveal 10 food presentation secrets that will send your meals over the top. All the food presentation supplies featured in this video are in my Amazon Store.

1. Keep it together We want certain foods to feel controlled and put together. When you are enjoying a sandwich, for example, you don’t want the stress of feeling like it is going to fall out and be messy when you try to eat it. So there are various ways to keep your sandwiches together and make them look more appetizing at the same time. The first is with the traditional cocktail party toothpicks. You see these at delis and they hold a large sandwich together. Here I’ve made a grilled cheese sandwich with grilled red onions and tomato. I use the picks to hold the sandwich together and they look much more festive this way. Another way to keep your sandwiches together is to wrap them in wax paper.

I like to use colorful wax paper that makes the sandwich look like a little gift. The paper I had here was slightly too small, but I made it work by wrapping the sandwich on an angle. I use tape to seal it. Then when you cut the sandwich in half, you have a beautifully packaged work of art. You can really see the difference in the before and after with this one.

2. Create height Create height when plating your dishes. Use cake molds and ramekins to create height with your food. In the video I share an easy baked crab tartar. When plonked in a bowl, it does not look very appetizing, but when placed in a mousse or cake mold, it suddenly looks like a gourmet creation from a fine restaurant. Ramekins are also a great way to plate rice so that it holds a shape and presents a dynamic of height on the plate.

3. Think of color They say we eat with our eyes and when everything is the same color on the plate, it’s less appealing. Plus, as I write in Connoissuer Kids, eating the rainbow with fruits and veggies is very healthy. Adding purple cabbage to a sandwich makes it look so much tastier, than if it were just turkey and cheese. The addition of Roma tomatoes and grilled red onions on the grilled cheese add a beautiful color as well. Even things like grill marks on the grilled cheese help in appearance. Here’s another example: I made coconut rice, air fryer chicken, and tropical salsa. Look how bland the rice and chicken look before I add the colorful salsa: which contains mango, papaya, tomatoes and cilantro. The colors make the dish look so appetizing.

4. Edible garnishes Garnishes are key to making a plated meal look enticing. I once watched an interview with celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck, and he said the best way to make a plated dish look good is with edible flowers. I like to use fruit, herbs, and other sauces to create a pretty finish.

5. Footed dessert bowls I use footed dessert bowls for so many things… ice cream, puddings, unruly desserts. Footed dessert bowls add height, structure, and elegance to an otherwise unruly looking dish.

6. Get creative Get creative with your food plating. Think about how you can use containers for different purposes. For example: using sherry or cordial glasses for small desserts. Here I've made a very simple pudding dessert for the kids. I place dark chocolate pudding in the bottom of the sherry glass, top with whipped cream and a raspberry. Simple but beautiful. The kids were delighted to see these and the presentation is so charming. I’ll often use teacups or drinking glasses to plate desserts or things like overnight oats in.

7. Portion sizes small The food on the plate looks more appealing, when there is less of it. Think of a giant plate heaped high with lots of food. You’ll notice that high end restaurants plate smaller portions of food… this just looks more appetizing. When you see a smaller plate beautifully plated, you want to eat the whole thing.

8. Use a squeeze bottle for sauces It’s all about control and a squeeze bottle allows you to decorate your plated food in an artful way. Normally if you are using a sauce out of a bottle, it can come out clumpy. The squeeze bottle allows you to control the distribution of the sauce in an appealing way.

9. Copy restaurant style Think about your favorite dishes at restaurants and mimic what you like about them at home. You can even do this with casual meals like sandwiches. Here I’m using wax paper and a sandwich basket to serve the grilled cheese in. It looks delightful like this. The presentation is festive and makes the sandwich look even more appealing. The only things that’s missing is a pickle!

10. Plate selection Of course, we must discuss plate selection. You can use white plates to be safe but don’t be afraid of color and pattern. You know how much I love my Spode Blue Italian plates and my Portmeirion Botanic Garden plates. I use them on a daily basis and love the color. And here’s a trick… when you don’t have time to go a bit extra with your food presentation, pretty plates make up for it. They still give your eyes something to feast on.

11. Bonus tip: Section it off If your children are picky eaters, consider serving them on plates that have sections. For some reason, sectioned plates are visually appealing to many children. They like the choice and variety. You can sneak in some vegetable salads and other things they might not try if plated on a regular plate.

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Comment of the Week
Bella the Reader writes, "Much of living a formal life is who you are as a person. Dress, speech, your de-cluttered environment, and most especially your thoughts are under our control. Really, it’s about what’s in your head and your actions gravitate towards your thoughts. This channel clearly gives the practical steps. Thanks Jennifer!!💖🥰💐"

This is so true, Bella. It is all the intangible aspects of a person that truly comprise the quality of formality.

I hope you enjoyed today's video and that it gave you ideas for improving the food presentation in your kitchen.

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Unknown said...

Thank you for such an inspiring video. I learnt a great deal.

Stacie said...

What I love about your channel is that you come up with the most unique things to encourage us to elevate our lives, not just "re-hashing" the most popular topic. For example, the Chic Assignment, and now this post on food presentation! I'm hosting a brunch in a couple of weeks, and have been thinking of ways to plate my food to make elevate the presentation. Thank you, again! Stacie