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Module 8: Plating & Presentation

Plating is the art of presenting food in a way that enhances and improves the appeal of your dishes for your diners. Here are the 4 fundamentals to know before developing your plating styles.


1. Create a framework

It’s always good to start conceptualising your plating and presentation ideas before doing the actual plating. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Start with actual drawings before experimenting with real food on a plate.
  • Sketch out your presentation to help you visualise the final plate.
  • Keep up to date with the latest plating trends by reading food magazines.

2. Ensure balance

Another important thing to remember when planning your food plating and presentation is balance. Consider these pointers before plating:

  • Play with colours and shapes and try combining them – round shapes, cones, rods, etc.
  • Provide a variety of texture. A mix creates an exciting variety of mouthfeel too!
  • Balance can also be created by separating. Try serving different parts of the dish in separate plates to create a visual and flavour balance.
  • Keep function and flavour in mind when creating balance. Having too many unnecessary ingredients can clutter a dish.


3. Portion size

Nutrition is a concern for many diners today. With that in mind, your dishes should always have a right balance of nutrition and portion size. A well-proportioned dish in terms of plating can take two forms:

  • A nutritionally-balanced dish with the right proportion of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables on the plate.
  • An adequately-sized dish that is well proportioned to the dimensions of the plate.

4. Highlighting the key ingredients

When plating, always highlight the key ingredient. Nobody wants to order a steak and find the plate crowded with sides and hiding the beef. Here are a couple of notes to help you put the main ingredient in the spotlight:

  • Balance the portion size of the 3 elements of the plate.
  • Make sure the main ingredient stands out among the 3 elements and not the other way around.

Congratulations, you’ve completed The 4 Basics of Plating topic!

Continue on to the next topic, pick a related topic from the Plating & Presentation module, or go back to the Chefmanship Academy modules page.

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