Simple Food Decorating Tips for the Kitchen Newbie

Taste does not depend on the palate alone; rather, it is a combination of different sensory delights. Aroma and visual effects play a significant role in how good food tastes, so even the most delicious dishes could end up tasting like sawdust if they don’t smell and look enticing. So as a new entrant to the kitchen, your focus should not just be on the recipe books, but also on how the food can be served so it begs to be eaten or, on a lighter note, looks too good to be eaten. If you’re stumped for garnishing ideas that are simple yet effective, keep reading:

  • Learn the basic cuts: Before you enter the kitchen with the intent of preparing food, you must know how to wield a knife effectively. This is not just for safety reasons, but also for aesthetic purposes – when you know just how to cut vegetables and fruits so they can be used to decorate food, you’re definitely going to be accepted as a good, if not great cook. It’s not that hard to dice fruits and veggies into shapes that serve as garnishes – very often, it involves removing the seeds and other innards, dicing the fruit or veggie into strips or slices, or just peeling them and placing them in a variety of shapes. If you have an eye for design, you cannot go wrong with the decoration aspect, food or otherwise.
  • Bright colors are always appealing: For foods like salads and veggie dishes, use the brightest colored vegetables to garnish your plate. In general, use the ingredients that are already in your dish so the garnish complements the food that it’s decorating. Remember to wash and clean the vegetables and fruits you’re using for garnish, even if they’re not going to be eaten. They could contaminate the food and cause food poisoning.
  • Remove things that could alter the taste of the dish: When you garnish with lemon or oranges, remember to deseed them so that they don’t accidentally get into the food. Also, avoid using foods that change color when exposed to air (like apples) or wilt over a period of time if you’re not going to be serving the food immediately. Some foods have odd smells, so don’t use them as garnishes or they could pollute the aroma of your dish; and do remember not to clutter up the plate with more garnish than food.
  • Use edible garnish: Although plastic flowers and artificial items look good and keep forever, it’s best to use edible items as garnish. Avoid artificial colors and agents even though they heighten the visual appeal of food.
  • Invest in the equipment: For garnishing that looks professional, buy the right knives, peelers and other tools that help you get those curls and slices just right. Also remember to serve the food on plates and dishes that look good and complement the color of the food you’re serving and the garnish that decorates it.