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Making it Look Good II

Plates and bowls come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Which one to use is something to be considered when presenting a dish?  Making your creations look appealing has a lot to do with how they are framed. There is also the consideration of whether it is a single serving or a community serving. The plate is your frame to the dish. Often frames feature a color that is sparsely incorporated in the dish.  This carries the color from within the dish to the outer perimeter, accentuating the color that my get lost in the dish. For instance; a green spinach curry on a yellow plate with a dab of mango chutney on top.

The curry being the main feature is green and the mango on top would be yellow but not to big, just a dab in the center. So a yellow frame around the curry would be a perfect compliment to the mango.
Another consideration would be to compliment the garnish or center color of a dish like whip cream on a piece of Chocolate Pie.  A white plate will bring the white of the Whip Cream which is in the center to the outside. Looking at it from top to bottom also has the same effect. In ether case it would be white brown white, from the center out or from top to bottom.

You might not think too much about it when it comes to plating your food but size does matter.

Size and shape can do a lot for how tasty a dish looks. The over all composition can be bold, cute, comforting, quaint, exotic, or inspire a cultural feel.

Back to the single or community serving thing, a dish can set in the middle of the table with a family size serving of food or be a small cute Japanese stile dish in front of you with a single scoop of Ice Cream. the dish can make all the difference in how appealing it will look to the dinners.
If you are serving something that on its own is quite high like lasagna or a salad piled high, you may want to place it in the center of a rather large plate. That way the food won't appear to fall of the plate should it tip on it's side. It may only be a subconscious thing but the end result is the same, it look awkward.

This balances the width with the height. Larger plate can also provide room for sauces and or garnishing.  In the case of dumplings, rolls, Tapas or other finger foods smaller more quaint or cute dishes can work well.

Two or three morsels spaces evenly on a small dish drizzled with sauce topped with pepper or garnished with capers looks fantastic. Round pieces on square plates, square or triangular food on round plates…

Lastly (for this column anyway) is presenting something that is not solid like Soups, Stews, Curries…
In this case you can look at deep dishes or bowls. Often these dishes are placed on other larger dishes. This in effect included the smaller dish to contain the food and can be a contrasting color that will sharply outline to food. The under plate then becomes the frame. In the instance of the green spinach curry with a clear border of white. The curry in a rather neutral white deep dish is then framed by the yellow plate. again picking up on the center color of the mango.

Soups look amazing when they are in a simple bowl then that is on a plate the matches or compliments the color of the soup. you can add color with a dust of pepper, or spices, a drizzle of oil or even a leaf of basil, mint oregano...
There is so much that can be done and cookbooks, restaurant ads / menus and online food sites can clue you into how to use dinning wear to make your dishes look more tempting.
Always remember to have fun. Having a good selection of plate bowls and dishes to serve on can really enhance a dinning experience.

Till next week
Raw Chef Dan



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