personal chef austin learn to plate

How to Plate Like a Personal Chef

by Michael Wards

Plate at Home Like a Personal Chef

When it comes to any dining experience, we feast with our eyes before even picking up a fork. There’s nothing better than when the server sets down a perfectly plated dish and getting that “wow” effect right before you dig in. While you may not have honed your own technique with foams or sauce drizzles, there are a few things you can do to dress up your mealtimes at home. This is especially fun for our personal chef clients in Austin that get our prepared meal delivery services. We take a lot of care in curating your weekly menus, and while we carefully “plate” them in your containers, just a little thought and effort goes a long way into creating that restaurant-style experience in your home. Practicing your plating skills regularly also makes for an impressive presentation when you have dinner guests.

Here are a few simple tips and tricks we use that you can play around with at home!

Use White Plates

Have you ever noticed that most restaurants serve their food on white plates? Using white plates is one of the oldest chef tricks in the book. Everything from colorful vegetables to a perfectly seared piece of meat really pops on a bright white background.

Noodles plated by personal chef

Embrace Negative Space

Your entrée needs a little bit of breathing room. People often tend to grab a plate and fill it up, particularly when eating at home. “Negative space” is the artistic term for the blank space around the subject. Think about the plate as your canvas and the different food components as your paint. Does the dish just beg to be centered, or a little bit askew? Consider how the blank part of the plate plays into the whole presentation.

Utilize Height

Layering and stacking ingredients can add another element of interest to your dish. Consider putting that purée under your protein, or stacking and leaning the ingredients against each other. Sauces can also be used as a base layer of color instead of being drizzled on top.

Stacked pork loin plated by a personal chef

Thoughtfully Garnish

A garnish always helps a dish pop, particularly if your main entrée is a bit monotoned and/or brown (like meat). Always garnish. However, garnish thoughtfully. Less is more. It’s also worth a mention to consider your dish and complementary flavors when garnishing. Don’t just throw some red pepper on there for a color pop unless it will actually lend itself to the flavor of the dish.

We think meal times are special. Gathering around the table (be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner) is a time to connect, reflect and take a breather from our busy day-to-day. Whether you’re experimenting as your own chef at home or taking advantage of our prepared meal delivery services, putting a little time and care into your weekly meal routine makes every meal a special occasion.

To learn more about our personal chef delivery services, fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch shortly!

Contact Us

Posted in: Entertaining Tips, Meal delivery, Personal Chef Services, Pro Chef Tips