Festive Meals: 5 Tips For Setting Beautiful Plates
When planning a festive meal for New Year's Eve or any other occasion, it is of course necessary to honour refined dishes and unusual flavours. But you also need to take care of the visual aspect to whet your guests' appetite. We suggest you discover 5 tips to prepare beautiful plates and impress your guests.
1- Bring a nice set of dishes
When it comes to dressing beautiful plates, every detail matters, starting with your choice of dishes!
It may seem obvious, but for a holiday meal the way you set the table is paramount.
To highlight the dishes you are going to serve, plan a beautiful tableware, preferably in a sober and plain color.
White tableware may look ordinary, but it's a classic that helps the colors of your food preparations stand out.
The size of the plates also matters. Indeed, the plate should not be too big so that the items do not seem lost in the middle. It should also not be too small so that the food is not piled up and the sauce overflows...
To improve the presentation of your food, from appetizer to dessert, you can also get individual containers like mini-cups or verrines.
Also, if you don't feel dexterous enough to make a comma of sauce on each plate with a spoon, feel free to use small sauce boats to serve the sauce on the side.
Choosing the right containers is a simple but effective way to achieve a refined presentation for a New Year's Eve party for example.
2- Use the right kitchen equipment
The second tip to know about setting beautiful plates for the holidays is to use the right equipment in the kitchen.
Indeed, it is not possible to achieve accurate dressing without some special equipment, including:
- cookie cutters and pastry rings to shape side dishes such as purees and vegetables
- piping bags to create swirls of cream or creamy purée
- brushes and pipettes for decorating plates with sauces or coulis
- tongs to place small decorative elements such as edible flowers or herbs on the plate as a finishing touch.
3- Create volume
It is generally believed that the difference between a professional plate and a plate served at home lies in the complexity of the recipes. This is not entirely true.
Even a traditional or very simple dish can be presented in a refined manner if the basic rules of preparation are followed.
One of these rules to know about setting beautiful plates is to create volume. Arranging the elements in height indeed helps to give relief to a dish.
Therefore, instead of simply juxtaposing the different elements (like a meat and its side dish) on the plate, think about layering them for a more aesthetically pleasing look.
The materials listed above, especially cookie cutters and baking circles, will help you create neat shapes on the plate and make it easier to layer the different elements.
4- Play with colour contrasts
As you can see, the shapes and arrangement of the elements on the plate are key elements for a beautiful presentation.
Another rule to remember for setting beautiful plates is to play with color contrasts. Adding pops of color to the plate is another way to add character and drama to your dish.
Use vegetables, herbs, fruits or even edible flowers to bring in bright colors that are sometimes missing from certain foods like poultry, white fish or plain desserts (like a crème brûlée or chocolate mousse for example).
Chopped fresh herbs, roasted seeds, citrus zest or pomegranate seeds are perfect for making a topping and bringing both volume and color to your dishes.
Just be sure to not combine more than 5 different colors on the plate to avoid a too variegated result.
5- Serve clean plates
When you want to make a presentation that is out of the ordinary, the main risk is not to completely control your gestures...
It is very common to make drips with raspberry sauce or coulis for example.
So the final tip for setting beautiful plates is to always erase these little mistakes.
To do this, simply use a clean tea towel to clean the edges of the plate before serving.