It’s been said that you eat with your eyes first, and we couldn’t agree more. Though it is, of course, the fantastic flavors that count the most, a dish is even more appealing if the food presentation looks delectable too. We spoke with our incredible food stylist, Maeve Sheridan, who clued us into some of her go-to rules for plating. These simple tips and tricks will take your dish to the next (visual) level!
Leave a perimeter of negative space around your plate
Similar to a white border around a piece of framed art, negative space on a plate makes your food look even more fantastic. Invest in wide-rimmed, white plates and bowls for an extra-special visual.
Make sure your greens are at their peak and don’t over-dress them
Soggy arugula is not attractive. No one wants to eat brownish, wilted greens. Use the freshest, springiest lettuces you can find, and make sure not to douse them in dressing. Add a little less dressing than you might want, and serve more in a small bowl on the side.
Garnish, garnish, garnish! Especially when it comes to soups and dishes that are monochromatic
A sprinkle of bright green herbs or a dollop of yogurt can make any dish look truly gorgeous. Use the freshest, liveliest herbs you can find, and either chop them or use one or two whole sprigs on top. Be sure to base the herbs on the dish with the ones in the dish.
Depending on the dish, add a little drizzle of olive oil or Maldon salt on top for an even more elevated look
Adding a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil or a pinch of large-flaked salt will not only make your food presentation look more appetizing, they will taste even more delightful too! Don’t add too much oil or salt, though—just a tiny bit to heighten the flavors and awaken the visuals.
Don’t over pile the plate
Less is more. Let your edible masterpiece stand on its own glory. People can always have seconds if they want.
Invest in a squeeze bottle
Easy to find and quite economical, squeeze bottles are the easiest way to create an artful drizzle on the plate. You can create an elegant swoop, zig zag, or an artful brush stroke, and your guests will be wowed.