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, topped with ornamental sometimes sculptural consumables, drizzled with sauces, sprinkled with seeds, powders, or other toppings, or it may be accompanied by edible or inedible 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. A basic rule of thumb upon plating, and even in some cases prepping, is to make sure you have the 5 components to a dish; protein, traditionally at a 6 o'clock position, vegetable, at a 2 o'clock position, starch at an 11 o'clock position, sauce and garnish.
- Olives attractively served in purple cabbage leaves.jpg
Olives and pickles attractively served on purple cabbage leaves
- Cocktail Foods.jpg
Molded seafood dip garnished with chicory "seaweed" and appetizers served in large sea shells
- Veggie platter.jpg
Brightly colored veggie platter arranged over purple cabbage with "rosebud radishes" and sweet peppers used as serving containers
- An artful arrangement of cheese and sausage.jpg
An artful arrangement of cheese, fruit and bread
- Fruits and vegetable "flowers".jpg
Fruit and vegetable "flowers"
- Christopher Styler & David Lazarus. (2006). Working the plate: the art of food presentation. John Wiley and Sons.
- "Plate". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- Wayne Gisslen. 2006. Professional Cooking, 6th Ed. John Wiley and Sons.