Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 19


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The Fine Art of Plating: Food
Presentation Health Care Style
By Tracey Christensen
of microgreens and paintbrushes at
their fingertips with which to enhance
visual appeal.
A fundamental of food plating includes
pairing flavors which enhance or compliment often in opposing manners. Think
spicy foods being paired with cooling
or mild flavours. Texturally there will
be fatigue in a meal which is all soft
or without crunch. A dish in fine dining will benefit from a crispy texture

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Arranging food on a plate which is visually appealing and inviting to appetite
can be challenging to any chef but can be
particularly challenging in a healthcare
setting. The addition of diet restrictions,
allergens and texture modifications can
amplify the task further.
In healthcare, the chef may also be
serving meals in the dining room from
a steam table and not have the benefit of a kitchen pass with a barrage

It may seem like a lot of things to consider, but if your plates appear neat, interesting and spaced
well - you have a head start in providing a satisfying meal to your residents and patients. If their
eyes are interested in the plate set before them - the appetite will take over.

whereas with long-term care, the diet or
texture restriction only allows for one
texture to be present. In both scenarios,
the taste and texture are fundamentally crucial to the dish and remain the
basic requirement.
Healthcare will often have cycle menus
and diet restrictions which can limit
some basic fundamentals. The reality in
healthcare is that making food look like
a work of art is not always a practical
possibility so chefs must be more creative
with less. Diet restrictions do not excuse
the staff from serving meals which meet
the criteria as above. Healthcare chefs
may have limited ingredients, space or
time with which they are able to ''create visual appeal'' but that does not
mean that it is not possible nor should
be attempted.
Focus instead should be placed on
practical fundamentals in order to
make the meals in an institutional setting look as good as they taste. Much
has been done in the way of research
which proves that we really do eat with
our eyes first. The opinion is that 80 per
cent of the dining experience is visual.
Meals that look tasty and are arranged
in a well-organized fashion with contrasting colours have been shown to
induce appetite.
The basic rules of plating are the
same in fine dining as they are in traditional healthcare. Everything on the
plate needs to be edible. The plate must
be balanced (evenly spaced and usually
centered) as well as highlight the main
element or component of the dish.
As much as possible, dishes should be
identical in presentation including location on the plate and how it is placed in
front of the diner. In all food plating it

F O O D S E RV I C E & N U T R I T I O N

19


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2

President’s Message
Malnutrition: Becoming Food Aware
Food Service Systems Management
Clinical Nutrition Competency
CSNM Corporate Member Profile
Ask an Expert
Advertiser Index
Management Notebook
Industry & CSNM News
Continuing Education Quizzes
Advertiser Index
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - cover1
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - cover2
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 3
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - President’s Message
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - Malnutrition: Becoming Food Aware
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 6
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 7
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 8
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 9
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - Food Service Systems Management
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 11
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 12
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 13
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - Clinical Nutrition Competency
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 15
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 16
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - CSNM Corporate Member Profile
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 18
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - Ask an Expert
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - Advertiser Index
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - Management Notebook
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 22
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - Industry & CSNM News
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 24
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - 25
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - Continuing Education Quizzes
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - Advertiser Index
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - cover4
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - outserts1
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - outserts2
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - outserts3
Food Service & Nutrition - Volume 1 No.2 - outserts4
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