I have just been flicking through the August issue of Olive and ran across an interesting snippet of info from Gordon Ramsey. He writes a regular column Ramsey's Rant and this month covers the look and presentation of food. As well as being of interest to the dinner party entertainment crowd I also thought the points were of interest to the budding food photographer.
The key to food presentation is to keep it simple and not make the dish appear to have been prodded by 16 different people.
Food Presentation Dos
- keep it clean and simple
- use odd number of ingredients on the plate
- add hot sauces right at the end
- visualise what a dish will look like before arranging it on the plate
- cut things in half if they look too big
Food Preparation Dont's
- use herb garnishes unless they go with the dish
- go for looks rather than flavour
- clutter the plate
- serve the food cold because you spent too long dressing it
- move things around the plate once you have put them down, this will just make a mess
Ramsey also suggests imagining the plate as a clock face. Hot food tends to be served with the meat or fish at 6 o'clock (ie near the base of the dish) with other ingredients at three and nine. For cold food the main ingredient is usually put in the middle with the rest dotted around it. A presentation ring helps for getting some height.