Let’s face it: some of the most scrumptious food would not win any foodie beauty contests. That doesn’t mean it can’t become pretty food — it just takes a little more work.
When you need to serve something that is inherently boring looking (or even downright ugly), you need to think twice as carefully about your choice of plate/bowl and your choice of garnish. They will be your transformative tools, elevating the ordinary to something worth salivating over.
As an example, my friend Deloris made a tasty hamburger casserole that she thought looked rather blah. She topped it with cheese, which certainly helped improve its appearance, but it needed more.
Look what happened when we plopped it onto a colorful plate, added a couple of slices of avocado, a small sprig of oregano, and a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped colored peppers. It became a star! The colorful placemat and napkin further enhanced the overall look.
We used a lunch plate sized plate, then set it on top of a full size black dinner plate to “frame” it. That way, the food did not appear lonely in a vast china field. This plate right-sized the meal to the dish. The result? Beautiful. And delish.