Plate presentation is the quintessential element which allows diners to experience their food. We not only eat with our mouth, we first eat with our eyes. Using different shapes and colors and creatively arranging food allows the appetite to be enhanced. There is a belief that if something looks good, it will taste good. A meal that is artistically styled attracts people to sample it who would otherwise dismiss it due to the ingredients. These chefs keep their presentations simple, elegant and balanced to differentiate their work and to get their guest to return for more.
In our May June 2014 issue we featured some wonderful options for presentations. Of course, we only scratched the surface of the many options in restaurants today so we created space on our website to continue to update our listing of beautiful plates. Email me an image, menu item title, description and creating chef name.
RED O (pictured above)
“We use a ‘Tasting Bridge’ to serve our guacamole in that is made in Mexico by a company named Orion. It looks great on a table with its rustic, handmade design. The tasting bridge generates a ‘wow’ factor and gives guests different options at the same time.” – Keith Stich, Corporate Chef at Red O, Various Locations
TACO ROSA MEXICO CITY CUISINE
This platter is a combination of a Carne Asada Taco with a hand pulled chicken enchilada topped with tomatillo sauce and melted cheese. It is served with a sweet corn tamalito and topped with papaya butter sauce, arroz Mexicano, Pinto beans and roasted tomato salsa. The taco is presented on a tortilla chip specifically molded to hold the taco upright and gives a unique and edible presentation. Ivan R. Calderon, Founder of Taco Rosa Mexico City Cuisine, Various Locations.
On their game day menu, The Catch features “Tacos By The Rack.” They are sold in multiples of 3 (6 or 9). It is a stainless steel rack that allows the tacos to stay warm, upright and compact. “Guests love the look, especially if they order a rack of 9 tacos – it’s pretty impressive,” said Director of Culinary, Tom Hope, The Catch Restaurant, Anaheim CA
THE CAPITAL GRILLE
“Our Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna entree comes on a platter that is slotted to hold three delicate sauce cups. The platters we choose are just as important as the quality of the ingredients. We selected the platter for our Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna not only for it sunique aesthetic, but it allows the perfectly seared sesame crust of the Sushi Grade Ahi Tuna to remain unadulterated by the sauces until it is presented to the guest. The three sauces: White Soy Sauce, Ginger Vinegar and Wasabi Oil are perched in individual cups on the outside of the platter allowing the guest to determine the flavor combination to add based on their individual palate. The platter, with its separation of entree and sauces, puts the guest in the culinary driver’s seat. It awakens the senses visually, which heighten other senses even before the first magical bite has even crossed your lips.” The Capital Grille, Various Locations.
“We try to utilize cast iron skillets in at least one dish for every one of our seasonal menus. We have found that our guests love them not only because they are fun but because they are functional as well, the skillets keep the food warmer longer. We chose the cast iron skillet for the Seafood Paella, because it follows the tradition of that dish being cooked over an open flame, but follows our southwest theme by being in cast iron. It allows the guest to receive the dish in its truest form, slightly crispy on the bottom, but also being very hot from the cast iron holding in the heat from being prepared over the open flame. They love it, a generous portion of mussels, bay scallops, shrimp and andouille sausage served atop Saffron infused rice. What is there not to love?” Chef Danny Stevens, Z’Tejas, Costa Mesa
Chef Alfonso Ramirez presents his duck cassoulet in a Le Creuset pot to create a more rustic look when serving it to a table. With these pots, guests enjoy the feeling of dining in the South of France and as the lid is removed they are excited to see the delicious cassoulet appear in front of them. Pinot Provence, Costa Mesa
Chef Renzo Macchiavello usesa unique frying basket to present his dishes. Used for catering, they are simple to plate especially when you are busy. It is easy to impress guests with the flavor of the Lomo Saltado (steak and fries fried Peruvian style) and with the cute little fryers since they look like what the food was prepared in. Muelle Peruvian Cantina, Huntington Beach
“This platter is called “Parrillada.” It is a mini grill we bring to the table with our most popular meats including Argentine Sausage, Crispy Sweetbreads, Herbs Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast, Certified Angus Skirt Steak, Short Ribs, Veggies and Chicken Breast Brochette. THis dish has charcoal on the bottom and the meat remains hot during the whole meal. It makes a great difference for the guests and makes it one of our most popular dishes.” Gaucho Grill, Various Locations