Beauty on a Plate: How to Make Dishes Visually Delicious

Making food that  both looks visually appealing and tastes delicious is its own talent.  In recent years, food styling has skyrocketed in popularity. Food art has become a phenomenon due to cooking shows like Top Chef and Chopped as well as social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Taking a picture of a beautiful dish before consuming it has become a cornerstone of our media culture. Whether you’re a busy mom or an aspiring chef, taking the time to focus on the aesthetic quality of your dishes can make a huge difference in how you and others  enjoy your food.


One of the easiest and most effective ways to elevate your dishes’ aesthetic quality  is to use color, especially seasonally. Using vibrant colors in a dish can bring the food to life. Incorporating the colors of the season will enhance any unique spices and flavorings in the food.  For example, chefs will use green, purple and even shades of red and pink in their dishes during the Spring. These colors are incorporated into the dishes by cooking with ingredients like green vegetables, multiples shades of cabbage, radishes and beets. These colors give a light and earthy feel and the bright colors on the plate pair with the bright colors that are blooming outside. A chef may also give a dish an extra touch of color and luxury by adding bright garnishes and edible flowers.


Adding intentional design elements to any dish will elevate its visual appeal. By using sauce streaks,  intricate cuisine layouts or food towers, any course can become more refined and unique. Adding droplets of coulis around the edges or using a food mold to create a tightly held circle of crab are just some of the unique ways chefs are creating photo-worthy dishes. Many chefs will also take the extra step of fanning out meats on the plate, assembling vegetables in a pattern and serving broth tableside as an added touch of flare. Dining is all about the experience, and what you eat  should look as good to your eyes as it tastes to your mouth. 


Want to know one of the best-kept kitchen secrets? The plate you serve your food on can completely change the dining experience.  The plate is the backdrop of the cuisine. Its color, shape, and dimensions can make a huge difference in the appearance of the food. Choosing a dark-colored dish can dull the vibrant hues of your ingredients or hide the precise sauce streaks you spent so much time incorporating into your dish. . However, by selecting a serving platter that is a bright color can also take away from the seasonal colors that are in the dish by blending in with them. The colors that were carefully chosen to represent the season will get lost in the plate and lose their vibrancy.  White is the best color dish for almost any color, cuisine, or occasion . A white plate, bowl or platter will always be classic, elegant and remain in the background - making your culinary creation the star. The clean color palette ensures that the pumpkin’s orange, beet’s red, and avocado’s green stand out because there is no competing color underneath. You can still make the dish unique by choosing a non-circular plate and opt for one with a rectangle or oval shape.

Food is one of the greatest pastimes,  so why not take the time to make you dishes look just as amazing as they taste? Today, everyone can be an ameture chef, photographer and food stylist and with these kitchen secrets, you can elevate all your dishes to the next level.

Celebrate the chic & unique of Fort Lee

Subscribe to our mailing list