Plating a meal has long been an artform, and with the advent of social media, the visual appeal of a dish has only become more appreciated. Here are plating trends we’re seeing in today’s restaurants. While some of these techniques are familiar to chefs, they can be a delightful surprise to unassuming patrons.
As diners search menus for more organic options with fewer artificial additives, nothing can be more appealing than the natural color an ingredient delivers. This trend can be best accomplished with a vibrantly colored fruit or vegetable. A bright orange from carrots, a bold green from basil, or a deep red of beets can bring life to a dish, even as a sauce or garnish.
Instead of spreading a dish across the surface of a plate, reach for the stars! Stacking the elements of a meal on top of each other can add a clever dimension that stares the customers right in the face and reins in the space between it and their mouth.
Delightful and Orderly
For years, guests have been presented with ingredients that are casually distributed across the plate. This carefree style is certainly appealing, but we’re seeing a new take: carefully organized placements. Instead of the relaxed feel of few random sauce drippings or an irregularly shaped pile of mashed potatoes, try the preciseness of a rigid square of beef or perfectly arranged broccoli florets.
A Chaotic Scene
In contrast, you can create a presentation where ingredients are spread around in an extremely unarranged fashion, almost to the point where it looks like accidental. This might not be appealing for all types of diners, but the ones with artistic insight are sure to appreciate it.
Who says you can’t play with your food? When assembling your dish, bury a portion of one part under the rest. When the diner begins to dig in, they’ll be pleasantly surprised to find hidden treasure a bite or two away.
From fashion or home décor, you’ve likely seen the renewed popularity of Nordic style. This minimalistic, Scandinavian-influenced look is a great option for plating. Take a dish with only a few (or even just one!) ingredients and lay them down on a simple plate. The clean, almost calming appearance can create a lasting memory, even days after the diner has finished.