Essential Elements of Plating

Essential Elements of Plating


I’m Michael Laiskonis, Creative Director
here at the Institute of Culinary Education. Plate presentation is really
where each individual chef will let their creativity shine. I’m going to take
a look at important elements of presentation. Composition: this is where
we make aesthetic choices, design elements like basic composition, height,
color, symmetry. We’re going to illustrate these ideas by plating up a yogurt panna
cotta. So I’m going to begin with a cylinder of our yogurt panna cotta. I’m
placing it slightly off-center. By creating an asymmetrical composition
we’re creating a lot of negative space which creates some movement on the plate.
A thin strawberry gelée and I’m going to plate the lemon confit into three piles.
Generally speaking odd numbers tend to look more attractive to our eye than
even numbers. A little bit of basil seed; some very thin slices of candied celery;
a few slices of strawberry; some celery leaf. I’d like to place these as if they were
falling from the heavens to create upward movement. So we have red against
green and the reason why that works is because on a color wheel they’re
complementary colors; however, even though it works in this presentation, the
flavors work as well. I try to avoid adding color just for the sake of color,
unless it adds something to the flavor of the dish. A little bit of lime cream,
again, to use odd numbers, five dots. Just a little drizzle of a basil-infused
olive oil. For our strawberry panna cotta: slightly asymmetrical in the plating, odd
numbers of components and because it’s a fairly lateral presentation we’re using
the natural shape of our ingredients to create that motion. Balance is when we look at the portion
and proportion of our components and how they might actually shift the focus of
the dish. Here the inspiration is très leches. We want to lighten up that
presentation and actually use cake as a garnish. Create more of a fruit-driven
dessert by starting with a little dulce de leche. The depth of this bowl allows
us to make a really interesting swipe. This pineapple has been roasted with some
vanilla, star anise and rum. Next comes our cake component of sponge cake soaked
in evaporated milk, condensed milk, and coconut milk. To amplify the fruitiness,
some mango pearls. Ground hazelnut. Coconut sorbet right
onto the hazelnut to keep that from sliding around. A little lime cream, fresh
grated lime zest. Tres leches reinvented simply by
shifting the portion and proportion of our components to create more of a fruit-driven dish. Shape: this is where we concerned
ourselves with the actual shape of our ingredients and I like to use this as an
exercise in simplicity and refinement. Taking a cue from not only Japanese
aesthetics but also ingredients. So I have a black sesame and milk chocolate
parfait that’s set on a Kinako wafer. Kinako is a toasted soybean powder. I’m
also not going to muddy up this presentation with too many flavors. I’m
going to echo the sesame with a little bit of ground black sesame powder.
Preserved cherry on top because we have a sour cherry center.
Caramelized rice, a little red shiso, some confectioners sugar. The black of the
plate will allow this to pop. I’m going to dust the rim of the plate again to
kind of accentuate the roundness and then finish with a little bit of matcha
green tea powder. We’re kind of creating a variation on a theme, lots of round
shapes superimposed on top of each other. Texture is all about how we feel the
food, so we’re looking at soft, creamy firm, hard, brittle, crunchy and how those
textures interact. So it’s a lot about the contrasts, contrast in temperatures
as well. And we’ll be doing a play off of a vacherin, which is classically a dessert
that includes meringue, some sort of frozen element and some sort of creamy
element. So we’re going to start with that creamy element: simple vanilla cream. And
I’m using this Front of the House Monaco Bowl because the shape of this bowl
allows all of these textures to kind of intermingle.
For some acidity we have a bergamot cream and then lightness expressed in
this pistachio sponge. For a crunchy element: crushed strawberry sablée. Our
basil ice cream — I really love that herbal flavor with all of these bright
citrus flavors. Adding a chewy texture of some candied orange peel and the
hallmark of a vacherin: dried meringue. So here we have our dried meringue in
little little button form. Little ground pistachio, utilize that nice wide rim and
to echo the ice cream, a few leaves of fresh basil. The way the elements are
combined and the choice of the bowl itself easily led to getting a little
bit of these different textures in each and every bite. There’s endless opportunity for
creativity and expression depending on the design elements, the techniques and
the plates that we employ.

100 thoughts on “Essential Elements of Plating

  1. I have found that prime numbers are even more soothing and elegant in their lush texture than odd numbers. I usually arrange my cream into 11 or 17 equal partitions.

  2. Too much negative space! I’m like just put it in the middle !!! It looks too fake when you concentrate most of it on one side! You need to balance it out.

  3. I, as a culinary student, hate the odd numbers rule, even numbers look good too and nowadays teachers try to impose this rule onto their students as if it was the only way of serving a plate.

  4. I found the upward motion of the negative space imperative in creating a profound unctuousness that could only lead to an elemental platonic ideal.

  5. This is a great explanation but the food just doesn't look appetizing. Though the way he explains it makes sense but the plating over all looks dull. If I were to order this I would be disappointed to say the least.
    The choice of plating looking a tad too large but that's a personal opinion I could look past.

  6. I hate that some people think fancy and esthetically pleasing means pea sized portions. Give people what they're paying for!

  7. sure they look nice but all of these dishes are so pretentious. he is just looking to make every ingredient resemble itself as little as possible. he can't just use a good strawberry, he has to use a strawberry gelée. not mango, but mango pearls. not pistachios, but "pistachio sponge." of course those kinds of things have their place but every single ingredient in every single dish, really? seems like he is compensating for something.

  8. None of this is appealing. Each dish was unnecessarily complicated. The fine ingredients were lost in a minutia of pretentious bs.

  9. Only for insta cough
    First step you need to warm the plate next put the sugar powder in middle and with a visa card…

  10. Make sure you spend 40K a year on this shit and show up in a real , sweaty kitchen w food cost limits , guys calling sick and Yelpers giving you one star because your curtains were wrong , teach this minnows the real world , bloody fucken hell .

  11. I think the unspoken element of the fact that fancy plating is appealing, are other elements in the sournding environment. Lights, how staff is dressed, and how they speak, and general clinliness of the environment.

  12. Hmm seen way better presentation…. on Pinterest and instagram.
    typical business men who've created their own institution. Exploiting a gap in the market and new chefs inspirations.

  13. Lmao who is this fuck I could plate better half drunk. What a fucking prick teaching kids to be what you say what a dumb fuck

  14. No body learns to plate by following these rules. One needs to observe more and more types of dishes, and improvise over them while making there own! Secondly what's the rule with the odds? After all what matters is that it must look pleasant! And honestly, in spite of being a tutorial video, the dishes are not even sufficiently appealing!

  15. Very well put together and presented. As someone who has had the honour of working in the Food Field for over 45 years. As a Chef/Baker/Butcher/Chocolatier/Public Health Inspector; your eyes look upon food in a different why than most do. Anyone can pick apart your dishes, "as they say your only as good as your last". My Grandmother use to say, "If you don't have anything nice to say, keep a lid on it"… looking forward to your next video…

  16. I’m surprised no one mentioned how awkward having the two students just standing there and not talking was

  17. Technique is only so effective. Here is a good lesson in technique, although, if you have an ounce of originality; this video may be mildly annoying to watch… you can’t teach creativity, you either have it, or you don’t. Good video

  18. The tres leches plating was almost awesome, except it missing one important thing… the cake. Put a piece of cake next to the fruit and it would be perfect.

  19. Maybe it's the color on the video, but the colors just did not work – maybe different color plates? That would look more pleasing. Also, real danger in leaving too much space on the plate, making a normal portion look skimpy. Also, distraction of the two "students" looking on. Not necessary.

  20. i never understood plating. it does not whet my appetote. and it really looks like a cheap method to lessen what i can eat in a plate.

  21. The panna cotta is nice and I understand the basil combination for the color and flavor ok , but the celery leafs !??

  22. Red and green are not complementary colors. They are polar opposites. Even evolution made it that way. We notice red more because it signals a predator in “safe” green environment (plants) . Thats why women in red dresses get noticed so easily and thats why banks use green in their design (one of many possible examples). So if you gonna talk some smartass shit about color matching in plating, at least learn your shit.

  23. Glad this very feminine style of plating is going away, welcoming back rustic cuisine again!
    May the flavors be the main focus again

  24. Okay, all fine and said, tell me, what has any of this to do with the taste, and how filling is the food? I find these things to be too much about psuedo-food and not the actual food. One could do similar stuff with ones room, living space interior design, etc. So presentation of food can be done without food. Let us just go and eat food as we wish. 😀 haha. Then play with colors on canvas

  25. A baby sleeps in a cot, not a coat, so pronounce it pana-cot-ta. Also, jelly, confit, anise, & basil, were all horribly pronounced

  26. We are all like sheep odd numbers and everybody follows that rule and then comes along someone … a chef for example who does NOT use odd numbers and he is then defined as a “pioneer” a genius and all that jazz mean time, he was simply not following everybody else.

  27. Give me 100$ and I will made you 5 star chef, of course 40 000 $ per student in 8 months, this school owner should be a multi billionaire by now, oh and international students financial aid not supported,go sell your kidney to be their slut.

  28. I appreciate all the hard work and knowledge behind each element of these dishes, but this stuff don’t really impress me. I respect those who can do these things on the fly, off the top of their heads, and also using fire. Also dessert station = vacation station.

  29. how some people can take this shit so seriously and genuine feel like they are learning something will never cease to entertain me.

  30. Not that I'm an expert, but I gotta say his examples did not appeal that much to me. The tips were good, but application left something to be desired.

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