We live in crazy times, don’t we? In today’s world every bite, before it touches the palate, is carefully captured under HD lenses, filtered layer by layer and glorified on social sites – how can we eat without clicking isn’t it? So we asked a very stylish chef to give us his take on how a plain Jane dish can be made into a sizzling haute serving that comes with an insatiable #foodgasm! Read on to find out how fashion and food can be fused on a platter without much fuss.
By Chef Pradeep Bhandari
I have always considered my food presentation as an art and a medium that I use to explain my food to people. If you ask me what exactly is food presentation? I would say it’s a practice to arrange your food on the plate that tempts all your five senses in some or the other way – from catching your eye balls to intoxicating your olfactory senses with tempting aromas and smooth textures, food presentation is a combination of all that adds an extra zing to food. It takes some practice and personal experience to be an expert, however I am sharing a few basic tricks that will rev up you platter in a jiffy.
1. Thumb rule for any good presentation is a clean base — no matter how delicious and tasty the dish is, if it is served on a dirty plate it will kill the joy a savoring meal. So make sure your plate is sparkling clean before you lay down the food. A preferred colour is white as it lifts the hues and shades of the dish that is being served.
Express yourself like an artist who enjoys creating things out of box. Forget about forms, structure, height and width of the dish, let your food on plate look natural or create provocative appearance with various aids. Use a large white plate or pick up a wooded /stone serving tray with matching spoons to give a rustic touch to your food.
2. Don’t overload your plate, ensure there is right amount of ingredients and the plate compliments the dish (not too big and not too small). Make sure you have five components to a dish i.e. protein, carbohydrates, vegetables, sauce and garnish to create a naturally balanced meal. If you overload the plate with larger portion it will look unnatural and spoil the artistic effect.
3. The main food is often placed in the middle of the plate while the rest of it remains empty or is discreetly decorated with side dishes, sauces, spices or garnish to make it look like a signature on the artwork. The idea is to keep the eyes focused on the food. Don’t hesitate to leave a regular blank space between your composition and the edge of the plate.
4. While playing with colourful ingredients, think like an artist and use a paintbrush or squeeze bottles to distribute sauces and show off your creativity. You can also make and use different kind of colorful foams to make your dish look different and enjoyable. Foams and frostings make food more versatile and fun to taste.
5. Decoration of dishes is very important; it gives personality to a specific meal and a final touch to your delicious story. It can be done by in ways but I would recommend that use edible food and garnish that will improve taste and act as a supplement with main course.
(The writer is an IHM Dehradoon graduate and has worked with Metropolitan Hotel, Taj Hotel and Resorts and J W Marriott. He has gained an expertise in Western and European cuisine, with a special flare in Italian fine dining. Currently he is based in Dubai and working on a fusion cuisine with a globally renowned chain of hotels.)