Resource for Basics / Presentation

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by covertlydebonai, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. covertlydebonai

    covertlydebonai

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    At home cook
    I apologize if this isn't the right forum, I wasn't sure if there was one since I'm not really looking for recipes.

    Does anyone know any books / dvds / resource that will teach me the basics. I am not a professional chef, nor do I plan to become one. With that said, I'd like to learn more to make some awesome dishes, especially with a focus on plating/appearance to give it that "flair" and make it visually stunning.
     
  2. berndy

    berndy

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    Retired Chef
    What you can do is go to your library and look at all the cook books they have there and write down all the ingriedient combinations you see in the pictures like the meats,sauces and vegetables and other  garnishes

    Pick the ones you like most and the try to copy them at home and after a while you will get a feel for it.

    And other great plated and very appealing photos you will find right here when you look at all the pictures displayed under "what did you have for dinner last night / "
     
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Just pay a visit to your local library. There arre 100s of great books with pictures to stimulate your imagination.. I get numerous ideas there.
     
  4. minas6907

    minas6907

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    When you say teach you the basics, the book The Professional Chef comes to mind. I'm not sure if you'll consider it overkill, but it contains all the fundamentals you would want to learn, plus waaaaay more. Check it out.
     
  5. genemachine

    genemachine

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    When it comes to plating, I don't think a tutorial will help much. Of course, there are certain techniques, but essentially - look at cookbooks, look at videos, look at the plates served to you in your favourite restaurants. Then think about it. What did you like, why does it appeal to you. Proportion, colour composition - things like that. That's how I try to learn. Of course, I do have a long way to go. One good starting point is Jacques Pepin - his books as well as his videos. I learned so much about simple, clean, classical techniques from that.
     
  6. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    It's stupid expensive, but Modernist Cuisine for the Home is very good. 

    Presentation should represent the occasion, the food and your aesthetic.  Some times you want a more formal and arranged presentation than others.  But there are a few basic rules:
    • Simple plates;
    • White plates are easiest;
    • Plates larger than the food;
    • Never crowd the plate;
    • Lots of "negative space;"
    • Be aware of color
    • Simplicity:  Not too many things on a plate, two is a lot and three is usually too many;
    • Harmony:  Good plating makes the food look appetizing.  OCD is not an aesthetic, it's an unfortunate condition. 
    • Don't use perfect "geometric" arrangements;
    • Unless it's dessert, keep it simple;
    • Foods should only touch when they're meant to be eaten on the same fork;
    • Go vertical when possible; and
    • Don't drown food in sauce -- "nappe," puddles or a spoon push."
    BDL
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  7. covertlydebonai

    covertlydebonai

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    Wow, I want to thank everyone here!! I was expecting a bit of  a snobby / look down at me type responses, but everyone was extremely kind!

    I will check my library for those books and heading to browse the what you've had for dinner now! 

    I'll check it out and keep you guys updated with my progress! =)

    Thanks again!!
     
  8. covertlydebonai

    covertlydebonai

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    I bought a make-your-own-sushi kit as well, so I'm hoping to make some unique/interesting sushi's and dress it up fancy =)

    My friend said the library is closed due to the recent storms ("Hurricane" Sandy then the Snow Storm (13" of snow here), but I will double check then get some books!
     
  9. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Good on you!

    A couple more presentation basics:
    • Knife work is VERY important.  You can't be too good nor can your knives be too sharp.  Invest the time and money in knives which are worth sharpening, in knife skills, and in the equipment and the skills to keep them sharp; and
    • Only one sauce on a plate.  The exceptions to this rule are very rare, and those usually involve "duos" or "trios" presented as smooshes or in separate containers like tasting spoons where the diner is given the option of variety.  This is not only part of keeping things visibly simple and harmonious, but keeps your flavors clearer.  If you want to serve two items with different sauces -- say spaghetti and a sauced piece of meat -- as part of the same course, it's best to plate them separately, "steakhouse" style. 
    Good luck with your sushi!

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012