When it comes to food, the way it looks when it’s served up to you can have a huge influence on whether or not you want to eat it. Thanks to the slew of amateur cooking show on television at the moment, more people than ever are interested in cooking and are learning about how ‘plating up’ a meal can make or break the dish. We spoke to the mastermind behind dinnerware and food experience retailer Home Cook Love, Ali Wong, about ‘plating up’ meals that are Instagram-worthy, and how easy it really is!
1. Slice it right
“When it comes veggies, there’s an easy way to make them look more appealing, and harder to shunt. The way we slice our greens can make a difference to how they look when plated. Take grape tomatoes for instance, slice them vertically into halves as opposed to slicing them horizontally. If you’re using snow peas, slice them into fine vertical strips. It may be a bit fiddly, but practice makes perfect. Discovering the vertical slice has upgraded the way my salads look and taste."
2. Use a pastry brush and bamboo skewer
“Use a wooden pastry brush to perform fine strokes, and a bamboo skewer to create pretty intricate spirals and swirls with a fruit puree.”
3. Pick the right plate
“Consider the texture, colour, size, shape and presentation of your plate. Use either a plain or coloured plate which highlights your food. Be adventurous and look to serve your food on wooden boards if that adds to the overall food experience.”
4. Pipe it
“Just like a pastry brush, a piping bag can also be used to add some ‘oomph’ to your savouries as well as your sweets. Cook up some sweet potato mash, scoop a good amount into the bag. Using a flower tip nozzle, slowly pipe mash onto the plate. Watch as tasty magic comes to life on that succulent steak.”
5. Garnish it
“Coriander and parsley are so yesterday. Why not up the ante? Fresh basil is a lovely herb that I use a lot. Tear some over a spicy curry, and basil goes surprisingly well with pan fried fish dishes. Freshly grated lemon, orange or lime zest adds instant pizzazz to any dessert."
"Lastly, unless you’re competing for a spot in Masterchef, you’re unlikely to be plating up Saturday night’s dinner with tweezers. Keep it real by using ingredients and tools that you already have in your kitchen. You’ll be surprised by what you can achieve by using the best tools that you already possess; your creativity, imagination and love for food!”
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