When you’re present food on table, your goal should be to make the food look attractive and appetizing. This is because people eat with their eyes first, so if the food looks good, they’re more likely to enjoy it. To achieve restaurant-quality presentation, layer the food and experiment with contrasting colors and textures to make it as appealing as possible.
People looking for food, People eat with their eyes first.
1. Sear your meat and let it rest.
Many meat dishes look most appetizing when the meat has been seared. The sight of a steak or piece of grilled salmon with a brown, crispy sear will make your dinner guests’ mouths start to water. In addition to searing your meat, you should let it rest for several minutes before cutting it. This allows the juices to absorb back into the meat, so that they don’t end up running all over the plate.
- There are exceptions to the rule of searing your meat. For example, if you’re serving braised beef, you’ll have to think of creative ways to make the meat look appetizing even though it doesn’t have a crispy crust. Serving it with a sauce is a good way to add visual interest.
2. Put texture into account.
Texture and color go hand in hand when it comes to how appetizing food looks on the plate. If your food looks too oily, too dry, mushy, tough, or otherwise difficult to chew and swallow, it won’t matter how perfectly colorful it looks. Take pains to cook food well so that it comes out to the right texture.
- The way you handle the food just after it has been cooked, and before it is plated, can really affect the texture. Pasta, for example, should be kept in water or tossed in a bit of oil just after cooking so that it doesn’t start to clump. Fried foods should not be covered with airtight lids, because the heat from the food will end up steaming the breading and causing the food to get soggy.
- Once the food is on the plate, a spritz of oil or water can improve its visual appeal if it looks too dry.
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