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It’s important for all 5 senses to be stimulated while enjoying a fine meal. Below are some simple tips
for taking in your cuisine with your eyeballs first before your mouth even has a chance to water.
I T E X T BY RYAN JAR R ELL
t never ceases to astound me when my foodie family —
always careful to prize the freshest and most socially just
of ingredients, cautiously and contemplatively inflecting
our traditional Appalachian fare with contemporary tools and
techniques — dumps an arduously decanted dinner on my dish
like a day-old dog treat with no thought given to presentation.
A plop on my plate and it’s good to go. Perhaps it’s our modest
rustic roots, but I sincerely believe any injunction to “eat first
with your eyes” would be met by frequent temperature-taking
and pointed queries regarding anatomical optometry. Swiftly
followed, of course, by a comment about my weight. Because, you
know, it’s family. In an effort to combat my kin’s anti-aesthetical
affliction, I‘ve endeavored to tutor myself in the basics of classical
plating. As in any art, one must always begin by amassing the
proper tools. Overly-large, bone-white plates are a must to make
your prandials pop. A simple white dish guarantees no culinary
color clashes and adds a clean look to your sensational supper.
Printed china is perfectly acceptable for noshes and dessert,
but when it comes to your entreé, white is always right. Elegant
plating is, unfortunate for all of us who tended to follow the
“Dazed & Confused” approach to high school math class, all about
geometry. Lines, triangles and well-centered circles will gain
you the admiring glances of even your most dubious of dinner
guests. Moreover, it’s surprisingly simple to deconstruct a dish.
By spreading individual elements of your meal around the plate,
you encourage a higher level of interaction, as well as making it
slightly simpler to prepare — and more fun to eat.
130 Expert Opinions
When it comes to proper plating, don’t take my word for it.
We quizzed some of the city’s most up-and-coming local chefs
on their thoughts and opinions on fine plating.
COM PI LED BY RYAN JAR R ELL
Oh Yea! Chef Cesar Zapata of Little River’s Phuc Yea
Vietnamese restaurant says: “Herbs and flowers are a big part
of my cuisine; they lend flavor, depth, freshness and dimension
to food. Just place your main ingredients in the center of your
plate and top with herbs and flowers for an organic feel.”;
PhucYea.com. Feel It World-famous Chef Henry Hane of Bachour Bakery
& Bistro in Brickell says: “I truly believe that we do eat through
our eyes and that a beautiful plate shows respect for the
ingredients. Personally, I’m a huge fan of negative space
on a plate complemented with a wide variety of colors.”;
BachourBB.com. Edible Art Small-plate savant Chef Jose Mendin of Pubbelly
says: “The presentation of a dish is an art form in itself. This
aesthetic is enhanced by having to replicate the presentation
over and over consistently. The aim should always be to make
dishes that are stunning to the eye and as flavorful as possible.”;