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Old 10-15-2007, 11:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CherryRed View Post
Plating is something I need to work on. I only became interested in cooking a little over a year ago, so up until this point it's been more about making sure things came out the way they were supposed to. Now that I'm a little more confident in that sense, I want my dishes to look as good as they (should) taste. I agree that it's a good idea to discuss plating in each individual recipe's thread rather than making a new forum devoted to that alone. It seems like the recipe and its presentation should be taken into account at the same time; adding a separate forum might make it harder to find creative plating ideas as easily.

Speaking of people who take pics of their dishes, I can't help but notice that gorgeous flan avatar. Kitchenelf - did you make that? Or was it just so pretty that you had to use it? I just started a thread with questions about flan preparation. . . maybe you could take a look? Please please please? Thanks! :)
Sorry CherryRed - GB found that avatar for me. I have, however, made flan and LOVE it - it's simple and makes a beautiful dessert!
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:33 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by VeraBlue View Post
I never bring large platters and bowls to the table if I have company. I plate everything in the kitchen.

If you want to save time, have everything ready, including all your garnishes, and make sure you have an image in your head how you want it to look.

For me, the initial joy comes when someone's eyes light up at the presentation of the plate....and then you get it all over again when they taste the food. It's a double bubble. Good for you for wanting to do that extra step.
couldnt agree more and i do the same thing, i plate it all.... i also suggest white porcelin plates and bowls. it brings out the color and beauty of the dish itself... nice, clean and simple presentation goes along way, and gets everyone excited to eat
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Old 10-16-2007, 06:03 AM   #13
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Hiya, Jersey
I have a love/hate relationship with the white porcelain. I agree it presents the colours best...but I find the plates, themselves, look so very clinical.

Lately, I've been stacking or deconstructing. Last weekend I made a salad with dressed chicory, a polenta cake, two poached quail eggs, diced pancetta and a sliced fig. (meant to take a pic...but we were well into the second bottle of wine...)

The polenta went down first, off center. The chicory slightly covered it, taking the other side of the plate. The fig, which was fanned on one side only, (giving a magnificent view of the bright, gorgeous center) was leaning into the greens,(looking like it was waterfalling onto the polenta) leaving the polenta as a bed for the poached eggs. The diced pancetta was sprinkled over the greens.

It tasted pretty good, too, ahahaha.
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Old 10-16-2007, 06:04 AM   #14
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Do you plate when you have a dinner party, as well? I usually serve the food on trays or in bowls and let everyone feast with their eyes before helping themselves. I make way too much for the number of guests, but would die of embarrassment if I ever ran out of food.
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:28 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by kitchenelf View Post
Sorry CherryRed - GB found that avatar for me. I have, however, made flan and LOVE it - it's simple and makes a beautiful dessert!
That's ok! It still gives me something to aspire to!
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:30 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by VeraBlue View Post
Hiya, Jersey
I have a love/hate relationship with the white porcelain. I agree it presents the colours best...but I find the plates, themselves, look so very clinical.

Lately, I've been stacking or deconstructing. Last weekend I made a salad with dressed chicory, a polenta cake, two poached quail eggs, diced pancetta and a sliced fig. (meant to take a pic...but we were well into the second bottle of wine...)

The polenta went down first, off center. The chicory slightly covered it, taking the other side of the plate. The fig, which was fanned on one side only, (giving a magnificent view of the bright, gorgeous center) was leaning into the greens,(looking like it was waterfalling onto the polenta) leaving the polenta as a bed for the poached eggs. The diced pancetta was sprinkled over the greens.

It tasted pretty good, too, ahahaha.
that sounds outstanding! i can picture it well, i saw something similar in a magazine i subscribe to (La Cucina Italiana).

As for the plates, on rare occasions i will go with some of my colored or more vibrant plates... but it never seems right to me. I think you have to have every type plate under the sun(or at least i do cause im insane like that...) When i get the image in my head I need the right plate! i've got the classic circular plates, but i think you also really need square dinner, salad, and apatizer plates, square tappas bowls, long square appetizer plates(Great for desserts) and my personal favorite circular shallow sallad and pasta bowls. I dont think i could serve pasta in a regular deep bowl or on a plate.

I'll try and take and post pictures but my camera is currently hiding on me!
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:32 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by lyndalou View Post
Do you plate when you have a dinner party, as well? I usually serve the food on trays or in bowls and let everyone feast with their eyes before helping themselves. I make way too much for the number of guests, but would die of embarrassment if I ever ran out of food.
it depends on the amount. My rule is "if i have enough plates to do so, i'll plate it" if not, its family style dining. I bought my sets of plates in 8's. so anything over that i'd just serve out in trays/bowls.

sometimes i'll serve the appetizers on a tray and the dinner i'll plate if its a crowd of 8 or if its more of a party atmosphere
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:02 AM   #18
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it depends on the amount. My rule is "if i have enough plates to do so, i'll plate it" if not, its family style dining. I bought my sets of plates in 8's. so anything over that i'd just serve out in trays/bowls.

sometimes i'll serve the appetizers on a tray and the dinner i'll plate if its a crowd of 8 or if its more of a party atmosphere
Okay, this is a really dumb question. Up to this point in the thread, I thought "plating" meant arranging the food on individual plates and bringing those plates to the table. That seemed to me what VeraBlue meant. That's what I do, more because I find it easier and also because putting out platters and bowls takes up space.

But here you're saying that if you don't have enough plates, you serve family style. So you must have a different concept of plating. Or have I totally misunderstood?
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:07 AM   #19
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suzy, plating is what you thought it was.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:29 PM   #20
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I have very eclectic tastes in both dishes & serving ware - plus I LOVE to collect them. I find it an awful lot of fun to mix & match certain types of dinner & serving ware, & also love watching guests' faces at the very idea that I have so much different, but well-coordinated, "stuff" - lol! Although I do have quite a few pieces in plain white, it would bore me silly to use that all the time. I try to match the serving & dinnerware to the food, & since very few of my pieces are very "busy", it seems to work.

Needless to say I have shelving in the basement where - except for everyday stuff - I store all my different dinnerware & serving treasures, along with various cooking implements, baking pans, etc., that don't get used on a regular basis (my kitchen is very small).

As far as whether to plate in the kitchen or not, that definitely depends on what I'm serving. Some of my best dinner parties have revolved around one or two big steaming bowls of dressed pasta; platters of heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, & fresh basil; grilled sausages or other meats; etc.; all served up in hand-painted & glazed serving pieces depicting different Italian vegetables & herbs. Table set with terra-cotta rimmed cream-colored Eddie Bauer stoneware dinner plates along with salad plates also hand-painted with heirloom tomatoes.

And last year for Xmas I received an absolutely gorgeous set of square-shaped hand-painted French dinnerware with various poultry depicted. I haven't used that yet, but can't wait. I'm thinking it will be fun to use that for a traditional Coq au Vin dinner this coming season.

I guess it's obvious that I don't get too caught up in the delicacies of "plating" - I just like having fun with presentation.
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