Personal Chefs: How do you package food without giving up presentation?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by customspoonfuls, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. customspoonfuls

    customspoonfuls

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    Hi all,

    I'm a personal chef in the greater Boston area and have been really struggling with how to balance correct packaging for the fridge and freezer while still presenting a pretty dish. Most of my dishes are for 4+ people at a time and range from soups to short ribs.

    Any tricks on making family style-ish sized meals more visually appealing?

    Much thanks!

    Melissa
     
  2. coup-de-feu

    coup-de-feu

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    Individual plate presentation is a relatively new thing.  I think until about the late 50's food was presented on a plaque that was for many people.  So you can get books from the 30's to the 50's that will have pictures of food presented in such a way.

    This book: http://www.amazon.com/culinaire-français-patisserie-conserves-contemporains/dp/B002GUBKGA  is from 1950 and has 500 color photographs of plaque presented food.  This book: http://archive.org/details/anewbookcookery00farmgoog   has a few pictures in it.
     
  3. brandon odell

    brandon odell

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    I try to push individually portioned meals whenever possible because it's easier to make them more visually appealing. I also don't do frozen meals. It destroys the presentation regardless of what it looks like going into the freezer. It's a pretty tall task to make a single component visually interesting. One way is to prepare several components family style in the same container. For example, line some Basmati rice pilaf down the outside edges of a large glass dish, line inside that with steamed broccoli, coat the bottom of the container with a raspberry pale ale mustard sauce, then top with a single line of peppercorn crusted chicken breasts. It's just like plating a large version of an individual meal. The struggle is getting all components of the dish to reheat in the same amount of time in the same dish.

    One thing you could think about instead of lamenting how to make a single package of prepared chicken breasts look appealing would be to make your packaging itself more colorful or appealing. There is only so much you can do with a single component in a container.