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Beautiful presentations with color contrasting. Make your food look as good as it tastes!

Updated on May 15, 2007

Use color contrasting for beautiful plates!

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Great presentations.

It’s said that we eat with our eyes as well as our mouths, and any good chef will tell you that they worry a lot about the appearance of a plated dish.

Home cooks probably shouldn’t try to emulate the grandiose creations coming out of some finer restaurants (some times they shouldn’t even be doing what they’re doing!) but consider thinking about the color contrasts of a dish. Home coking is more about simplicity and honest flavors, but you might want to think about how a dish will look on the plate before starting your cooking.

One of the easiest principles to an attractive presentation is simple color contrasting. You might be thinking of a dinner consisting of grilled chicken breast, great fresh boiled new potatoes with butter and salt, and fresh cauliflower simply prepared. Now the taste of all these will be fine, but you can imagine how this will look on the plate…white white and white; not very appetizing. Try substituting red new potatoes for the white, and broccoli for the cauliflower, and you've got a number of vibrant color contrasts on the plate.

You can also add color and interest with edible garnishes. A rule of thumb for garnishes is that you should be able to eat them, and their taste should compliment the taste of the meal. That old flower of parsley sticking oddly on the corner of the plate is not a great garnish. Try instead simply chopped fresh herbs that will compliment the meal, sprinkled over the plate. This garnish adds to both the taste and the presentation of the dish.

Salsas, chutneys, relishes etc can sometimes add a riot of color to a bland presentation. Try serving them on the plate instead of in a dish on the side.

You want the effort you put into a meal to be rewarded with lots of wows when you serve the plate. Most cooks appreciate a hungry and enthusiastic response to their food, so make sure you’re getting lots of rave reviews…before anyone has even tasted the meal!

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