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Serve and garnish food

A taste sensation for all the senses

Impress loved ones at your next meal or your guests at a festive dinner with artistically presented dishes. Nothing looks more appetising than food draped attractively on fine porcelain. The meal turns into a taste sensation for all the senses thanks to intricate decoration and detailing. Find out how to serve and garnish food in our guide.

Plate selection

Not only gourmets know that you eat with your eyes.
You can turn every meal into a treat for the eyes and taste buds with the right ideas and a few simple steps.

Before you start serving and garnishing food, you should direct your attention to the choice of tableware: classic white, delicate patterns, bright and colourful or thrilling and dark
– coordinate the colour of the plates with the dishes and create magical effects:

a soft pink salmon filet or white yoghurt on a dark plate impresses simply by the way it is presented. Dark crockery contrasts perfectly with light ingredients. Or use several colourful plates at the same time – creating exciting touches of colour on your table.

Whether a star chef in a restaurant kitchen or an amateur chef in one's own home – connoisseurs know that fine white porcelain is the best choice for serving food in style.

Light, neutral dinnerware shows your artistic creations to their best advantage. You should also adapt the shape and capacity of the tableware to the dish you are going to serve: create the best effect by using a long plate for fish and a deep plate for pasta.

Plate decoration

Every meal tastes better when it is arranged in an appealing way. A rule of thumb in the restaurant business regarding decoration is that the rim of the plate belongs to the guest. Therefore, you should refrain from decorating the rim. But you can create great effects in just a few steps: fresh herbs or edible flowers elegantly strewn across the plate or balsamic vinegar skilfully drizzled on the plate will whet your appetite for more. Beautifully arranged vegetable carvings are perfect for garnishing food. Even potatoes cut in slices and arranged as a fan on the plate look attractive. A soft rim of icing sugar or cocoa on your dessert plate will impress your young and old guests alike.

How to serve your plates attractively

As a general rule, when serving food: less is more. So avoid overloading the plates, but find the right amount of ingredients for the plate size. As food doesn’t look very attractive at all when it looks lost on the tableware. Therefore, think beforehand about how you are going to serve the plates. Classic or unusual – you should place the main components of your dish in the middle of the plate.

 

Traditionally, every item on a plate has a fixed place: the main ingredient – a piece of meat or fish – is closest to the guest. Filling side dishes such as potatoes or rice are draped in the top left half of the plate, the vegetables in the top right.

More unusual ways of presenting food are increasingly finding their way into kitchens and dining rooms. For example, each item can be piled up on top of each other to create an artistic centrepiece. Or how about draping a fine strip of meat over a fresh salad?

TECHNIQUES, TIPS AND TRICKS

On how to serve food tastefully

Starters

Present starters in a completely new light with just a little effort. You can create a beautiful starter simply by serving it in a small glass or dish instead of using a plate.
Or you could layer all the different ingredients
in a glass.

Meat and fish

You will create the most impressive effect with large meat and fish dishes, such as roast goose or a whole trout, when you present them whole and then carve them at the table. Small pieces of meat, such as tender steaks, look appetising when the slices are fanned out on the plate.

Soups

You can serve fine soup in a cup with crispy bread or vegetable kebabs on the saucer. Add a dash of cream to make your soup look even more appetising.
Or try out two different coloured soups in one plate.

Vegetables

You can also make your vegetables look tasteful by the way you present them: leave small vegetables such as mangetout, carrots and beans whole whereas you can serve large vegetables such as courgettes or leek in strips or slices.

You can use napkin rings to give filling side dishes such as rice or couscous an attractive shape. And then you can drape the fish or meat over it. Spaghetti can be quickly and easily twisted into nests.

But you have to be careful with sauces. Less is more here. It is better to serve sauces in a sauce boat so that everyone can take as much as they please. For a stunning overall impression, add a little sauce to the plate and then place the roast meat onto it.

Salad looks particularly appetising when you add contrasting colours – e.g. by combining crisp green rocket leaves with red cocktail tomatoes.

Bright fruit or chocolate sauces provide a touch of colour for dessert. A sauce with berries, be it with vanilla ice cream or yoghurt, is always an eye-catcher.

Garnish food in style

A mint leaf on an ice cream dessert that is slowly melting or freshly chopped nuts as a topping – garnish puts the finishing touch to lovingly prepared meals. Garnishing food allows you to add small splashes of colour to your meals or fill small spaces between the items on the plate. Decorate your food how you want. However, make sure that the decoration you use is edible and that the taste goes well with the other items. Croutons or decorative cream are perfect for soups and you can serve onion rings with steak.

Summary

Serve and decorate food to create a taste sensation for all the senses

When you have invested a lot of time and effort in preparing your food, you want the meal to be served in style to complete the overall effect. The first thing we notice about a dish is the way it looks, and not just the aroma. When presented, decorated and garnished artistically, a meal turns into a taste sensation that speaks to all the senses and that your guests won’t be able to resist. And it’s not only important how you arrange your food, but also what you put it in. You can showcase your lovingly prepared dishes by selecting suitable tableware.

A small guide to cutlery setting

Find out how to set your dining table with cutlery in style
in our guide

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