Dinner Party Prep: Plating Your Meals

Are you hosting a dinner party? Blow away your guests by strategically plating your food. You know that old saying “You eat with your eyes first?” There’s some truth to that. Your guests will enjoy the visual appeal of their meals before even taking the first bite.

Plating food is an art, so have fun with it! Follow along with these foolproof tips, and your guests will think you’re a professional chef.

  1. Choose the plate. This is your empty canvas. Choose from any size, shape or color. The options are endless. We have several different dinnerware pieces, ready to rent.
  2. Identify the main focus. What is the wow-factor of the meal? Most often, it’s the protein.
  3. Go by the clock. (Clockwise, that is.) When placing different components of a meal, reference a clock layout. For example, many chefs place the protein at 2 o’clock, the starch at 10 o’clock and the vegetables between 3 and 9 o’clock.
  4. Be colorful. Remember to add pops of color to your meals.
  5. Texture is key. Textured food is more appealing to the eye. Be sure to include at least one textured item on the menu.
  6. Don’t be afraid of height. Make a statement by fluffing foods up. Smashing them down will only make them less visually stimulating.
  7. Be odd. Odd-numbers of groupings spark the eyes of guests, due to the lack of balance.
  8. Clean up. Keep your plate clean, and don’t overdo it.
  9. Purposefully garnish. Don’t garnish where it isn’t needed. Also, make sure any garnishments are edible.
  10. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Some delicious foods just aren’t pretty, but that’s no reason to shy away from them.

And, just like that, you’re a professional chef! Eat up, and enjoy your time with your guests.

Mahaffey offers plates, and so much more. Check out our extensive list of rental items to use for your next dinner party.

This post was adapted from KitchenAid.

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