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Advice on plating - Page 2

post #31 of 53
One of my biggest peeves, when people put inedible items on a plate just to make them "look pretty" I don't beleive flowers or leaves or plastic belong on a plate. The last thing I want to do before I dig in and start chowing is pick out pretty little flowers. Keep it simple. Elegance can be subtle.
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Torrie View Post

One of my biggest peeves, when people put inedible items on a plate just to make them "look pretty" I don't beleive flowers or leaves or plastic belong on a plate. The last thing I want to do before I dig in and start chowing is pick out pretty little flowers. Keep it simple. Elegance can be subtle.


Key-word in your comment is of course the word "inedible". It is no longer done to add inedible decoration to a plate and this seems to include whole branches of parsley as well vs. sprinkling chopped parsley over a dish which is certainly allowed although seen as a bit old-fashioned.

 

However, edible flowers, young shoots and cress of all kinds of herbs are abundantly used nowadays. They certainly add a tasty playfulness to a dish. I happen to use small leaves from my basil and other fresh herbs and certainly flowers from herbs in my garden.

post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post


Key-word in your comment is of course the words "inedible items". It is no longer done to add inedible decoration to a plate and this seems to include whole branches of parsley as well (vs. chopped parsley that is certainly allowed).

However, edible flowers, young shoots and cress of all kinds of herbs are abundantly used nowadays. They certainly add a tasty playfulness to a dish. I happen to use small leaves from my basil and other fresh herbs and certainly flowers from herbs in my garden.

I agree to an extent. If there is basil in the dish, I don't mind a basil chiff, but I personally wouldn't want a basil top on my plate, as I don't want to eat in. Same goes for when people put an entire branch of rosemary sticking out of a piece of chicken, it doesn't belong.
post #34 of 53

I use blossoms a lot in cooking. They are food.

 

The picture I posted in the Scallop thread shows lemon blossoms used. Lemon blossoms are very fragrant. They really make the dish, Meyer lemon marinated scallops, outstanding.

 

Have you tries Lilac ice cream? Lilac also is very perfume-y. Last month I made lilac ice cream with lilac blossoms on top. Have you tried Violet jelly?

 

Try sprinkle a few rose petals on a salad and you will see how fast your salad gets eaten up.

 

 "---Same goes for when people put an entire branch of rosemary sticking out of a piece of chicken, it doesn't belong.---"

 

Neither does the bone in a chicken drum stick. 

 

The plastic green leaves (haran? baran?) in sushi are there to keep flavors separate from each item.

 

For the OP, my humble suggestion is to try everything, every method. Eventually you own unique style will shine. As to your July 4th steak dinner, I just made a steak dinner garnished with violet blossoms, to bring attention to the side dish of violet greens I got from the farmers market.

 

dcarch

post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarch View Post

I use blossoms a lot in cooking. They are food.

The picture I posted in the Scallop thread shows lemon blossoms used. Lemon blossoms are very fragrant. They really make the dish, Meyer lemon marinated scallops, outstanding.

Have you tries Lilac ice cream? Lilac also is very perfume-y. Last month I made lilac ice cream with lilac blossoms on top. Have you tried Violet jelly?

Try sprinkle a few rose petals on a salad and you will see how fast your salad gets eaten up.

 "---Same goes for when people put an entire branch of rosemary sticking out of a piece of chicken, it doesn't belong.---"

Neither does the bone in a chicken drum stick. 

The plastic green leaves (haran? baran?) in sushi are there to keep flavors separate from each item.

For the OP, my humble suggestion is to try everything, every method. Eventually you own unique style will shine. As to your July 4th steak dinner, I just made a steak dinner garnished with violet blossoms, to bring attention to the side dish of violet greens I got from the farmers market.

dcarch

I have a Meyer Lemon shrub planted next to a small water feature in the yard.
Huge yield last fall almost 1000 almost baseball size, very juicy .
Although the Meyer variety is lower in acid than your garden variety lemons won't even a brief exposure leave you with an almost ceviche like texture?

mimi
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post


I have a Meyer Lemon shrub planted next to a small water feature in the yard.
Huge yield last fall almost 1000 almost baseball size, very juicy .
Although the Meyer variety is lower in acid than your garden variety lemons won't even a brief exposure leave you with an almost ceviche like texture?

mimi

A very good question. You are correct that lemon juice can give you ceviche like texture, which is very nice. In this case I only use the lemon rind. It is amazing, by the very nature of sous vide, the lemon rind is intimately in contact with the scallops for a long time, the lemon flavor really got infused into the scallops.

 

dcarch

post #37 of 53
Another question while I have your ear....
Doesn't the vacuum pull moisture from the protein?

mimi
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post

Another question while I have your ear....
Doesn't the vacuum pull moisture from the protein?

mimi

 

Another great question!

 

"Sous vide", "Under Vacuum",  "Under Pressure" etc, are all very bad names for this method of cooking. These are the names which give people the phobia, confusions, allergies, whenever sous vide is mentioned. The names are scientifically wrong for what sous vide is.

 

A sous vide cooker is very much similar to a convection oven and a deep fryer.

 

A convection oven is an appliance which cooks food by circulating hot air.

 

A deep fryer cooks food by circulating hot oil.

 

A sous vide cooker cooks food by circulating hot water.

 

There is no vacuum or pressure involved in sous vide. A vacuum machine is used to remove air from the bag for better thermal conduction and so that the bag will not float. It is not to create vacuum or to create pressure. There is no vacuum or pressure inside the bag. As a matter of fact many people sous vide cook without the vacuum machine.

 

Therefore, the answer to your question is, no. Sous vide will not draw anything out from food.

 

The most interesting and important aspect of sous vide is that it can cook with very accurate temperature, to within one degree of consistency and accuracy, therefore you can cook to the exact temperature you want without ever overcooking or under cooking.

 

dcarch

post #39 of 53
Here are a couple of plated dishes I've done. Some pretty, some maybe not so much. I try to keep it simple but elegant. Quality ingredients can be beautiful all alone. Speaks for itself

This is some fresh sturgeon with a miso stew

What looks like an extraordinary amount of finishing salt is actually some yuzu snow I made. It's hardened yuzu gelee pulsed in the robot coupe


Tuna tatare with avacado, chili threads, soy pearls, wasabi peas and oil. Had to come up with a tuna tatare but I'm not really feeling this dish. I feel the tuna tatare thing is a little 90's-esque but people still love the stuff. Would have much rather did a hamachi crudo but had to listen to the boss -_-


This is a vegetarian terrine


I love kumquats. Feel like they are under utilized


Halibut cheeks, lobster nettle nage, pickled rhubarb, cara cara, celery leaf and fennel salad.


Citrus smoked salmon, kohlrabi slaw, quinoa herb salad, pickled onion jus


Here's a kind of sloppy plate I made last week at home. Tasted amazing tho. Duck leg confit, duck fat lyonnaise potatoes, caramelized Brussels sprouts and bacon, with a berry pomegranate tea gastrique


This was from a tasting. Wish it was on a white spoon but this is what I had to work with. Yuzu pineapple gel, blue crab, chili threads, bok choy, pine oil and pickled radish


Boy I have so many pictures. This will be the last for now. Scallop sashimi, carrot sno pea salad, ginger ponzu, blood orange oil, yuzu foam
post #40 of 53

Some very nice plating examples here!

Plating is one of my weak points, but working on it slowly slowly.....

Life is too short to drink bad wine
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Life is too short to drink bad wine
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post #41 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Torrie View Post

One of my biggest peeves, when people put inedible items on a plate just to make them "look pretty" I don't beleive flowers or leaves or plastic belong on a plate. The last thing I want to do before I dig in and start chowing is pick out pretty little flowers. Keep it simple. Elegance can be subtle.

Edible flowers ? Well I like to use them , they can bring a touch of elegance to a dish depending what is being plated.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #42 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by petalsandcoco View Post


Edible flowers ? Well I like to use them , they can bring a touch of elegance to a dish depending what is being plated.

Petals,

 

I cook Daylily flower, hosta flower, arugula flowers, chrysanthemum flower, dandelion flowers, chive flowers, and many more -------- and of course everyone cooks squash blossoms.  

 

dcarch

post #43 of 53

"Stealing with the eyes" from other chefs like Petals, dcarch and others is a big help in learning how to plate.

Here's some really stunning examples of dishes produced by one of our country's younger chefs. He also uses all kinds of flowers.

 

http://instagram.com/tomvanlysebettens

post #44 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Torrie View Post

Plating for yourself and friends, indeed.
what is that pink looking sauce?
post #45 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post
 

"Stealing with the eyes" from other chefs like Petals, dcarch and others is a big help in learning how to plate.

Here's some really stunning examples of dishes produced by one of our country's younger chefs. He also uses all kinds of flowers.

 

http://instagram.com/tomvanlysebettens


Now there is some inspirational plating ideas :)

Must admit though - a clear difference between me taking a picture with my phone and a professional photographer doing the job

 

My brother is a photographer and I sometimes like to invite him over to the restaurant to take some shots (Food for Prints) - it is amazing how much difference that makes :)

post #46 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Torrie View Post

One of my biggest peeves, when people put inedible items on a plate just to make them "look pretty" I don't beleive flowers or leaves or plastic belong on a plate. The last thing I want to do before I dig in and start chowing is pick out pretty little flowers. Keep it simple. Elegance can be subtle.
I agree with not wanting thorns in your teeth. Also enjoy your presentation.

I struggle with big plates containing not much food. I know that is huge in culinary presentation, but it leaves me wanting more. A lot more. Maybe that is the idea. Light bulb!
Edited by Pepper Grind - 4/14/15 at 1:49am
post #47 of 53
What a great thread.

Some points for the OP. Look at each component and think of how you are going to treat it individually. This way plating is a matter of small steps, pre planned.

Use 45degree turns make diamonds on the steak.ladies love diamonds it doesnt get old. Season it generously. Compound butter to finish. Caramelized onions and mushrooms on too? Under? To the side hmm. Going to have to eat three steaks to decide this one. Not such a bad thing to be practicing.

Cut the corn into thirds, season it and roll it or top it with a coin of compound butter. Use the same one as steak or make two butters, its easy.

Rub the baker with oil, coarse salt and pepper. Cut it open and pipe mashed potato into opening. Season that mashed well. Chives, bacon, cheddar, sour cream, the works. Cumin, cilantro and salsa? Why not make it a fiesta.

Once you have these three components ready, plating will be a breeze. A gastrique or puree ( parsnip is my fav atm for steak) will really set the dish off.

Plate on a black plate, heirloom, oddball, or a cutting board. Leave the white plates for the buffets.

Just my two cents cant frigging wait till my bbq gets out from under the snow. I'll post some pics this got me hungry.

Heres an old pic similar to ideas presented; put the corn standing behind the steak. Always present the steak facing the guest as pictured. Seems obvious but......



The rosemary can certainly go and I would place the sauce there.

Only real tip; Have fun.
post #48 of 53

Some plates are so pretty, it's almost a shame to cover them up :)

 

post #49 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerise View Post

Some plates are so pretty, it's almost a shame to cover them up smile.gif


Nice! Where'd you find those?
post #50 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper Grind View Post


Nice! Where'd you find those?

Pier 1, of all places.

http://www.pier1.com/Avalon-Dinnerware/PS50488,default,pd.html?crlt.pid=camp.fBheaxZJzxS3

 

They would be nice for casual dining al fresco, on a large wooden table, on a warm Summer evening, with a large pitcher of cold Sangria.

 

I can daydream, right? ;-)

post #51 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerise View Post

Pier 1, of all places.
http://www.pier1.com/Avalon-Dinnerware/PS50488,default,pd.html?crlt.pid=camp.fBheaxZJzxS3
Reasonably priced, in my opinion.

They would be nice for casual dining al fresco, on a large wooden table, on a warm Summer evening, with a large pitcher of cold Sangria.

I can daydream, right? ;-)
Reasonably priced, in my opinion.

Yes, you can daydream. I will even send my personal man servant Rico to massage your feet and feed you grapes while you indulge.
post #52 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper Grind View Post


Reasonably priced, in my opinion.

Yes, you can daydream. I will even send my personal man servant Rico to massage your feet and feed you grapes while you indulge.


I like the way you think. ;)

post #53 of 53

My head chef has the following rules on plating:

 

- create height where possible e.g. prop salad leaves vertically against protein/cheese/whatever

- plate items centrally so as to avoid exposing gaps of bare plate as it looks bad aesthetically

- a personal preference of his is to drizzle sauces rather than create dots of sauce/dressing. So a tablespoon filled a quarter with the sauce/dressing then a quick circular motion with the wrist while tipping the spoon slightly creates the best effect. This is his personal preference though

- remember colour contrast

- remember rules of odd numbers of the same item. So three pieces of protein looks infinitely better than two or four

- garnishing certain dishes with appropriate leaves and herbs can elevate them immeasurably e.g. nasturtium, micro herbs

 

This is my effort of plating up a restaurant dish roughly along these lines. Beetroot salad, blue cheese, bull's blood, candied walnuts

 

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