Food Presentation is the art of modifying,
processing, arranging, or decorating food to
enhance its aesthetic appeal.
The visual presentation of foods is often
considered by chefs at many different stages
of food preparation, from the manner of tying
or sewing meats, to the type of cut used in
chopping and slicing meats or vegetables, to
the style of mold used in a poured dish. The
food itself may be decorated as in elaborately
iced cakes, drizzled with sauces, sprinkled
with seeds, powders, or other toppings, or it
may be accompanied by edible garnishes.
The arrangement and overall styling of food upon
bringing it to the plate is termed plating. Some
common styles of plating include a 'classic'
arrangement of the main item in the front of the
plate with vegetables or starches in the back, a
'stacked' arrangement of the various items, or the
main item leaning or 'shingled' upon a vegetable
bed or side item. Item location on the plate is often
referenced as for the face of a clock, with six o'clock
the position closest to the diner.
Appealing to the Senses
When it comes to food presentation, one of the
primary rules is to try to make it appeal to as
many of our senses as possible. While it's
difficult to get food to stimulate all five, some
Include a variety of food with different
textures that are sure to stimulate our tactile
senses. In addition to juxtaposing food with
contrasting textures, using borders and
creating empty spaces on the plate add a
depth of feeling to the food presentation.
Making the meal you prepared look visually
appealing on its plate is closely related with
creating a "feel" for your dish. While you'll
want to incorporate a variety of food textures,
you also want to play with colours that both
complement and contrast each other.
Appealing to your guests' senses of smell
has more to do with the flavours and types of
food you choose rather than the arrangement
of food on the plate. For optimal food
presentation, when designing a dish
(depending, of course, on the main
ingredients and the types of food you
choose), you'll have to decide whether you
want the food to be mildly or overly fragrant.
Stimulating your guests' senses of sound is perhaps
the hardest aspect to include in your food
presentation. However, this doesn't mean that it is
impossible. While few foods make noise on the
plate, other food resonates as you eat or are about
to eat them, such as crunching on a crispy cracker
or cracking open a crab leg.
Do now: read the recipe for Heston Blumenthal’s
dish ‘the sound of the sea’. Pretend you are a
food writer and review this dish in maximum 300
Without a doubt, taste is the most important
sense to stimulate in any food dish. Although
taste is only fully engaged as you eat, food
presentation that strongly appeals to the
sense of smell begins to arouse the sense of
taste in the food.
Avoid inedible garnishes.
Don't clutter the plate with too many sides or
garnishes. This will detract from the flavours
and visual appeal of your main dish.
Edible garnishes should complement, not
distract from, your food.
Pay attention to the shapes of food. Cutting
food into different widths and lengths can
make your plate look more dynamic.
Think about your theme…
Present your food in a way that suits your
Egg: 1970’s – make tomato roses and shapes
out of your food
Chinese – also suit having vegetable sculpture
In pairs scour food magazines and websites.
Cut out or print any picture of food where the
presentation appeals to you.
Scrapbook it onto an A3 piece of paper
Discuss with another pair why you chose the
pictures you did, what exactly you like about
So what was umami?
Umami, also referred to as savouriness, has been proposed as one of
the basic tastes sensed by specialized receptor cells present on the
human and animal tongue. Umami (旨味) is a loanword from Japanese
meaning "good flavour" or "good taste" . In English, however, "brothy",
"meaty", or "savoury" have been proposed as alternative translations.
Inasmuch as it describes the flavour common to savoury products such
as meat, cheese, and mushrooms, umami is similar to Brillat-Savarin's
concept of osmazome, an early attempt to describe the main flavouring
component of meat as extracted in the process of making stock.
The umami taste is due to the detection of the carboxylate anion of
glutamic acid, a naturally occurring amino acid common in meat,
cheese, broth, stock, and other protein-heavy foods. Salts of glutamic
acid, known as glutamates, easily ionize to give the same carboxylate
form and therefore the same taste. For this reason, they are used as
flavour enhancers. The most commonly used of these is monosodium