"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-19-2007, 04:05 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3
Food Presentation

I just got into cooking and i'm doing pretty well at it, but my presentation sucks. Would watching design shows or some shows on the food network help ?

__________________

__________________
mmmm donuts hhhrrr !!!!!
Gotmunchies2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2007, 04:39 PM   #2
Executive Chef
 
ironchef's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The SPAM eating capital of the world.
Posts: 3,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotmunchies2
I just got into cooking and i'm doing pretty well at it, but my presentation sucks. Would watching design shows or some shows on the food network help ?
It would help a little bit (watching FN--not design shows) but the best way is to search the web for pics. Seach images for chefs/restaurants that you know of and like and you'll find a lot of food presentation pics. Many people post pics of their meals on sites like flickr and photobucket and those will come up on google or yahoo image search.

The only show on FN that I would recommend for really nice food presentations would be Iron Chef and ICA. Most of the other cooking shows just slop the food on the plate (especially Emeril Live). You could get some ideas from watching the travelling shows too like "$40 a Day".
__________________

__________________
"Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
ironchef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2007, 05:05 PM   #3
Head Chef
 
keltin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Down South in Alabama
Posts: 2,285
Send a message via AIM to keltin
You can also try “Top Chef”, a reality TV show based on an elimination style cooking competition where only one person can ultimately win and be called the "Top Chef". They are judged, not only on the food they cook, but how they present it, and they do a pretty good job (but I’m no professionally trained chef).

They don’t usually explain WHY they present the dishes as they do, but occasionally, you get segments where they do go into the DO’s and DON’Ts of a presentation (it depends on who the guest judge happens to be).

Oh - Top Chef comes on the Bravo Channel and not Food Network.
__________________
keltin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2007, 05:08 PM   #4
Cook
 
KitchenSally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 79
Another idea is to browse through cookbooks. A lot of cookbooks have beautiful photographs. Check out the bookstore or your library. Experiment and have fun with your plating.
__________________
KitchenSally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2007, 05:59 PM   #5
Head Chef
 
auntdot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,418
Great suggestions. May I add magazines? Not just cooking magazines but many magazines have pictures of food, either as adjuncts to recipes or in ads.

Look at them and try to figure out what you like about the presentations. Think about the colors, the orientation of the food on the plate, sauces as part of the presentation, and the addition of garnishes.

And every time you have a plate of food in a restaurant or somewhere else, play a silent game. Think about what you like or dislike about it and how it could be improved.

Then there are techniques. Knife and mandolin use, how to use the squeeze bottle, that sort of thing. And for that I can only suggest you go on the web or buy a book or two on garnishing. Many are inexpensive. Would try the web first though. I Googled food presentation and got a number of hits, did not try food garnishing but am sure I would find many more. Many of the hits I got were pretty good.

Anyway that is all I've got. Good luck.
__________________
Before criticizing a person, walk a mile in his shoes - then you are a mile away and you have his shoes!
auntdot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2007, 01:10 PM   #6
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3
Thank you all for the help... I'm yet to see FN come up with a show that's specifically based on presentation. I know that Sandra Lee's show has table scapes but that's really not what's I'm looking for. But until I can find something I can always keep with me, most likely a book that with different types of presentation, I'll have to turn my mind away from it and just watch other shows. I think my new obsession might change to "Design Star" that just had it's premiere episode on Sunday & will air every Sunday with new elimination at 9pm on HGTV. Anyone keep up with that? They're also giving having sweepstakes @ HGTV - Design Star Fantasy Game
__________________
mmmm donuts hhhrrr !!!!!
Gotmunchies2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2007, 04:18 PM   #7
Senior Cook
 
wysiwyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 446
Send a message via MSN to wysiwyg
I was told that Jacques Pepin complete techniques book is pretty good (I haven't seen it), perhaps you can check it out at your local Borders or Library

Also, if you are looking for inspiration relative to form and color (I'd imagine this will come up after you master the techniques) look for Artists. Works from painters like Kandinsky or Joan Miro can provide pretty good ideas relative to forms and colors.
__________________
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are" Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
wysiwyg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2009, 01:23 PM   #8
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1
A Book Would Be Nice

All of these suggestions are helpful, but it would be nice to see a book on this subject. I am looking at what is available thru Amazon, but have not found a lot of what would fill the bill. There are two that I see, Culinary Artistry having more (and higher) ratings than Working the plate. Jacques Pepin's book, mentioned above, is a wonderful thing to have, but even that book does not give the rules I (and, I believe, the top poster) is referring to.

What culinary authors don't seem to get is that there is a difference between simple rules and techniques of arranging food on a plate, and minimalistic garnishing...and turning an apple into a bird or a watermelon into a fruit basket! The first techniques and rules would be used at every single meal, and involve few additional things on the plate, other than the meal items...whereas the others would be used occasionally, and involve adding crafted designs that are there only for appearance sake.

What I mean is that there is a difference between theory, which is what I am looking for...and techniques of carving and sculpting, etc. This is like the book The Flavor Bible, which gives ideas of what goes well with what else...and the millions of cookbooks out there with specific recipes. The first single book expands possibilities more than a ton of cookbooks.

I can give a few rules, but as I said, I would like to find one book with all of the rules:

1. Don't crowd your plate. Certainly, we tend not to use as many side plates in home food service, but we probably should do so in order to keep them less cluttered. Open space around and between food items on a plate seems to enhance appearance.
2. Consider the colors of the foods when creating the menu...a piece of poached fish, mashed potatoes and white asparagus may go well together in terms of taste. But it is going to be a monochromatic, boring looking plate.
3. Don't over-sauce foods. At home we probably tend to do this, giving a gloppy looking result of food floating in a lake of gravy. A fine restaurant will dribble on minimal sauces in a creative patterns and, if anything, serve additional sauce on the side.
4. Learn to use what you have on hand for garnishes. No fresh parsley? Use a sprig of curly endive (chickory) or anything like carrots, or cabbage or even lettuce or spinach can be shredded into fine threadlike strips for a garnish.
4A. The rule is that every garnish should be edible...not just on the plate for appearance. ie: If you decorate a plate with a flower, it should be an edible flower, such as a squash blossom...rather than a plastic or inedible one. Ideally, also, a garnish should enhance flavor and compliment the food's taste, not just the plate's appearance. To give an extreme example, just to make the point...a slice of red onion would look great on top of vanilla ice cream...but you wouldn't garnish ice cream with onion!
5. Look at your spice rack. No, you would not sprinkle most dried herbs onto cooked foods as a decoration...both the texture and taste would usually be unpleasant. But some things on your rack can be decorative and add to flavor and texture at the same time: paprika or smoked paprika; dried, toasted onion flakes; toasted white or black sesame seeds, etc.
6. Consider whether food should be served in one piece, or cut up and arranged. Watch Gordon Ramsay completely transform a plate, in a few seconds, by cutting a piece of meat in half and laying the halves against each other rather than serving it in one slab...and putting the pieces on top of some greens, rather than next to the vegetable.
7. Look at what gets done with sushi as an example of what could be a boring presentation...that ends up as a work of art.

Anyway...if anyone can suggest a book of these basics, I would appreciate it. If such a book doesn't exist...someone needs to write it!
__________________
olen3105 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2009, 01:28 PM   #9
Sous Chef
 
SharonT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by olen3105 View Post
...someone needs to write it!
Looks like you've got a good start for an outline for the book right here!
__________________
Sharon
SharonT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2009, 01:58 PM   #10
Senior Cook
 
wysiwyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 446
Send a message via MSN to wysiwyg
Olen3105,
Try "Happy in the Kitchen" by Michell Richard. This volume plus Jacques Pepin's (for the techniques) should be a great reference.
By the way, I've tried Garlic Ice cream (ref. your onions and ice cream comment) once in Canada and it wasn't bad at all.
__________________

__________________
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are" Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
wysiwyg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.