Making Food Look Good: Six Food Presentation Techniques

It is no secret that social media has a growing influence in all facets of life and business. And restaurant owners, chefs, food cart vendors, and even home cooks need to be more aware of this now than ever and learn more about food presentation techniques.

Today, most people like to document and share even the trivial events of their life on various social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. As a result, ensuring that the food you serve your guests leaves a positive impression is crucial. After all, many food bloggers now use these platforms to express their opinions.

You must, therefore, understand the basics of food plating. Remember that a dish’s presentation may make or break it, impacting the entire eating experience for guests.

So are you wondering what the fundamental principles of food presentation are?

Don’t worry; you don’t need a degree in arts or anything to make your food look good and well-presented. Instead, implement these simple strategies, techniques, and recommendations while preparing to plate a dish to enhance the appearance of your food:

Have a framework in your head

Before starting anything, you must stay well-prepared and organized to ensure your dish looks appealing to the guests. A mental blueprint of how you want your finished product to look can help amaze your audience.

You can get ideas from a picture or magazine. After all, going through food magazines and articles on the internet will inform you of the most recent plating trends. Then, you can create a “practice plate” to conduct a trial run and avoid wasting your food when the time comes.

Moreover, how you present the food must align with the event’s theme or atmosphere. For example, are you a food business owner planning to sell beverages to the crowds at sports or entertainment events? 

Perhaps a better idea is to utilize and install beverage carts for stadiums and event centers and expand your services to more customers without spending money on costly infrastructure.

Select appropriate dishware 

Choosing the sort of dinnerware can make all the difference when wowing your guests. Of course, it doesn’t imply that you need to go for pricey or elegant tableware, but if you want to start your dinner right, you must consider the plate’s color, size, and form.

The color of the plate is crucial since it acts as a canvas for your food. Have you prepared a dish with different colors? In that case, try serving the meal on a white plate to make it stand out more.

Moreover, think about how the plates function. Put your guests’ convenience and ease first. Make eating easy for your diners by selecting dishes that are convenient to use.

Throw in edible garnishes

People often consume food with their eyes first before using their mouths. The reason is our brain assumes that if the meal looks good, it will taste well too, which ultimately affects our entire experience.

Thus, to improve the dish’s appearance, try adding some garnish to it. You can use a few fresh herbs like basil, a sprig of mint, coriander, spices, some sauce, a slice of lime or lemon, or even an edible flower for garnishing.¬†You can purchase premade sauces or you can find sauce recipes online to make from scratch.

Be mindful that no guest would like to hear that anything on their plate isn’t edible; therefore, garnishes should be edible while still adding to the overall aesthetic of your dish. The proper garnish needs excellent care. Avoid going overboard. The taste may get overpowered if you use garnish excessively.

Color matters!

Color is everywhere.

The energy, liveliness, and drama that colors can provide to your cuisine are enormous. Always keep in mind how people relate color to moods and emotions. For example, greens are alive and vibrant, while reds and oranges are strong and intense. 

Golds, browns, and maroon are soothing, rich, and inviting. Since there is a psychology behind every color, you must choose color combinations wisely because they are one of the critical components of food presentation.

However, avoid using artificial colors since they give the dish you serve a wrong impression.

Go for the appropriate serving size 

Whether a small group of friends is coming over or an entire family is coming for a bite to eat, it makes sense that you would want to go above and beyond to ensure everyone is happy and well-nourished. However, the quantity you serve will likely do you more damage than good if not done correctly. Put it this way; if the platter is either small or too large for the portion of food presented, your dish may look overcrowded, disorganized, and even messy. 

Therefore, always measure your portions before serving your dish. It would be best if you tried to balance a dish that satisfies them and offers your guests a visually stunning food presentation. Do you want your plate to look its finest? It would be best to leave a half-inch gap between the food and the dish’s edge.

Simple is best

Let’s face it; no one can overlook the importance of simplicity. 

Instead of piling on extra oils, seasonings, or microgreens, the best technique for you is the deduction. In other words, let the quality of the food speak for itself rather than adding a tonne of toppings or sauce splashes. All the other extra items might take your audience’s attention away from the primary element of your cuisine that you must have worked so hard to prepare.

Moreover, ensure adequate spaces between your plating items because a dish that is too packed is never attractive.


Whether you’ve never cooked before or are an experienced chef, even the most minor plating details can significantly impact how you win your guests’ hearts. 

Therefore, by going the extra mile with your food presentation strategies, you can ensure that your visitors remain satisfied and depart with happy faces and full stomachs. So impress your audience by choosing the proper dishware and serving the right portion size and edible garnishing to your meal.

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