Plating is the final step in every kitchen, but it is the first contact of the diner with your preparation. It is what catches their attention and invites them to eat it, as soon as possible.
There are different types of plating, all with the ability to make the customer fall in love with your products just by looking at them.
Find out about the different types of plate decorations that exist, apply them to your dishes according to their characteristics and notice the positive changes in your service.
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- Plating or decoration of dishes, we eat with our eyes
- Basics of plating dishes
- Mistakes to avoid
- Tools to make unforgettable plate decorations
- Most commonly used creative plating techniques
- Perfect plates for gourmet food decoration
Plating or decoration of dishes, we eat with our eyes
The plating, decoration of dishes or presentation of the dishes is the moment that defines whether or not the customer consumes what you have to offer.
From the moment they enter the restaurant, customers observe other consumers and the menu in search of an image that indicates what the dish they want to eat looks like.
People eat with their eyes first, so the presentation of the dishes is just as important as how the food tastes.
Plating has a variety of techniques to make the design of each dish unique and appetizing to anyone who orders it.
Basics of plating dishes
There are a number of concepts to keep in mind whenever you are going to make the decoration of a dish.
If your dish follows each of these aspects, the plating will be perfect and suitable to serve to your customers.
Each element that is part of the dish must be in harmony. This means that each of the ingredients should be, without clashing or joining together.
Another way to achieve harmony is through the combination of colors and textures in the dish, without appearing overdone.
As for the unit, each plating has to have a different design than the rest of the dishes you serve.
Also, each element that makes up the plate should not break with the order of the dish, it should complement it.
This unity is achieved by avoiding leaving blank spaces between each element, which make the diner lose the attention of the dish.
Brings color to the plate
Color is another element that captivates attention and directs it directly to your dishes.
To achieve a color balance in the decoration you can make use of a chromatic wheel that indicates which are the most appropriate and striking color combinations.
However, you can also make use of a monochromatic decoration. It tends to have a more sober look, but it is still appetizing and attractive.
Well-defined focal point
The focal point on which the customer should pay special attention, should be composed of the main element of the dish.
To ensure that the diner’s eyes are always on the focal point, place the elements at the same point on the plate and dedicate the rest of the space to integrate the decorative elements that indicate where the eye should be directed.
Plate with height
Giving volume to the plate decoration is another way to grab the customer’s attention quickly.
Place the elements of the plate with different heights with the help of small kitchen tongs, so that the plate makes a greater visual impact.
Mistakes to avoid
Just as in any process that takes place within a kitchen, there are mistakes in plating that should be avoided so as not to detract from the service.
Avoid them at all costs and you will see that customers will be satisfied with their stay in your business.
On the plate, everything is eaten
Everything served on the plates is edible, so avoid at all costs placing products that are not eaten.
The plating is the image of the food that has been prepared for consumption, so every item on it must be edible.
You must also integrate presentation elements that are consistent with the ingredients that have been used to cook the food and not what looks best with them.
Less is better
If you are not happy with the decoration of the dish and have doubts whether the decoration is overloaded with details, don’t add anything else.
Less is more and too many details on a plate will confuse the diner, instead of giving a clear vision of what you want to present.
Sauces can damage the decoration
Decorating dishes with designs made with sauces are elegant, but should be restrained.
The designs should be proportional to the main element of the dish without overshadowing it, and if the customer so desires, a gravy boat can be brought to their table to add more sauce to their dish.
Clean everything before delivery
Cleanliness is the first thing a diner notices when the waiter brings the dishes to the table.
Before you begin plating, make sure the platter is neat and free of grease.
When you are going to serve the food, use the appropriate cooking utensils for each product.
Once you have finished with the decoration, clean the food remains left on the edges and the traces of the moment when the plate was being held.
Select the plate
Classic white, black or neutral-toned plates are the best choice of plates to choose from if you want each of the elements of the plating to stand out.
If you find them too simple or too bland for your restaurant’s concept, you can try using plates with different shapes than the typical round plates or that have striking textures.
You can also vary the size of the plates, depending on the food you are going to plate on them, the amount of elements and the image you want to give to the diners.
Tools to make unforgettable plate decorations
To achieve each of the plating techniques, it is necessary to have kitchen toolsat hand that facilitate the assembly of the presentation of the dishes.
Sponges, molds, brushes and spoons are part of the utensils that achieve presentations worthy of a first class restaurant.
Stencils in the presentation are intended to give shape when decorating the dish.
They are usually used when sprinkling spices or serving sauces.
Kitchen sleeves are the perfect tools for making dotted or circumferential designs.
Before you start using the piping bag directly on the dish for plating, do a test to remove all the air from the nozzle so it doesn’t ruin the presentation.
Molds have several utilities in the kitchen when talking about the decoration of dishes.
If products such as rice are to be served, molds are used to create towers with a firm consistency.
On the other hand, if you want to make a specific design with some sauce, impregnate the edge of the mold with the sauce and place it on the plate.
Sponges are an inexpensive tool that you can shape into any shape you want by simply cutting it out.
They are used to make figures by dipping them in sauces and placing them on the plate to stamp the design.
Brushes and brushes
Brushes and brushes are ideal for drawing lines or gravy trail patterns.
For plating, silicone brushes are used instead of bristle brushes, to avoid getting any bristles in the pattern of the dish presentation.
These special spoons are the stylographic spoons for plating. They are an ideal utensil for making tears with cream and sauce.
When using these spoons and achieving a perfect tear, the key is that the consistency of the sauce is not too runny.
Most commonly used creative plating techniques
Plating does not have to be boring and sloppy because you have to bring the dish to the customers. On the contrary, a dish that doesn’t attract attention is a dish that doesn’t appeal.
There are countless ways of plating that you can put into practice, depending on the food that you are going to present on it. Learn a few methods and change the look of each dish.
In the grouped plating, the attractiveness of each of the products that make up the dishis sought to be placed in a single point.
In general, the food is usually placed in the center of the plate so that it is easier to have a view of the entire dish.
Scattered plating is presented as the opposite of grouped plating. In this type of plate decoration, each ingredient that makes up the dish is placed all over the plate.
The objective of this dish is that the diner can easily observe each of the products that make up the dish, their textures and colors.
Traditional decoration is one of the most commonly used in some restaurants, when serving desserts and at banquets.
It stands out for the scarce use of decorative elements and in a few minutes it already has an image that makes an impact.
Non-traditional plating innovates with the design of dishes by integrating various colors and textures.
Food is also arranged in unusual ways, guided by creativity and imagination.
The use of this type of plating is common in restaurants with artistic concepts or in cooking competitions.
Minimalist decoration is governed by the motto “less is more”.
When using this type of plate decoration, no large decorations are used to make your food stand out on its own.
Transversal plating consists of placing the elements of the dish so that they cross each other.
To use this type of plating, the first line can be a sauce or soft garnish such as a puree or cream. Whereas, the line above it is formed by the main element of the dish.
For vertical plating , great care and balance must be taken when arranging the elements on the plate.
This type of plate presentation consists of stacking the elements on the plate until you have several levels.
Linear or horizontal plating
This simple plating technique consists of arranging food in lines, specifically horizontal orientation.
If the dish has mild sauces or garnishes, this type of plate presentation is ideal for serving them forming lines and creating an elegant appearance.
Decorate a plate in a triangular shape
When plating following the presentation of triangular plates, the aim is that the diner does not lose interest in the dish.
This is achieved because the food is placed in different positions to assemble the figure and the consumer’s gaze goes through each element frequently.
In asymmetrical plating there is no order to place the food on the plate.
Although it may look cluttered, you can arrange the elements on the plate in a way that guides the diner’s eye around the plate.
In this type of plate presentation it is important to make use of the colors and textures of the products.
Symmetrical plating means that each element that makes up the dish is arranged equally.
With symmetry, the decoration of the plate is intended to transmit tranquility and balance to the diners
Rhythmic, unique plate decoration
When applying rhythmic plating, we speak of the repetition of the same pattern or design in which the food is being served.
This dish presentation technique is often used when plating desserts and appetizers, as it adds energy and visual impact to the presentation.
The two-thirds rule may sound familiar to you from photography, but it is also used in plate decoration.
This rule consists of mentally sectioning the plate into nine equal parts, to start creating the decoration based on the contrast of the composition.
When using the rule of thirds, it is common to place the visually heavier element in one corner with the lighter one in another corner and create an invisible diagonal line.
Perfect plates for gourmet food decoration
If you require plates to elaborate the different types of plate decoration, in our Monouso store we have what you are looking for.
You have a variety of plates made of different materials, which guarantee the durability and quality you are looking for, with unique lines to elevate the decoration of your dishes.
In the plastic plates section you have options such as thermal FOAM plates, PS hard synthetic slate plates, colored plastic plates, PET plastic presentation plates, PP hard premium round plates and premium square hard plates.
As for biodegradable plates, you can find chinet pulp plates, bio sugar cane plates, sugar cane and bamboo plates, palm leaf plates, wheat pulp plates, wooden plates and bamboo plates.
Each of these plates have different sizes, shapes, colors and costs to suit your business needs.