In this day & age, most people will pull out their phones when their food comes before they bow their heads & bless it. I mean it’s 100% true, “you eat w/ your eyes first”. How many times have you logged into your favorite social media account, read what someone is going to cook for dinner, think to yourself “that kind of sound good” & then they post the ultimate struggle plate?! TOO MANY GOT DAMN TIMES!!! Here are a few quick tips and tricks to avoid Le’ Struggle.
- Ain’t no paper plates. Ever ! NEVER ! NO ! Surprise, surprise, I don’t like them. Say what you want, but I hardly ever use paper plates & you will be surprised if you see them in my home – I prefer the real thing. My other preference, WHITE; all different styles, shapes & sizes. Why, you ask? They eliminate distractions & make your food the focal point.
- TOOLS. Ring molds, squeeze bottles, kitchen tweezers, tongs, vegetable peeler, measuring cups – I’ll explain later, clean hands, & graters/microplanes.
Ring molds: I use ring molds if I want to stack foods tightly. For example: I’ll take a ring mold, place it on the plate, add rice (smash it down a little), add lightly seared tuna or salmon, add mango, avocado, carefully remove the ring mold, garnish the top of the stack w/ black & white sesame seeds & add a sauce – looks like it came right out of the kitchen of your favorite Japanese spot.
Squeeze bottles: you can fill two bottles w/ an awesome sauce, flavored oil, or a puree, place one or more of the three to the bottom of your serving dish, place a protein, veggie & a garnish on top and voila!
If either of these are too complicated or unavailable in your kitchen then I KNOW you have measuring cups, & if you don’t, BYE! Stop reading & go buy some, right now.
Measuring cups: measuring cups is how I get my “circle rice” or what I used to get my quinoa w/seabass to look like that (refer to my pictures).
Kitchen tongs/tweezers: Want height on your pasta or noodles? Kitchen tongs get the job done. Kitchen tongs are also great for strategically placing items on the plate or for larger garnishes.
Vegetable peelers: long, thin ribbons of vegetables and cheese! Also, a sharp vegetable peeler is good for slightly frozen meat to be used in stir fry! * wink wink *
Most importantly, clean hands: Clean hands are your most important kitchen tools & without clean hands how are you even in the kitchen? All jokes aside, using your hands on the food when plating is a wonderful tool as well. I do recommend gloves if you are cooking for others
- No dirty plates! Please, please, please listen to this one. Once you plate, & your food is all pretty, take a clean cloth or paper towel and wipe up those splatter marks. I DO NOT care how good it taste it looks gross w/ splotches of sauce and food all over your plate. In your momma’s voice “CLEAN IT UP”.
- ANGLES BABY! When you take a picture, just like you have angles or “a good side”, so does your plate. Like my girl Pascha always says “you gotta find your light”. The best way to photograph food pics is to either get really close, low & at a good angle or stand directly over the plate & take from there.
Open soft shell tacos: over
Cheese plate: either
Low is best to hid inconsistencies & flaws, show off layers & how food is stacked. Over is best if you want to show out & show it all- open face things, hiding burnt or soggy bottoms, showing off well decorated tops; avocado toast, cakes, pies & frittatas.
Now, let the struggle go and show me what you got! Please post comments & pictures below using the tips I’ve provided.
Thank you & -E.A.T
*all of these pictures aren’t mine