Plating your masterpiece
Wow, I am really excited about the number of readers that have expressed interest in our Sweet Potato Recipe Blogger Contest. Of course, the actual recipe is the most important part, but a great picture can make your fantastic Sweet Potato creations as eye-catching as they are mouth-watering.
One of the most important steps to creating a great picture is proper plating. Here are a few guidelines used by professional chefs and photographers. These awesome tips will help you show off your food for blogs, photos, parties, and friends. A great looking plate always make a good first impression.
- Think of your plate as a foundation or support to show off your creation. A strong support should serve to accent your dish and never distract from it. It is for this reason that many chefs only work with white plates. Regardless of your plate color you should leave plenty of “white space” in your picture. Areas where your plate shows through emphasize the contrast of your dish’s color and texture. Notice the plate above. It is full, but appears uncluttered because of the white space that is shown.
- As a general rule, avoid heavily patterned plates. While these plates can be beautiful, they can also distract from your dish. In Japan, chefs say that diners “Eat with their eyes first.” Every thing on your plate should be placed to attract your eyes to the main dish. Remember, your plate is the support, not the attraction.
- Make sure your plate is complete. Don’t overuse white space, there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing”. Leave your plates uncluttered, but don’t leave them empty. Sometimes a wisp of lettuce or a delicate flower can complete a presentation that otherwise looks a little bare. See the garnishing rules below for more inspiration.
- Remember to emphasize the color and texture of the Sweet Potato. Our wonderful spuds are famous for there brightly colored flesh, so be sure to show that off. In fact, brightly orange colors of the Sweet Potato can easily overcome the “white plates looks best” rule. Dark colors, contrasting greens, even blues will make your pictures stand out. Just remember to use the same rules regarding clutter and eye appeal. Just look at the wonderful contrast in the Herb Roasted Vegetable Plate below.
- Be sure to add garnishes to your plate. They add texture, depth and even whimsy to your picture. A simply sprig of parsley can add that little je ne sais quoi, that make a plate really pop. Try delicate swirls of rich red sauce, bright green asparagus, the brilliant pop of saffron rice. The garnish serves to balance the plate, so add a lime wedge, a colorful radish flower or try your hand at on of these advanced garnishes. My favorite … the Sweet Potato Butterfly. Bon Apetit!