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Old 05-22-2014, 09:49 PM   #11
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I prefer serving dishes also. It is more fun to pass a dish around than to just sit down to fixed food on a plate. And i t gets the conversation started. I don't ever want to hear, "Oh this is too pretty to spoil by eating."

If you want to pretty up your table, do it with different shape and colored dishes. But don't make the mistake of repeating the color of your food in the color of the dish it is served in. You wouldn't want a green bowl for your salad.
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:02 AM   #12
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I assume you mean when you are catering for guests rather than just family meals.

My basic principal on plating is "don't". It's all very well having a set of beautiful plates of carefully placed food but if it's cold because of the time it's taken to titivate it it isn't going to be appetising. We are amateur cooks not chefs with a cohort of skivvies to run round after us. Even with cold food I don't generally plate it.

If the food is plated you run the risk of the guests forcing down something they absolutely loathe because they don't like it. If the food is put out on serving dishes they can chose what they want and leave the kale if they hate it and anything that Jack Spratt doesn't like is left on the serving dish for Mrs Spratt to have seconds from what her husband doesn't.

However, to each his own.
Good advice. Especially when you have multiple guests for dinner. However, I'm just trying to dress up my dishes when I cook for a girl in a more intimate setting.
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:19 AM   #13
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Good advice. Especially when you have multiple guests for dinner. However, I'm just trying to dress up my dishes when I cook for a girl in a more intimate setting.
But what do you do if your food is so delicious that she wants 'seconds?' Do you plate the second helping also?
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:41 AM   #14
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But what do you do if your food is so delicious that she wants 'seconds?' Do you plate the second helping also?
That's an excellent thought, Addie! Food for thought. Literally.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:57 AM   #15
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Contrast,color & a simple garnish.
Despite my lack of enthusiasm for "plating" I could make an exception for that dear little mouse
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:38 PM   #16
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I enjoy making each plate look as beautiful as possible. But you have to know when it counts and when it doesn't count.
At home with my wife is when I pull out all the stops. Besides its only two(2) plates. Easy. Its three(3) plates now so still very easy. Provided I have the decorations.....lol

I had gone to the effort once to make a real nice/beautiful salad and presented it very nicely, when I had one guest say he did not eat "rabbit" food.
This is the same guy that when he was in Japan got mad because they did not understand why he wanted a steak. They actually did not even know what a steak was. He could not grasp the thought that some people eat small amounts of meat with many vegetables. You would think that in a different country, one would want to try all these new and exciting dishes. Not this slug.
He once walked away from the table when he saw I had a rare steak on my plate. And another time at a restaurant, put up his menu as a false wall as my roasted red snapper still had its head attached.
Let me tell you how beautiful this fish was displayed.

I knew right then, this BIL and I were not meant to get along.
Guess what. I cannot stand him and he me.
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:41 PM   #17
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I enjoy making each plate look as beautiful as possible. But you have to know when it counts and when it doesn't count.
At home with my wife is when I pull out all the stops. Besides its only two(2) plates. Easy. Its three(3) plates now so still very easy. Provided I have the decorations.....lol

I had gone to the effort once to make a real nice/beautiful salad and presented it very nicely, when I had one guest say he did not eat "rabbit" food.
This is the same guy that when he was in Japan got mad because they did not understand why he wanted a steak. They actually did not even know what a steak was. He could not grasp the thought that some people eat small amounts of meat with many vegetables. You would think that in a different country, one would want to try all these new and exciting dishes. Not this slug.
He sounds a bit like the stereotypical Ugly American.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:29 AM   #18
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The only time I do formal plating is when we have our dinner club get togethers. There are four couples in the club and every couple is in charge of one course. When we first started doing it, we all agreed to plate our dishes because we often serve things that are a little more expensive or lend themselves to plating (think squab or duck breast). Plating in this case also helps keep the portion sizes in check. With multiple courses, you don't really want people stuffing themselves on any one course.

At first there were practical reasons for plating but, now that we've been doing it for a while, part of the fun has become seeing each couple put together creative looking plates of food. There's always that "ooooh" when the plates come out of the kitchen.

If you've never done a dinner club party, it's a lot of fun and a great opportunity to just go "all out" for a night.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:52 AM   #19
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I am in the serving dish camp. I don't know how much or what kinds of food a guest will want. Heck, I hardly know how much I will want before I start eating.

I do occasionally plate a dessert and can imagine plating an appetizer. It might also be a good idea if one of the guests is a greedy bugger.

But, I can see Steve's point.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:54 AM   #20
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The only time I do formal plating is when we have our dinner club get togethers. There are four couples in the club and every couple is in charge of one course. When we first started doing it, we all agreed to plate our dishes because we often serve things that are a little more expensive or lend themselves to plating (think squab or duck breast). Plating in this case also helps keep the portion sizes in check. With multiple courses, you don't really want people stuffing themselves on any one course.

At first there were practical reasons for plating but, now that we've been doing it for a while, part of the fun has become seeing each couple put together creative looking plates of food. There's always that "ooooh" when the plates come out of the kitchen.

If you've never done a dinner club party, it's a lot of fun and a great opportunity to just go "all out" for a night.
I have known several folks who belong to a dinner club and just listening to them talk about it, sounds like so much fun. One time a few friends of mine did a traveling supper. Three folks stayed home and three did the traveling for the three courses. The next month we changed and the three travelers stayed home and cooked while the other three did the traveling. Lot of laughter at all three tables.
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