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6 Creative Ways To Serve Food

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Can you think of a time when someone asked you to try new food, but it looked unappetizing? Were you able to eat it? Maybe you did because of peer pressure, but that initial impression no doubt had a factor in how you perceived that food. Eating isn’t just about the mouth and the nose, it’s also about the view. A well-presented plate will create a positive impression and prepare the palates for your guests for the deliciousness that is to come.

Being creative when you are serving food, whether you work at a restaurant, for a caterer, or have dinner parties at home, will give guests a visual appetizer for what you are serving. They are already consuming the dish before it gets to their mouths, and you want those original visual bites to be tantalizing. Here are some creative ways that you can serve food to get your guests’ mouths watering. 

Garnishing

Never underestimate the power of colors. Don’t add a green, leafy garnish just because that’s always how your particular dish has always been served. You can always add a dash of pizzazz with some different shots of color to liven things up. Instead of parsley, go with cilantro, bell peppers, or even chilies. Believe it or not, but even chocolate pieces can work for dishes that aren’t desserts. Color will add some texture and excitement to the meal and possibly add a refreshing vibe. Be creative and play around to see if you can give your dishes some much-needed pop. 

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Creative Cones

One of the best ways to create an attractive dish and generate conversation is to mix two concepts and mash them together. For example, everyone loves ice cream cones. Everyone also loves refreshing fruit. They are both dessert items, so why not put them together? You can place the fruit inside a waffle cone to create a fun surprise for your next dessert. To make it even more enticing, add some yogurt, whip cream, or some melted chocolate to it to provide some extra sweetness. This is a great option for a brunch or lunch meal and is not as heavy or calorie-loaded as straight ice cream would be. 

Mood Plating

Food helps to provide the mood of the meal. However, it can use some help. If you are trying for a certain vibe with a dish or with your restaurant or event, then you need to do extra little things that add to that feeling. For example, if you are serving home-style comfort food, then you should have dark dishes, napkins, and tablecloths. Your lighting can even be homier and more comforting. If you are looking for something upbeat and zesty, then bold colors and bright lighting would be the best choices. Think of a bright cocktail in a tiki bar, for example. Plating isn’t just about the plate itself but also about what is surrounding it. 

Kabob Creations

There are some dishes and appetizers that are messy. There is no escaping what ingredients and elements you use, they will drip and leak or fall apart. However, there is no reason to avoid dishes like this if you want your guests to eat them. You can think of different ways of serving them to make them easier to handle. For example, using boat oar skewers to keep elements together is a perfect way to do this. Guests can safely nibble at a dish or appetizer without having everything fall back down onto the plate or onto their lap. These are especially great for cocktail parties or as a fun way to serve fruit to children. 

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Remember Sizing

Many up-and-coming platers use large plates and bowls. They think this allows them the space to create the look they want without things being crowded. However, that thinking isn’t quite right. Using a large dish makes your serving sizes appear small. While it won’t be crowded, the food itself can be drowned out by the empty space around it. Instead, go with dishes that are an appropriate size for the food being served. If you are worried about space, experiment with levels and build your dish upwards instead of outwards. 

You can even use several small dishes instead of one big one. It will give the appearance of abundance even when there is no more food than there would have been on the bigger plate. Bowls can also be used with this concept. For example, instead of one scoop of ice cream on a large plate, place that scoop into a perfectly sized bowl. It will look like a lot of ice cream, even though it’s still only one scoop. 

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Dipping Made Easy

If you are serving to-go items or you are preparing for a cocktail party, then you want to make eating as easy as possible for guests. One thing that’s always difficult in these situations is serving food that can be dipped, such as veggies. They would need three hands if there was no table handy. One for the plate, one to pick up a veggie, and another to hold the dip. Since we don’t have three hands, why not remove a step? You can serve your veggies with dip already in the bottom of the container. That way, guests will only have to remove the morsel, and it will already have that extra flavor. In that case, only two hands are needed. 

While plating is mostly used by chefs and those in the cooking profession, it doesn’t have to be. There’s no reason why you can’t get creative and provide a special eating experience for your family and friends. The key is to think about what makes food fun and interesting and try it out. Don’t be discouraged if your first foray into creative plating doesn’t end up how you wanted it to. Keep trying, and you will be a pro in no time.

About Chef Lilian

Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at chef@foodwellsaid.com

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