You find a beautiful recipe on the internet. The photo is gorgeous and it looks totally doable. The vision is so clear in your mind: You, sitting down at the table, with this beautiful, restaurant-quality dish in front of you. And the best part? You made it.
One night you decide to make the recipe, and as you’re cooking, you sneak a bite. It tastes amazing. Every flavor is exactly where it’s supposed to be and the texture is PERFECT. You think, Yes, I nailed it!
And then you put the food on the plate. Suddenly you notice that your veggies are sitting in a pool of green water, and there’s sauce running all over the place. You’ve got salad dressing in your potatoes, and your meat is soaking up whatever liquid your vegetables suddenly decided to spew onto the plate.
You’re left wondering, WTF just happened here?
Food photos in magazines and on TV are gorgeous, but your cooking never looks like that. You figure they must have a team of stylists making their food look gorgeous (yup, they do) and that only pro chefs know how to produce beautiful food.
You wish your cooking looked like all of those photos.
And guess what? That’s totally doable. With a few simple tricks, you can make your dinner look like it just floated out of the pages of Saveur.
» First, here’s a video that shows how to twirl pasta into a pretty tower of noodles.
» Maybe the easiest way to style your food is to creatively drizzle sauce around the plate. This video shows you a handful of artful ways to sauce your plate for impressive effect.
» Tired of boring-add salads? Here’s how to plate your veggies so that they’re gorgeous every time. And here’s a second method of salad plating in a completely different style.
» Mashed potatoes always seem to look like glop on a plate. With only a tiny bit of practice, you can use these piping methods to make your mashed potatoes a work of art.
» You know those little football-shaped scoops of ice cream you get at fancy restaurants? They’re called quenelles. Here’s how to scoop ice cream quenelles at home. (Note: This takes a little practice to perfect.)