Plating & Garnishing

To garnish is to decorate, adorn, dress up, pretty up, embellish, prettify. The act of garnishing can be as simple as the careful placement of a few lettuce leaves on a plate, or as elaborate as a pâtè bust with facial features carved from a variety of veggies and fruits.

Garnishing tools make foods taste even better. If food is more appealing to the eye, it is more appealing to the palate.

The reshaping of fruits and vegetables, especially when more surface is exposed, adds taste that would not otherwise be easily perceived by the palate. In a professional kitchen, the Chef Garde Manger beautifies the reshaping of fruits and vegetables using tools like those shown here.

The successful cook will make sure that garnishing has its intended effect by first choosing foods with tastes that complement each other.

As with all special effects, learning how to do it right is important. In this case, the basics are not very difficult, however practice can make a big difference. For best results, we recommend using step-by-step books on the subject, or taking a course at your local specialty store, school or college.

Care for your professional tools, and they will last you a lifetime, if you don't wear them out first. Wash them immediately after use, to prevent foods sticking and making it difficult (and sometimes dangerous) to clean later. And dry them thoroughly. Lightly oil any carbon steel tools before storing them.