Curtis Stone shows just how easy it is to present your food like the pros.
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How to Plate Food
Featured Pro: Curtis Stone Category: Cooking Time: 5:42
CURTIS STONE: Making a great first impression is always important in cooking, just as it is with this well-engineered GMC Terrain. I’m Curtis Stone, and this is your next GMC Trade Secret. Come on.
So there’s a few elements to serving good food. You’ve got to shop and buy great quality ingredients. Then you’ve got to know how to cook it. But what’s equally as important is plating up, putting that beautiful food that you’ve prepared onto a plate so it looks really nice. So I thought I’d show you a few little tricks to make your food look beautiful.
I’ve got two plates. Plate selection is actually where you start. So I’ve gone for this green small plate and then I’ve gone for a big white plate. And I think it’ll be obvious which one’s the better choice, because I’m going to show you two different styles of plating.
First one. You get some vegetables. Now, just mix some carrots and celery and peppers here with just a little bit of, like, a mustardy kind of vinaigrette, right. So you put your vegetables down on the plate there. And then we’ve got a carrot puree or carrot mash which I’ve done, which, you know, you could just put on the side of the plate just like that. And then we’ve got the rack of lamb, which looks delicious. I’ll put that with a mustard and parsley crust. You could just set that down there.
And then our sauce – let’s not forget the sauce. The sauce is always the important part of a dish. So I’m just going to sort of pour that at the front or just, like, over the lamb a little bit like that. And there you have a really beautiful plate of food. It likes fine. It looks like, you know, something nice that you’ve prepared for home. But I want to show you how to make it a little bit more special.
Get your vegetables. Now, tongs are great when you’re cooking and you’ve got to turn over a piece of steak. But when it comes to plating up, we’ve got some tongs that were given to us, and they’re brilliant tools for the kitchen. So don’t be scared to use your hands.
What I want to do is put a little bit of height into our plate. So when I put my vegetables on the plate here, I just gently, gently release it, and you see we end up with a little bit of height on the plate. And that straightaway changes the way our plate looks; a tiny bit more.
Okay, next I’m going to show you what to do with the carrot puree. Now, you might think this is a bit chefy, but I think it looks really good. You put a big dollop of the puree onto the plate, tap off the rest from your spoon, and then you just run your spoon straight through and you end up with this cool kind of a swoosh on the plate, all right. So we’ll turn that around. Maybe let’s do one more. Do it in threes. Threes always look a big better.
Okay, so you’ve done a couple of swooshes of your carrot puree. Then you take your lamb rack. I’m going to set it just to the side of my vegetables so I don’t sort of overshadow them, all right. And then when it comes to our sauce, you can drizzle the sauce around the plate. So always put a little bit over your meat, but then you want to sort of drizzle, so move your spoon around. And a few drips are actually really nice, I think. So you get that right around the perimeter of the plate. Put a few in the middle; maybe a little pour there. And you end up with this beautiful plate of food. That’s exactly the same stuff, but I think you’ll agree one looks a little bit more special than the other.
So when it comes to designing your dessert plate, I’ve made a beautiful chocolate mousse. I’ve got some vanilla ice cream and I’ve got a little raspberry sauce. So what would I do? Normally, you know, I mean, I’ll try and make it look really pretty. But if you were just going to sort of slop it onto the plate, you’d put a big dollop of your chocolate mousse and a bit of the vanilla ice cream. Let’s get some of that, put that on as well. And then I guess you’d sort of pour the raspberry sauce over the top and put a couple of raspberries for a garnish, and you’ve got a dessert that looks just fine, okay. It looks just fine. But we can make it look really special.
So I’m going to take my raspberry sauce and just pour this right into the center of the plate. Okay, now, if you want to, you can just pick up your plate and give it a little gentle tap from underneath, which is just going to help that raspberry sauce just to spread out across the plate. So now we’ve got a beautiful frame to paint a picture on.
So what I’m going to do is take just a spoon, dip this one into some hot water, okay; well, warm to hot water. It doesn’t have to be boiling hot. But what I’m going to do is just run it along here and get a really nice shape to the chocolate mousse. You ready? Watch this. Perfect. Okay, so you get that, and then you can kind of just take that off the spoon just like so, and you end up with this really nice shape.
You can do the exact same thing with the chocolate mousse that you can with ice cream. So I’m going to just put that back into my hot water. Your spoon’s nice and warm. You don’t have to dry the spoon off either. You can still use it wet and just do the exact same thing that you did with the ice cream. And then we’re going to pick that up and place it onto our plate as well. Beautiful.
So now you’ve got a couple of nice shapes of chocolate mousse and ice cream; same thing with our raspberries. You can just pick up a few of those and just sprinkle those over the top as a garnish. And what you end up with is this beautiful dish where you can see both the chocolate and the ice cream and the sauce underneath. So you’ve kind of framed the dish. And it looks so much nicer than the other one, but it’s exactly the same ingredients.
I’m Curtis Stone, and that’s your GMC Trade Secret.