The Art of Plating: a Beginner’s Guide to Making Your Food Visually Appealing


Wed, April 17

If you've ever found yourself scrolling through Pinterest, marveling at the beautifully plated dishes, or watching chefs on TV and wondering, “How do they do that?” – you are not alone. Whether you're a seasoned home cook or just dipping your toes into the kitchen, enhancing the visual and aesthetic appeal of your food can elevate your entire eating experience.

But, as much as you want your food to look like something straight out of a magazine, achieving that goal might be daunting. Thankfully this article is here to help with some simple yet effective tips for making your meals not only delicious but visually stunning too. Get ready to unleash your inner artist and turn your meals into art pieces!

1. Clean The Plate

The first and most important tip to making your food look aesthetic is having a clean plate. No one wants a dirty plate. Whether it is a strand of hair or even a lone blob of ketchup, an unclean plate can instantly detract from the visual appeal of your dish.

Before you even think about arranging your food, take a moment to ensure that your plate is spotless. Give it a quick wipe with a clean cloth or napkin to remove any smudges or fingerprints. This simple step sets the stage for a beautiful presentation and shows that you care about every detail of your culinary creation.

Image Credit: Brooke Lark From Unsplash

2. Make The Food Colorful

Colorful ingredients make your food look fresh, appetizing, and inviting. When you add ingredients with vibrant colors to a dish, you're not only making it visually appealing but also stimulating other senses, like taste and smell. Think about it: when you see a plate filled with an array of colorful vegetables or fruits, your mouth may start to water before you even take the first bite and you are more intrigued to try the dish.

A great way to add more color to a dish is by using a variety of organic vegetables. From rich green spinach to red bell peppers, vegetables offer a rainbow of hues that can transform any meal.

Plus, a colorful plate is often an indication of a well-balanced and nutritious meal, packed with a variety of ingredients. Therefore, by incorporating different colors into your dishes, you're not just making them aesthetic; you're also adding depth of flavor. So, next time you're in the kitchen, don't be afraid to play with colors and let your creativity shine – your taste buds and your eyes will thank you for it!

Image Credit: Brooke Lark From Unsplash

3. Add Edible Flowers

Flowers add a pretty element to everything, including food. Flowers not only bring vibrant colors to your plate but also introduce unique shapes and textures, instantly elevating the aesthetic level. Whether it's a sprinkle of edible petals on a salad or garnish on a dessert, edible flowers add a whimsical and pretty touch that is sure to captivate.

Also, flowers are not just pretty to look at – many edible flowers also offer subtle flavors that can complement the taste of your dishes. Some edible flowers are lavender, dandelion, pansies, carnation, and chamomile. So, next time you're aiming to make your food aesthetic, don't forget to adorn it with flowers for a meal that is as visually stunning as it is delicious.

Image Credit: Jasmine Bartel From Unsplash

4. Include Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruits are not only healthy, but they are aesthetic, too. Fresh fruits will add bursts of color to your dishes and make them more inviting. Whether it's the deep red of strawberries, the vibrant orange of mangoes, or the bright purple of passionfruit, incorporating these colorful fruits can instantly elevate the visual appeal of your dish.

Image Credit: Naveed Pervaiz From Unsplash

5. Keep The Plate Simple

Lastly, it is central to remember that a great way to make your food aesthetic is by being simple. A minimalistic dish and design provide a clean and uncluttered backdrop, allowing the colors, textures, and arrangement of your food to stand out and shine. Complex and overly decorative plates packed with scoops of food and garnishes often can compete with the presentation of the dish, detracting from its overall appeal.

So, by opting for simplicity, you create a meal that is much more inviting and appetizing. Yum!

Image Credit: Monstera Production From Pexels

All budding foodies want their food to shine and look like the meals created by professional chefs, but this can be difficult. However, by implementing the simple tips shared above, you can transform your meals from ordinary to extraordinary, delighting both taste buds and eyes. Yet, also remember that when experimenting with plating the key is to have fun and let your imagination soar.

So, roll up your sleeves, put on your chef's hat, and create a delicious and aesthetic dish. Happy cooking!

Bonus Tips For Making Your Food Aesthetic:

  • Use Contrasting Colors
  • Create Height
  • Play With Pastel Colors
  • Serve Small Portions
  • Practice!

Cove Johnson Rabidoux
20k+ pageviews

Cove Johnson Rabidoux is a writer whose work can be found on Teen Ink, The Teen Magazine, The Spearhead Magazine, the Hot Pot Magazine, Leaders Across the World, and on her blog "Blue Pencil Writing." She serves as an editor for the Trailblazer Literary Magazine, Hot Pot Magazine, Cathartic Youth Magazine, and more. When she is not writing her novel, Cove enjoys reading, traveling, and baking.