Food Presentation Techniques


However tasty and delicious your food may be, it is the presentation of food that attracts people instantly and make their mouth water. The food presentation techniques are essentially derived out of the following basic requirements:

  • Customary i.e. There is a certain way in which a particular food has to be served as per the tradition
  • Preparation related – For example, there is a certain way in which a sizzler plate has to be arranged so that meat or veggies are not over-burned
  • Aesthetic i.e. The colorful looks or patterns created by the food items
  • Stimulating – Good food garnishing should stimulate your senses not just with taste but by its looks, smell, touch and even sound!

The basic food presentation involves everything from good tableware/cutlery, decorative food additives, and elegant accessories to your artistic imagination.

Tableware and Cutlery

You should be very choosy and careful when it comes to choosing the plates and bowls for your dinner or lunch party. Ideally, there has to be three to four dinner sets that you have to stock up to suit the situation. For example, a salad rich mini meal may have different requirements than a full course dinner when it comes to the dinnerware. So choose your plates carefully and most of all have clean hot plates that don’t have stains or water. It all starts there!

Square or oval shaped plates instead of the regular round plates may add an immediate ‘wow’ to your presentation.

Since you know the number of guests you may have including your family, have a plan in mind as to where each person sits and accordingly position the plates and cutlery. If you have a buffet system, let the people know where to start and end by keeping the plates and soup bowls at the right places. When positioning the plates, please keep the interests and age groups of any child guests in mind.

Choose a clean and attractive table cloth that contrasts the color of the plates.

Food garnishing

Regardless of whether certain food items are pre-arranged on plates or placed in bulk to be served by the guests themselves, almost all food items need good presentation and garnishing. As much as possible, choose edible items to garnish your food. When you have the option to choose colors for your food garnish items, choose contrasting colors. Fresh garnishing leaves, cut fruits and citrus fruits like lemon are some of the most commonly used food items for garnishing.

Vegetable art is another method that can give stunning looks to your food table – especially for the salad decoration part. As for the desserts a variety of readymade syrups, creams and dry fruits may be instant winners.

Let your imagination run wild!

Finally, dare to do things that haven’t been there before. There are infinite possibilities with textures and shapes when it comes to food decoration and as long as the overall presentation scheme looks good, there is no need to worry. And of course, you may not over-decorate in a way that spoils your food or its taste!

Enjoy and have fun with your food decoration experiments!