When it comes to plating, there are endless examples to look to. This can be a blessing, yes. But, at times, this can also be incredibly overwhelming. So fear no more, as we are here to simplify things for you. The next time you think about how to plate your dish, keep this short list of Plating Do’s and Don’ts in mind.


Pasta with shrimps, broccoli, and clams by chef Gaetano Trovato of Arnolfo Ristorante from Siena, Italy #TheArtOfPlating

A photo posted by The Art of Plating (@theartofplating) on


Do: Use vibrant colors.
Use colors that really stand out on a plate. On a white plate like this, beautiful oranges and yellows give the plate just the pop it needs.

Don’t: Use opposing color schemes.
Though vibrant colors are a definite “do,” keep those colors complementing each other. Earth tones should stick together – like browns and greens – while vibrant colors, like the ones pictured above make a great picture.



Sichuan pickles of cucumber, braised woodear mushroom, daikon, sesame sand, peppercorn vinegar by @lutherchen #TheArtOfPlating A photo posted by The Art of Plating (@theartofplating) on


Do: Add detail.
An eye for design is essential to plating. Adding a detailed garnish or an artful drizzle of sauce gives your plate a high-end finish.

Don’t: Overdo the Sauces.
Sometimes, with plating, less is more and an artful drizzle goes a long way.




Do: Serve in unexpected plates.

Don’t: Overthink it.
When it comes to plating, go with your gut. Plates with lots of juices should be served on a plate with raised edges, while small, bite-sized appetizers can be served on a flat ceramic.



#TBT Scallop and Caviar salad with mango by chef Eric Briffard of restaurant Le Cinq from Paris #TheArtOfPlating A photo posted by The Art of Plating (@theartofplating) on


Do: Use interesting visuals.

Don’t: Use inedible garnishes.
Even if it makes the dish look “better,” don’t sacrifice the flavor of the dish. After all, the point is to serve delicious food in an appealing way, not to display inedible meals.




Do: Think out your plate before assembling.
Know how you want to present your dish before you begin. That means thinking about color, texture and size before starting to cook.

Don’t: Just throw everything on a plate.
Have pride in what you make! Though presentation isn’t everything, it’s nice to give your guests something beautiful to get their juices flowing!

Contributing Writer

Liz Biscevic is a full-time consultant and freelance writer, editor and photograher currently living in Santa Monica, California. Biscevic has been writing professionally since 2011 and loves food, travel and yoga.

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