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Books on presentation technique

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'd have to say one of my weaknesses when cooking is presentation, and I have had a real problem finding books on plating techniques. My presentation style is great for a bistro or your average $30-40 a head dinner party, but sometimes I have menus that I feel deserve more "pizzazz", and I sometimes don't feel my presentation matches the quality of the food on the plate. Anybody can drizzle a sauce or sprinkle some herbs on a plate, but I'd love to find some books that teach more advanced plating techniques. Anyone have a suggestion?

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

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Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #2 of 9

food presenting secrets, jo denbury.

BUT.

when you have got a good dish, please don't do too much .....

just plate up nicely, have a good sauce and use a few garnishes that ADD to the dish.

if nothing, then rather keep it simple.

also, its a matter of learning to look and see what a plate needs, trust your intuition!

personally I think people are making things too complicated usually.

PLAY with you food. 

learn something about COLOR combinations.

 

rather think techniques you could use, or do things differently.

but the above book helped me on the way.

post #3 of 9

One books that comes to mind....

 

Working the Plate: The Art of Food Presentation by: Christopher Styler

no i havent read the book , but it seems pretty decent. 

 

I believe you can find it on amazon for 25 dollars  

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiqueKuisine View Post
 

One books that comes to mind....

 

Working the Plate: The Art of Food Presentation by: Christopher Styler

no i havent read the book , but it seems pretty decent.

 

I believe you can find it on amazon for 25 dollars 

 

Thanks for the suggestion. I have that one. Despite the name, it doesn't deal with presentation technique at all. It's all about different presentation philosophies. It fooled me. lol

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon ODell View Post
 

 

Thanks for the suggestion. I have that one. Despite the name, it doesn't deal with presentation technique at all. It's all about different presentation philosophies. It fooled me. lol

 

damn , well i hope it was at least a decent read XD 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #6 of 9
Quote:
 Working the Plate: The Art of Food Presentation by: Christopher Styler

Yes, I was also suckered in by the name was left very much dissapointed. I am also looking for a presentation book, i will let you know if I find anything good!

post #7 of 9

This thread is a little dated, but maybe anyone else looking for the same information can benefit from some things that have helped me look at plating in a different way. Some of the better books for learning plate presentations/variations that I've come across, aren't cookbooks, they're food photography books. A few books on my shelf are:

 

Food Styling by Delores Custer

Plate to Pixels by Helene Dujardin
Garde Manger by CIA
(Culinary Institute of America) - This book is mostly recipes but also has a lot to offer as far as design

 

A few pointers I'll throw out there are:

 

Colors - Contrast and complimentary colors can enhance the visual appeal. When I come up with a new dish for a special, I consider the color of the protein (after cooking), the vegetables/starches used, sauce, and functional garnish. Most plates in a restaurant setting are white and in different shapes and sizes. I prefer white because its a nice blank canvas. A few good ways to get good strong colors is to have a vibrant sauce, blanch/shock your vegetables before saute, properly sear or grill mark your proteins.

 

Placement/Shapes - Remember (or learn) the "rule of thirds". Build height. Are there visual textures? Straight lines can get boring. Think about your knife cuts. If your recipe calls for sauteed diced yellow onions, why not try and use a red onion julienne instead? Don't overcrowd the plate or overhang the edges. A good inch inside the inner rim of the plate is a good border to shoot for.

 

Uneven Numbers - "Balance food composition, either formally (symemetrically) or informally (asymetrically). Uneven numbers of things are usually more appealing than even." - Quote from Food Styling by D. Custer, page 66

 

Garnishes - Decide on garnishes that not only look good on the plate, but compliment the flavors in the dish itself. If you want to use parsley, consider a rough chop with bigger pieces instead of a fine chop (unless that's the look you're going for). If you're going to dress a plate for a dessert, why not try something like cutting a unique design out of cardboard, laying it across the plate at an angle and dust it with cocoa or confectioners sugar before placing your dessert strategically on top? If it's something like a key lime pie, why not hit it with a final zest of lime.

 

I could probably go on, but you get the point. If you want to raise your plating to the next level, check out some food photography and Garde Manger books. Keep it fun!

post #8 of 9

Thank You, even though it's dated, I found your insight very helpful.

post #9 of 9

Get your phone out, get on instagram, search @theartofplating and substitute your sauces, veg, protein for a plate you like. Other ideas are look at pictures from Bocuse d'or,  Thuries Magazine Gastronomie are also good places.

 

Tyson Cole (Chef of UCHI and winner of James Beard Award) has some pretty great ideas when it comes to presentation, be it color pallates, but also he tries to incorporate the perfect bite into each dish, which I respect more. Not only does he make beautiful plates, but he knows the chef who used a tear dropper to put two drops of arugula oil off to the side of the dish that don't have any impact on the actual dish is blasphemy.

 

Peruvian cuisine is a good place to look for inspiration, bright colors, with rich taste.


I hope this helps

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