Great Plates

With a great plate presentation, one sells the sizzle as well as the steak. The most exciting plate presentations provoke interest and anticipation. The food presented will then taste even better than expected. Remember that the main ingredient maintains center stage and everything else is meant to compliment.


  • Pair contrasting-colored sauces creatively “painted” or drizzled on the plate (think yin/yang).
  • Added ingredients such as minced garlic or onions; crumbled bacon or a coarse grain mustard will change the appearance and flavor of a sauce.
  • Add hard cheeses to your cream sauces for a flavor boost.
  • Try using a standard sauce on a different entrée. (think white sauce on meat, marsala sauce on beef)
  • Fruits and vegetables as ingredients and as a garnish. Or try grapefruit zest in a light sauce.
Rubs and marinades

Using a rub or marinade enhances the flavor of any center of the plate item and can make it more tender. Try these for extra zing and something different.
Chipotle and lime
Chili powder, ginger and garlic
Ground coffee, sugar, garlic and chili powder
Garlic and herbs
Montreal steak seasoning
Old bay
Chinese Five spice
Balsamic glaze
Teriyaki glaze
BBQ sauceOlive oil, lemon juice and garlic
Cajun seasoning
Blackening seasoning
Rosemary citrus
Cumin lime
Cilantro, red wine vinegar, garlic and lime juice
Whole grain mustard, olive oil and lemon juice
Vegetables and Side Dishes

  • Add texture and color to rice, mashed potatoes, and noodles by mixing in seeds, herbs or finely chopped vegetables.
  • Use cut vegetables in different shapes. Chopped, julienne, bias, diced, sliced, etc. all add dimension to a plate.
  • Salad mixes add a bright, colorful, vegetable component to the plate. Add a little fruit for even more zest.
The Main Event

  • Serve items such as steak and grilled chicken breast by slicing them and fanning them out on the plate.
  • Add shape to foods. Meat, vegetables, starches; a little shape makes the plate become a work of art.
  • Color adds richness to any dish. Use red or yellow peppers, red onion, green, leafy herbs ror any variety of colored sauce.
Accompaniments for the plate

Grilled onions
Grilled tomatoes
Onion rings
Olive tapenade
Dried fruit compote
Black bean salad
Red pepper and artichoke relish
Grilled vegetables
Roasted vegetables
Butternut squash hash
Corn on the cob
Blue cheese mashed potatoes
Pasta salad
Cole slaw
Potato salad
Sautéed spinach
Asian noodles
Potato pancakes
Steamed vegetables
Baked potato
Baked sweet potato
Hush puppies
Vegetable puree
Grilled zucchini
Vegetable kabobs
Stir fried vegetables
Tomato and corn salad