Anolon Academy

Plate up with Pizazz

With the right presentation, even the most basic meat + veg dish can look impressive (and give the illusion of effort). Here, our top 5 foodie flourishes.

Pot luck magic

There’s no need to transfer your main to a serving platter when you have beautiful, high-quality pots. Just wipe off any splatter, polish it up a little and bring the pot straight to the table, camp fire style. A Nouvelle Copper casserole from Anolon makes an appealingly rustic centrepiece resting on a white linen napkin. BONUS: less washing-up is never a bad thing.

Dinner en blanc

Fine dining restaurants use stark white dinner plates for a reason. Much like art gallery walls, they’re the perfect blank canvas to showcase chef’s creations. When it’s your turn to host, stash the coloured crockery and plate on elegant white porcelain – round or square. BONUS: Go for height (stacks and layers) rather than width when arranging food and take care not to have garnishes too close to the edge. Leftover white space is good to give the eye a break.

Odd numbers make a plate

The curious ‘odd number’ composition rule applies in art, photography, interior design and culinary presentation too: things just look more interesting when displayed in groups of three, five, seven … than they ever could in two, four or six. Why is this? Nobody knows. When you plate up, make it three pork sliders, five meatballs or 11 oysters. Seriously has to be seen to be believed!

Creative slicing and dicing

Play around with shapes, colours and textures with a little help from your julienne peeler, citrus zester and our personal favourite – the melon baller. Fun, easy and very effective on a plate (who doesn’t love rainbow veggie ribbons?). BONUS: a simple trick taught in hospitality school is the art of strawberry fanning. All you do is place berry on chopping board, hold the hull and slice thinly lengthways (leaving a ½ cm gap at the top). To finish, apply pressure at the hull end with your thumb to make it fan out. Great for desserts and takes all of three seconds!

Pass the parcel

Funny thing about food presentation: things look even more delicious in unexpected packaging. Try wrapping individual portions of sweet potato chips in baking paper like bouquets of flowers. Secure with string or place in mini frying baskets. ‘Adorable!’ said everyone. BONUS: mini Chinese takeaway containers, tiny popcorn boxes, paper boats, coconut shells and hollowed-out bread bowls also draw oohs and ahhs.