Now that you’ve got the essential elements to plating, let’s put it together! Here is a step-by-step on how to plate food.
What You Need:
- A white or ivory plate
- Any tools you’ll need: Spoons, knives, ladles, tongs, squeeze bottles, brush, tweezers, etc.
- Clean rag or paper towel
First, try to picture all the components (sides, main, garnishes) together as one cohesive item. Finding balance through symmetry—or asymmetry—in relation to your main item will make a huge difference. Where will you place the vegetables in relation to that piece of steak or chicken? How will the sauces be presented?
For a basic plating idea, place the main item in the center of the plate, then build around it. Keep the amount of food on the plate to a minimum, filling only about two-thirds of the plate at most. Allow for white space.
Play around with all of the elements until you have a cohesive and balanced plate, combining textures, adding color, mixing flavors and building height.
Add drizzles or swirls of sauces and condiments, as well as any garnishes.
Present a clean plate by wiping down the edges with a clean rag or paper towel.