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Ideas for garnish?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hey guys! 

I'm kind of new to this forum. Just wanted to find a place where I could ask questions to other chef's/cook's outside of my work environment. So, I'm really hoping that you guys can help me out with this! :)

 

Basically, I work in a banquets kitchen, catering to hundreds of people. We have a variety of garnishes we use (i.e. carrot flowers, brunoise'd tri-colored peppers, pepper flowers, rice noodles, tea leaves, etc.), but I want to have a larger variety of garnish we use. Unfortunately, since there are so many factors with time, and heat, there are several rules on how the garnish has to be.

 

The rules are:

 

1. Garnish has to go well with hot food (there's a whole separate kitchen for garde manger, so my kitchen only takes care of the hot items)

2. It has to be able to last in a hot box.

and 3. It has to be something that isn't too time consuming

 

If anyone has any cool ideas for garnish that you've done in the past or use in your kitchen or something, it would be awesome if you could share some with me! Also, feel free to send me some video's, or even better, suggest to me some really good books for garnishing that any of you have found helpful.

 

I apologize in advance if this is just too complicated, but that's why I'm coming here to ask for some help because I'm hoping to find some answers. Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 9

I feel a good presentation of the plate can be accomplishe in particular in volume banquet by plate painting.It does not go in hot box, is fast, is not labor intensive or food cost high. Can be applied with beauty parlor bottles(squirt) can be made with a wide range of products,colors, and flavors. Ex. Red pepper coulis, Pesto, beets, demi glace, lobster or shrimp sauce,etc. All depending on the dish.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #3 of 9

Puff pastry fluerons or baby vegetable are viable options. I'm not sure every plate needs a "garnish" personally.  For presentation purposes an additional small offering that ties into the dish could be added (duchess potatoes, glazed vegetables, a phyllo wrapped sausage made from the same featured meat). To give further advice i would need to know more about the menu. 

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

I apologize, I should have mentioned more about the menu in the original post. 

I mainly take care of the reception's hor d'oeuvres (which are all tray pass), so I'll name a few items off the menu:

 

Garlic sausage (kind of how you were explaining, ground, seasoned pork wrapped in puff pastry, brushed with egg wash and sprinkled with black sesame seed, normally garnished with carrot flowers, green onion flowers, or scallion cut on a bias served with dijon cream)

Crab crake (about 1x1 in., normally garnished with tri-colored peppers and herbs [finely chopped parsley, rosemary, and thyme] served with cajun, or lime remoulade)

Coconut shrimp (normally garnished with carrot flowers and shredded coconut served with pina coloda sauce)

Parmesan crusted artichoke hearts (normally garnished with shredded parmesan cheese, herbs, and diced tomato served with tomato basil)

Chicken satay skewers (normally garnished with black/white sesame seed, tri-color peppers, scallion, scallion flowers, rice noodles, or carrot flowers and served with a p-nut sauce) 

Chicken chipotle sope (garnished with crumbled queso fresco and a dot of avocado cream on top of the mini sope)

 

There are so many other hor d'oeuvres that we make, but that's just a few. They always get two tea leaves on the bottom to make an "X" and the sauce normally served in the middle in a clear ramekin. These things are aslo served in these ugly copper pans (used to be served on silver trays, but the executive chef didn't like that). I try to be creative as I can when it comes to what we serve it on. With smaller parties I try serving items on white plates with a white, square ramekin for the sauce, but the garnish definitely needs updating. I wish I had pictures to give you a better idea to work with, but hopefully the description helps. Thanks!

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

I feel a good presentation of the plate can be accomplishe in particular in volume banquet by plate painting.It does not go in hot box, is fast, is not labor intensive or food cost high. Can be applied with beauty parlor bottles(squirt) can be made with a wide range of products,colors, and flavors. Ex. Red pepper coulis, Pesto, beets, demi glace, lobster or shrimp sauce,etc. All depending on the dish.


I might talk to the Chef about doing something like that for some of our plated dinners because I like the idea, a lot. 

post #6 of 9

With hors d'oeuvres I think the garnish is excessive, as everything you are serving should be eaten in a maximum of 2 bites.  Maybe focus on taking away some things, and elegantly presenting what you have.  Unfortunately the serving container has much to do with how elegant something may appear. JB Prince has great offerings, which can give you an idea of what you are looking for, and you can find similar, less expensive, containers through whoever is providing your china now... You see the stuff at food shows all the time.  That is a suggestion you could make, but tread lightly when asking your chef to spend money, as it will be met with apprehension. 

 

that being said here are some suggestions:

 

sausage - find a way to make the puff pastry look nice, you can cut out shapes and place them on individually.

 

Crab cake - don't really know what to tell you, 

 

coconut shrimp - would be nice with a pineapple chip

 

artichoke -  serve with a roasted cherry tomato, or on top of a peeled and seeded tomato square, shaved parmesan, basil if you can add it after it leaves the hot box

 

skewers - use lemon grass or bamboo as a more ornate skewer, green white and black sesame seeds (toasted) with the other ones, some spicy toasted peanuts (red in color)

 

sope- maybe just use some red pepper coulis along with the avocado cream, again some cilantro at the end would be ideal

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I really love the pineapple chip idea, and also the ideas for the chicken satay! That's awesome. But would you mind elaborating a bit on the puff pastry and the tomato square? I feel like I'm imagining something completely different than what you probably meant. And also, the coulis is a good idea as well

post #8 of 9

NOW your not talking plate service but Hors D on trays. Different ballgame. This is easier. Carve mini Vege gardens of flours  as they can be transfered from tray to tray. Carved vege containers for the dips and sauces. Try on every tray a a piece of red tip lettuce with varied color vege chips arranged on top. Apple swans on parsley. Check out some sushi books, you will see all kinds of vege garnish. All of these can be used multible times .

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregree View Post

I really love the pineapple chip idea, and also the ideas for the chicken satay! That's awesome. But would you mind elaborating a bit on the puff pastry and the tomato square? I feel like I'm imagining something completely different than what you probably meant. And also, the coulis is a good idea as well



for the sausage i was imagining something similar to an empanada or turnover, unless it is literally a link of sausage wrapped baked then sliced.

If it is a single wrapped piece, after the egg wash you can place a cutout shape on top, or cut a design into it.

If it is the wrapped link, maybe cut them on a biased, and top it with a quenelle of grainy mustard and a small baked flueron.

 

To make a tomato square peel the tomato, cut it into quarters, deseed it, cutting it so that the wall is flat, and cut it into a sqaure shape, red peppers could also be used.  If you have a cryovac you could press them with basil oil and balsamic, or do a quick pickle to add flavor.

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