In case you missed any of them – here’s a quick little round up of five plating tips from five acclaimed chefs around the world.
“Respect the product. Support the product or ingredient delicately and gently. Let the product be accompanied by a natural gesture. Accompany the different nuances, spices, herbs, flowers and textures that modify the dish in a way that is not in order – but, rather, random. At Mugaritz, the art of plating has evolved with the dishes we have created. We use very little elements when necessary. We believe that the way we dress a dish is not compromised of elements that are solely plated, but – more importantly – are elements that that act as support and accompaniment.”
“When I think of plating, I like to go back and see my notes from the last trip. I have to try to get connected to the place where I was, since I want to communicate what happened in the ecosystem. In the plating, we have to see this nature, the landscape – but not in a cliché way. We have to see the energy. Also, the ingredients of the place taking care of the aesthetics – is a simple way to see it. Plating is not difficult. It’s planning the trip. When you start the trip, you start the plating.”
“My tip is one: Simply being fast! Usually after I come up with a new dish, I draw a sketch of it in order to replicate it on the real one. Being fast to me, doesn’t mean not giving enough attention to detail, but the contrary. To give the utmost respect for the freshness of our ingredients, their ephemeral scent, and everything so that our patrons, at the end of the day, may receive the dish in the shortest period of time to fully appreciate it.”
“I always think about how the guest is going to eat the dish. I personally don’t like it when you have to push elements around the plate to get the right bite. Guests should be able to enjoy the dish without having to think about how they should eat it. Going out to eat is about relaxing and enjoying yourself – not about stressing over the correct way to eat a dish.”
“Create one vision. One complete dish. Simplify, simplify, simplify… I find myself trying to take things off the plate to showcase my favorite flavor combinations and preparations. 1. Have everything ready before you go to plate. (Mise en Place) 2. Place a component where it goes the first time, don’t move it once it’s on the plate. 3. Composition is all about how the components relate to each other in space. Color and lines draw the eye in one direction or the other. Different shapes effect the space in different ways and can create balance and harmony or the direct opposite. It is all up to you as the chef, and you will develop your own style as time passes and you gain experience. Have patience.”