Through the years, food has become so much more than just a basic human need. It has become a vessel of experience, excitement and pleasure. While taste and smell will always be the predominating things people will consider when choosing food, the visual aspect is now a key consideration of any dish. While social media has definitely helped speed up the prominence of food plating and food art, people will never deny that the way the dish is presented has always been a consideration of whether or not they would want to try it.
Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) Philippines has always understood the importance of making dishes visually appealing. It’s a whole other skill that needs to be mastered, but definitely not one that should be taken for granted. This is because they way food is presented can affect a number of things from whether or not the diner will choose to order that dish, up to the diner’s entire eating experience. This is why UFS makes sure to constantly share its expertise and techniques to its clients and partners through workshops and the in-depth modules they have made available for free on their website www.ufs.com.
“Sometimes people put so much effort into cooking the food that they sometimes forget that they should put just the same amount of effort into figuring out how to properly present it”, says Unilever Food Solutions Senior Sous Chef Paolo Sia.
“It’s not only about art, because there is actually also a science to it. The way you plate your dish should not only captivate them to want to order and eat it, but it should also guide the diner into how best to enjoy and appreciate it,” he adds.
The basics of food plating include taking into account the following things: creating a framework, ensuring balance, size of the portions, and highlighting of key ingredients.
“Creating a beautiful plate of food takes a lot of discipline. While creativity is an important part, it has to be structured creativity. Thus the need to understand the basics of food presentation and plating,” inserts Unilever Food Solutions Executive Chef Joanne Limoanco-Gendrano. “Understand your consumers, understand your cuisine, and figure out what they are expecting from you. The way you plate your food has to complement the entire dining experience. While it should be beautiful to look at, at the end of the day it still has to be practical. Don’t overcomplicate it, and make sure that it is still easy enough to eat without making too much of a mess.”
The UFS chefs have identified five key plating trends to watch out for this 2014. This includes: landscape techniques which takes inspiration from garden landscapes, free form plating which in a way imitates modern art, using organic materials to plate food on for a more natural and rustic feel, futuristic plating techniques that utilize sleek, metal and glass materials, and finally the use on non-traditional and alternative receptacles to create unique and never-seen-before table settings.
To learn more about food plating and other food solutions, log on to www.ufs.com.