Presentation & Good Food

Joined Oct 13, 2001
I have been in this biz since the 70s and as I trained with older european chefs my training was quite classical and old school . During my years working under these chefs it was always stressed upon me that presentation is very important but great food is even more so . Now in this time period the art of presentation has come to literally new heights as it seems that every chef is tring to out do the others by making there food stand up higher on the plate . We use rings and molds to form food , we dot our sauces and infusions around the plate in nice colors , heck , some even dust the plate edges with seasoning .
I sometimes get a feeling that the appearance of a plate is the way food is being judged today and not by the taste . personally I would much rather have great food than served somthing that has been played with . I know that some chefs feel that they are undersung artists and that the plate is there canvas to show the world there talent upon but for me , well Ill take some good food ,
you know , the kind you take that last piece of bread to soak up that last bit of sauce with . The good food you tell other people about . When I tell people about good places to eat I never tell them that the food looks good , I tell them how it tastes .
So , whats your take on these trends ? Doug................... ;)
Joined Jul 31, 2000
All metropalitan areas will have the whole spectrum of plate presentations.For the most part,i'm a purist,I don't like de-construted foods,thats not to say that it can't look and taste fantastic.I think if the foundation of cooking techique and using seasonal items is first learned then the beautiful plate presentations begin the follow.If you learn plate presentation before you learn really how to cook and "Understand"your food I think you'll end up with some hot looking plates that may suffer in depth and flavor imho.
Joined Jul 28, 2001
I truly understand what you are saying. I had the pleasure of dining at a local 5 star older fashioned French Room .
It really opened my eyes!!! I've been caught up in this newer trend for some time now.
We arrived for dinner with my wife and 12 yr old son. The seasoned veterans treated my son like a true gentleman.
The chef started us witha small dish with mango relish topped with seared tuna. I will not go through the whole menu but it sure was nice to have a front person to explain. a wine person, a silver person, a china person, a back and front waiter. Everything was brought to the table in Silver.
We had the tuna starter, app, starter, intermezzo, entree,french cheese display which the still had the hay from the french farm,
pre dessert ( very nice! cream cheese mousse, topped with carrot jelly and orange pineapple sorbet, coffee service and dessert. Then friandise and a loaf of orange carrot bread for the morning.
BTW there was probably 6-7 people assigned to our two three tops and I can't remember the service, but all I know is I didn't need a thing.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
This topic kinda always comes up. I've had people critique the use of nonfunctional garnish when they can't even strain a sauce or brown a piece of chicken properly.

Joined Aug 21, 2003
I think presentation should reflect the style of cooking. It goes without saying, in my opinion, that the food must be cooked/seasoned properly and served at the appropriate temperature, but after that the food should tell you how to present it. If you're cooking in a rustic Italian style, for god's sake don't shove it into ring molds or stack it into a napoleon. But if you're at Charlie Trotters etc. and the portions are small... everything is brunoise... then the presentation requires more finesse. You guys have probably been in this game a lot longer than me... how do you think the trends flow. Will Blackened Redfish be popular again next year? Does food follow the roughly 20 year cycle that music and fashion seem to?
Joined Oct 13, 2001
Does food follow cycles or trends as do fashions ? From what I have seen my awnser is yes . But who is selling us these trends ?
Watch your tv for a bit and you are told whats in and whats out !
But cooks who have been in this biz for some time know that the best trend is Great service and Great food . The best places to eat are those local favorites where people know what they are going to get . All of the adds say people eat with there eyes , but for me I would also include my heart , soul and stomach .
Just a humble cooks opinion who has prepared food for many people over many years . Doug.........................
Joined Jul 28, 2001
In our neck of the woods it these so called food critics who know as much about food as they know about paying the bill since it the greasing thats gets print. The crew down here have been on the wine kick for about a year now.
Special contributors such as local housewives get bumped up to critic.
It appears thats how our trends get started here

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