How to Plate Food like a Professional Chef

Ryan C Huffernan: How to Plate Your Food Like a Professional Chef

How to Plate Your Food Like a Professional Chef

If you’ve spent hours in the kitchen conjuring up a beautiful meal for your family, your date, your mother (or in-laws!), or even just for yourself, you want to make sure that your work looks as perfect as it tastes. Presentation goes a very long way when it comes to food, and you deserve recognition for all of your hard work! If you want to wow your guests when you bring out plates that look like they’d belong at a Michelin star restaurant, you’ve come to the right place. These simple tricks and tips will make the lucky loved ones you’re feeding ask whether you studied in France.


  1. Don’t be Afraid to be a Little Odd

Round numbers are attractive in a lot of areas, but when it comes to food, things tend to look most aesthetically pleasing in odd numbers. Three spring rolls in a row, or five meatballs arranged in a partial pyramid are guaranteed to look great!


  1. Start with a Spotless Canvas

It seems simple, but pure white china will make the colors of the food stand out, making it look delectable and fresh. Pay attention to the plate itself, and go for sparkling white. And make sure you leave enough space on the plate for that perfect background to shine through. The larger the plate, the more the food will stand out (but keep a good balance so that the portions don’t look dwarfed).


  1. Switch It Up

That being said, if you get bored of all the clean, plain white, it can also be a smart move to switch up the dishes themselves. Try a rustic look by serving on a block of wood or stone. Pile rolls in an artisan woven basket. For a classier look, go for unconventional shapes like long rectangles or ovals. When it makes sense, you can even use the food itself as it’s own plate.


  1. Aim for Color

The eye is drawn to color, and when it comes to food, color equals freshness. Make sure the quality of each ingredient shines by carefully filling each plate with bright colors and interesting contrasts. Be careful with vegetables. That bright, crisp green looks great, but overcooking veggies makes them lose their color and become dull.


  1. Show Off the Meat

Have you ever looked at a perfectly cooked piece of meat and felt your mouth begin to water? You can just imagine the flavor, the texture… To conjure this moment of anticipation for your dinner guests, display the meat so as to show off both the sear on the outside and the cook on the inside. It’s simple  — slice a piece of meat up and lay the last slice on it’s side so that you can see the color and seasoning of the outside as well as the tender center of that last piece just begging to be speared with a fork.
When you’re ready to take your plating skills to the next level, find more great tips here and here!