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What do I serve on?

Chef Andy describes different types of plates used for plating.
A selection of plates
© International Culinary Studio

Another frequent question is what shaped plate do you use?

Nowadays there are so many shapes of plates that can be used. They are either suited to a theme or style which a restaurant or catering organisation will use.

Through menu planning, the best fit for the items on the menu matched to the plate and of course the final plating design should all be considered.

I would think about the ease of stacking the plates, the ability to transport them if you are running an event catering company that works at different venues would need to be considered and of course basic planning around how far from the kitchen a front of house server would need to carry plates to and from, as well as how many can one person carry. All of this will take time if the plates are big and bulky, and you may need more servers to ensure the plates arrive hot at the table or the dessert is still chilled when served.

The plates or serving platters available come in a range of shapes and sizes. White plates are commonly used as they tend to ensure the food and texture stands out however many people also use coloured plates, slate plates or even tiles. If you choose to use a bold colour or a patterned plate, be sure to check that the food details and visual interest is not lost on the pattern. Dark plates can provide a striking contrast to food and dazzle the guest.

Be sure to look at the size of the plates and then decide which portion or serving size will look best and where it will be best positioned to make the most of the dish. I am particularly fond of the new white ranges of plates which have different shapes and lend themselves to creating beautiful dishes for serving.

© International Culinary Studio
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Mastering the Culinary Art of Plating

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