Working the Plate: The Art of Food Presentation Hardcover – 22 Sep 2006
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In the world of cooking, presentation is every bit as important as flavor. This idea is critical for restaurants, where a dish′s appearance could determine the difference between excellent reviews and bankruptcy. Enter Styler′s new work, a step–by–step recipe manual for home cooks interested in making their dishes look as good as they taste. This is no ordinary cookbook; think of it as a compilation of ideas. Ten of the nation′s top chefs here introduce eight styles of plating. Delineated by chapters focusing on the art and principles of plating, the brief but packed text allows readers to indulge in various styles, including "Minimalist," "Artist," "Architect," "Contemporary European Style," "Asian Influence," and "Desserts: Classic and Contemporary." The book features photographs of chefs preparing dishes and is sparsely designed with an eye to beauty, allowing food design to take center stage. Styler doesn′t seek to be an authority on plating but instead hopes that this work will serve as an introduction to the art. Highly recommended for large public libraries. —Steven G. Fullwood, Schomburg Ctr. Lib., New York ( Library Journal , October 15, 2006) "Professional and home cooks…can take culinary presentation to the next level by learning the secrets of contemporary food styling." ( Cakes & Sugarcraft , Autumn 2007) “Professional and home cooks who are passionate about food can take culinary presentation to the next level…” ( Inspired by Food, Summer 2008) "...take culinary presentation to the next level by learning the secrets of contemporary food styling." (Inspired by Food, Winter 2008)
"...this is no ordinary cookbook...it is a compilation of ideas" ( Library Journal , October 15, 2006) "Professional and home cooks…can take culinary presentation to the next level by learning the secrets of contemporary food styling." ( Cakes & Sugarcraft , Autumn 2007) “Professional and home cooks who are passionate about food can take culinary presentation to the next level…” ( Inspired by Food, Summer 2008) ‘A solid reference work to an often–ignored or glossed over subject.’ (Yum.fi. April 2012)
From the Inside Flap
An inspiring book for professionals andsophisticated home cooks who wantto take their skills to the next level,Working the Plate goes beyond adding adrizzle of something here or a sprig ofsomething there to explore both the principlesand the art of food presentation. Christopher Styler shares the secrets of seven contemporaryplating styles: The Minimalist, The Architect, The Artist, Contemporary European Style, Asian Influences, The Naturalist, and DramaticFlair. He also reveals the thoughts of ten leading chefs on the art of plating, from Terrance Brennan and Emily Luchetti to Suzanne Goin and Marcus Samuelsson. Working the Plate includes several examples of each plating style. Stunning color photographs show both finished plates and the steps involved to duplicate the techniques behind such dishes as Roasted Quail with Chard and Potatoes, Parmesan Crusted Lamb Chops with Swirled Root Puree and Pea Sauce, Skate and Angel Hair Pasta with Caper Butter, Soba–Tofu Salad in a Nori Cone, and Bird′s Nest Brunch. Plating provides the all important first impression and sets the stage for the sensoryexperience of enjoying a great meal. With this overview of popular plating styles, you′ll see how you can vary approaches and add adistinctive dash of élan and panache to the dishes you serve. Discover the plating philosophies of these renowned chefs: Wayne Harley Brachman, Porter House, New York, NY Terrance Brennan, Artisanal, Picholine, New York, NY Andrew Carmellini, A Voce, New York, NY Suzanne Goin, Lucques, AOC, Los Angeles, CA Sharon Hage, York Street, Dallas, TX James Laird, Restaurant Serenade, Chatham, NJ Emily Luchetti, Farallon Restaurant, San Francisco, CA Tadashi Ono, Matsuri, New York, NY Kent Rathbun, Abacus, Jasper′s, Dallas, Texas Marcus Samuelsson, Aquavit, Riingo, New York, NYSee all Product description
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OK, it's probably not a book for professional chefs or people who have been plating food at home since they were two bricks and tickey high. But if you've recently discovered plating, and need ideas on how to get started yourself, or progress your beginning experiments, this book is actually a quite wonderful foundation!
It takes you through eight different approaches to the plate. There are photographs of the finished plate, and some accompanying how-to help, also with photographs. Don't expect recipes! It's not a recipe book. The only recipes you get are there to help you through the plating experience.
One reviewer accuses the book of being dated. Well, perhaps it's very dated to make a chocolate bowl to serve your dessert in, but wow, does it make a hit when you serve that chocolate bowl to guests. You will never get an up-to-date book on anything, it takes a couple of years to get a book into print. Having a foundation on plating helps you make sense of what's been done on your plate in a restaurant.
Most home cooks don't believe they can make their food look as pretty as it does in a restaurant. This book will show that it's possible. There are very, very few books on how to approach it; I've only found two others - Dishing with Style, which is actually a recipe book that gives you two ways to serve each dish, and Stacks, which shows you how to master just one form of presentation.
My view on this book is 100% positive and I wish there were more like it.
It is true that we eat with our eyes as well as our mouths and people do pay a premium to eat tasty, beautiful food in fine surroundings. You can make the nicest, most tastiest food of all but it can be let down by being chucked on a plate. Plating it, as it is called, is a skill just as important in a professional kitchen as getting the best ingredients prepared and cooked.
Here with "Working the Plate" the author takes a look at seven different "plating styles" from acclaim American chefs, with a range of full-colour images give a step-by-step guide to recreating a given styled dish from scratch. The styles are entitled The Minimalist, The Architect, The Artist, Contemporary European Style, Asian Influences, The Naturalist, Dramatic Flair and Deserts, Classics and Contemporary. The detail given here is amazing and you can feel as you are getting a personal one-on-one with a chef. In fact I think this works better than a DVD as you can focus just on one stage at a time, fine tuning your own skills and maybe even developing parallel skills and styles at the same time.
This book might, however, give the wrong impression to the casual reader that it will teach about the job of working the plate and working in a busy kitchen. That is not the case. Here you get "only" top quality information about making high-quality presentations of food. Of course no presentation style is timeless and there is never no "set way" but, of course, yet once you have learned the basics and have got a good understanding of how to plate up, your own experiences will boost your confidence and let you start to try new things and expand your own styles.
This is probably not a book for the average home cook and it is certainly not a recipe book. But culinary students, real foodies and those who want to take their own cooking to the next step as part of a total "experience" will find this a book worthy of consideration. It is not a universal panacea or an instant "how to" guide, but nonetheless it is a solid reference work to an often-ignored or glossed over subject.
One of those books that could have been good, but simply fell at the first hurdle - i.e. to engage and inspire!
You could probably gain more from browsing a sunday newspaper supplement.
there are enough ideas of how to create effects and ideas about how to plate your dinner party and everyday food
its not going to be the lightbulb moment but it may make you think more about how you plate food and the interviews with the chefs are great for grounding your ideas
otherwise it will make you look at the pictures in other cookbooks and give you some idea as to why they have plated food in certain ways
but yes its a little to basic as a book on its own and yes its a little dated
really in short if your a chef or seasoned foodie then give it a miss
but if your new to cooking or need a little inspiration about how to plate food differently then it maybe worth a go
hope this is helpful
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