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Old 12-28-2008, 09:05 AM   #1
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Garnishing presentations 101...

I'm looking for the basics for garnishing and presentation. Hopefully, I can use the items I already have.

Went to three holiday parties and all I could was wow...Lots of garnishing was very impressive. For example, someone had 2 sliced cheese and two types of crackers...On a long rectangle plate they each item separated by bunch of grapes. That's something I would of never thought of.

Any ideas of what would dress it up other then sprinkling parsley over everything? I know everything is messy in the background. Menu items are always going to be different, but I'm thinking of the always. I'm always going to have a sliced meat and always going to have side dishes.




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Old 12-28-2008, 09:14 AM   #2
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BBQ competitions show that ribs and other items are presented to judges on a bed of greens such as lettuce.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:32 AM   #3
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I guess I'm less concerned about the BBQ and more concerned with the overall basics... :)
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:18 PM   #4
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Bacardi, your food looks wonderful! Yours would be the kind of party I'D like to go to (none of those froo-froo crudite platters!)

What I would have done with the stuff you had there is to arrange them all on one large platter or tray, which would just fit the meats and the sauces (maybe the burgers on a separate platter?) You could cover the bottom of the tray with a bed of lettuce, or not.

Arrange the meats in sections on the tray (all the ribs in one section, all the chicken kebobs next, etc.) and separate the sections with ROWS of things like rosemary sprigs, cherry tomatoes, olives, cocktail onions, baby boiled potatoes, sauce bowls, etc. Maybe your sides would work well as separators (did I see fried plantains there?). If the platter is round, you could arrange the meats in pie shapes with rows of garnish separating the sections, with a bowl of sauce in the center.

Here's a photo I got off the internet, that looks a lot more "rustic" than arranged (I would have used rows to separate the meats) but it gives you an idea of some simple stuff you can use to improve a presentation. http://www.bealesgourmet.com/images/...at%20board.jpg

Maybe the pros will be along later on to give you more help.

Lee
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:23 PM   #5
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I agree - your food looks delicious, Bacardi! (And your table is beautiful.) I'm very poor at plating and presentation but there are several members here who excel at it and I'm sure they will chime in. (KitchenElf, where are you???)
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:24 PM   #6
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Hi, Bacardi. If there's a primary ingredient, such as an herb or citrus in your marinade or sauce, use that to make a garnish. Sprigs of fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, work well, along with twists of citrus peel. If you're going to use parsley, it's best to use fresh, not dried.

Also, think in terms of contrasting colors. If you have a light-colored dish, sprinkle it with paprika; for a dark dish, julienne some colorful veggies and top the dish with a little pile of them.

Is that sliced steak on the plate in the bottom left of your photo? You could put a bowl of sauce in the center of the plate and lay the slices center-out, so they fringe the plate.

HTH.
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:12 PM   #7
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haha - am I the garnisher?

Well, simple greenery such as swiss chard can be used to place your meats on. Foods always look better on platters and shallow bowls versus aluminum containers. Escarole is another good "bed" to place things on. Grape tomatoes can add a nice garnish as well as some green onion whisks.

Full platters make a statement even if no garnishes are used. Sometimes the food is all that is needed. I will say the chicken/pork/bratwurst platter would have looked better with some greenery around it, but, sometimes there just isn't any time The grilled veggies create their own garnish with the grilled romaine all around the outside.






But, if more is needed then take a look in your produce department for different greens and leafy things. Extra herbs can be used too.

Looking at your table:

Your skewers look great and you could also place them on a dinner plate going in a circle. Right in the center you can place a sauce, if there was one, or a mound of grape tomatoes, or a tomato rose, or simply and bunch of parsley - even a shot glass with one small flower in it.

All the meat needs is some color. That can be achieved with the above suggestions. Make a bed of greens in each section of that beautiful square bowl (making sure they come up the sides like the sides of the bowl). Each section could be a different "green" thing: swiss chard with the beautiful red veins, curly endive, and that cabbage that comes in either the whitish/greenish variety and the purple variety, all make good plating presentations.

If you google food garnish and look at the images you will probably get more ideas than you want. The idea is just to add some color.
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:16 PM   #8
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In the top picture (is that flank steak?) - it could have been spiraled on the plate, or, placed in a stacked row right in the middle with the garnishes on either side. Lettuce leaves could be coming out from under them on each side with your ribs on either side of them.

Matchstick cut carrots make a good garnish too if they are sprinkled around the outside or carefully placed in a lattice work pattern.
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:30 PM   #9
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Okay, I want to come to one of YOUR parties, too, k.e.!

Lee
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:35 PM   #10
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Anytime Lee - come on down! The veggies above are the same veggies (minus the lettuce) as the ones below. Just a different presentation.

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