A Balancing Act: Achieving the Right Mix between Delicious and Beautiful
Food can more than just a way to provide your body with the fuel it needs to stay in motion. It can be beautiful, even elegant. The right dishes can combine color and form to create a beautiful mixture of style, grace, and delectable foods.
Chefs the world over are challenged with finding the right mix between deliciousness and beauty, creating recipes that deliver flavor, a balance of nutrients, and the beauty that your eye demands. Not only are world-class chefs creating flavorful, beautiful plates, but so are meal kit companies – Chefs Plate dishes are easy to prepare, delicious, offer balanced nutrition, and are undeniably beautiful.
Elements of a Beautiful Dish
Not entirely sure how to create stunning dishes on your own? It’s really all about a handful of elements. We’ll walk you through those below:
• The Plate – A lot of your dish’s appearance hinges not on the food in question, but on the plate you choose. You need a plate that is the right size, that is the right shape, and that is the right color.
• Plating – Beyond the plate you use, you also need to consider plating, which is really nothing more than how you arrange food on the plate. However, it’s not really that simple and you’ll want to consider a few things here:
o The Base – If you have a sauce or another moist ingredient, make that the base of your plate.
o Go Odd – If you’re an even number person, this will make you grind your teeth, but serving odd amounts of food can create greater visual appeal.
o Flavor – Don’t rely on your diners to combine flavors on their own. Do it for them by plating so that flavor combinations are created.
o Crowding – Resist the urge to fill plates to overflowing. White space is as important in creating stunning dishes as it is in art, website design, or anywhere else.
• Color and Contrast – One-note plates look boring and bland. Serve meals that combine different colors to create synergy on the plate.
• Height – Even soup should not have a homogeneous surface. Go for height. Different heights create visual interest and angles can help build a beautiful dish.
• Combine Textures – Glossy and matte, solid and liquid, coarse and smooth; combine different textures to create a contrasting plate that is more than the sum of its parts.
Chefs for Inspiration
Why limit yourself to the explanation above? Get visual confirmation of exactly what we’re talking about by checking out the signature dishes made by some of the world’s most famous chefs. Below, you’ll find a brief rundown of just a few:
• Emeril Lagasse and his banana cream pie
• Raul Salinas and his wagyu beef toban yaki
• Wolfgang Puck’s signature pork schnitzel
• Jet Tila’s pineapple fried rice
• Daniel Son’s soy paper king crab hand roll
• José Andrés’ paella with shrimp and squid
Meal Kit Companies
It’s not just home cooks and chefs within restaurants creating stunning yet delicious dishes. Meal kit companies are also in on the game. In fact, you might say that they have more to prove than your average cook or chef simply because these companies are relative newcomers to the game.
We’ll begin with Chefs Plate, a company that really goes the distance when it comes to creating not just delicious, nutritionally balanced meals, but in ensuring that the meals look just as good as they taste. The chefs that work for the company go to great lengths to combine colors, textures, and ingredient size. The recipe cards that accompany each meal kit also offer plating suggestions. Finally, the company has a thriving Instagram community in which customers show off how they’ve plated the dishes they purchased.
Of course, Chefs Plate is not the only meal kit company getting in on the action, although they might pull off style and beauty better than some others. Other companies in the meal kit space that continually push the boundaries of what beautiful food means include:
• Hello Fresh
• Fresh City Farms
• Miss Fresh
Meal kit companies are making it easier for the everyday home cook to create delicious, nutritious meals that look as good as they taste.