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  Plating for the At Home Chef  
It is commonly said that you eat first with your eyes rather than your mouth. What does this mean to the average individual who is preparing a meal for a host of individuals? It means that you should take some extra time to help make each plate a memorable meal for your guest. Consider it a gift. Would you just hand them the shirt or would you wrap it neatly in a package, add a bow and some ribbon and really dress it up? You do not have to overdo it to get the look you are hoping for, though. Rather, you just need to keep in mind what it takes to make a meal visually appealing.

Have you ever not liked something long before you tasted it? This is a common problem because food can look boring, especially after you have eaten the same recipe hundreds of times. Instead of worrying about this, though, find some ways to dress up what you are serving.
A good place to start is with the plates themselves. The best option is a plain, white plate with or without decoration on it. White allows the food to speak for itself. It keeps the centre on the portion on the plate rather than on the design on the plate. Look for quality dishes in a variety of sizes and shapes that work with your dishes. Keep in mind that quality plates often give off that feeling of elegance you may be going for.

Next, consider colour. When planning the menu, be sure you use foods of different colours. Bright green, deep reds, beautiful burgundy sauces all have a different colour to them and all have a very inviting feeling to them. You are sure to find yourself using a range of flavours that work together too.

Dress up the plate with leafy herbs. Adding some fresh thyme, parsley or other herbs to the dish, just right over the top, adds that extra layer of flavour and keeps the meal visually appealing. For many people, this makes it a flavourful choice. Use the herbs already contained in the dish.

These are just a few of the ideas you want to keep in mind when it comes to dressing up your plates. A good chef allows his guests to enjoy very tasty foods, but also foods that are appealing from the time the plate is set down in front of them.

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