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Old 02-12-2010, 10:25 PM   #1
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Is presentation really that important?

I have been thinking about this ever since my daughter told me that "dinner was good,but I should make it prettier" I do'nt have a pretentious bone in my body and have never thought about the way a meal was plated would influance how it tasted.The worst dinner dollar for dollar I have ever had was in a fancy french resturant.I do'nt want art I want to eat.she made me think more about it but I am still in the mind set that if it will fit there thats where I am going to put it.Do you guys plot out your plate lay out and agonize over garnishes and fancy sauce swirles?Just wondering

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Old 02-12-2010, 10:30 PM   #2
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I have been thinking about this ever since my daughter told me that "dinner was good,but I should make it prettier" I do'nt have a pretentious bone in my body and have never thought about the way a meal was plated would influance how it tasted.The worst dinner dollar for dollar I have ever had was in a fancy french resturant.I do'nt want art I want to eat.she made me think more about it but I am still in the mind set that if it will fit there thats where I am going to put it.Do you guys plot out your plate lay out and agonize over garnishes and fancy sauce swirles?Just wondering
If it's a holiday or special friends than I go all out..Every day we just leave the stuff in the cooking pans and dish up, get comfy and enjoy our dinner and each other...If you daughter likes fancy every night hand her the business of making pretty...and the clean up, that usually works wonders
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:44 PM   #3
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It is more important in some circumstances than others. Not sure how important it is to the average family dinner. Presentation should at least be neat and appetizing regardless of venue. Save the art work for special occasions.

I don't do a lot of serious presentation. I have from time to time but really dislike doing it.

We have an attractive set of dishes and for every day, my job is to get the meal onto the plate while keeping the different foods from touching.

Ask your daughter to help you with the presentation.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:57 PM   #4
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You don't just eat with your mouth. All of your senses can be involved and stimulated to enhance the dinning experience. You don't have to be pretentious to give the gift of a "pretty meal" to your family or friends. And there doesn't have to be any "agonizing" about it. Using color, texture, size and level of importance, any plate with two or more ingredients can be presented in an attractive way.

I don't think the idea is to pressure yourself into trying to become a culinary Rembrandt. Just have fun being creative, even childish. Make whipped potatoes into the Alps surrounded by a sea of gravy. Draw a funny face in powdered sugar on a slice of French Toast. You don't always have to pile up everything in the middle of the plate like so many "pretentious" chefs do that we see on TV. Forget them! Show your child/children that you can turn a slice of turkey, two steamed carrots and some peas into a clock. And with a little practice, tomatoes, carrots or radishes can be turned into beautiful flowers. You may surprize yourself. You can also engage your daughter into getting her opinion as to how she would make it "more pretty."
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:22 AM   #5
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You don't just eat with your mouth. All of your senses can be involved and stimulated to enhance the dinning experience. You don't have to be pretentious to give the gift of a "pretty meal" to your family or friends. And there doesn't have to be any "agonizing" about it. Using color, texture, size and level of importance, any plate with two or more ingredients can be presented in an attractive way.
Well said!
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:35 AM   #6
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They say, "the first bite is with the eye". That being said, a simple, clean presentation is almost always sufficient.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:22 AM   #7
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Personally, I don't like my food piled all over itself, and would be insulted if it were presented to me that way. It's FOOD, not art. If you want to make art of it, have some presentation dishes in the restaurant lobby or something.

I like the food to be neat and clean, without splashes and dribbles. Anything else is just playing with your food.....
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:34 AM   #8
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We eat a lot of "Plain Jane" food, tastes great but the things we like tend to be colorless. I've taken to adding red or green peppers to many dishes to just give it that dash of color.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:38 AM   #9
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Personally, I don't like my food piled all over itself, and would be insulted if it were presented to me that way. It's FOOD, not art. If you want to make art of it, have some presentation dishes in the restaurant lobby or something.

I like the food to be neat and clean, without splashes and dribbles. Anything else is just playing with your food.....
This reminds me of a Julia Child comment I can paraphrase here:

"When your plate comes out with the food all artfully arranged and piled high, you know someone's fingers have been all over it."
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:48 AM   #10
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I don't spend much time thinking about plating, but it usually ends up looking nicely plated. I don't swirl or drizzle sauces on the plate though. If I am taking a salad or something to a dinner or something with other people I spend a little more time making it look nice.
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