General Cookery Flap copy 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. 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. Plating provides the all important first impression and sets the stage for the sensoryexperience of enjoying a great meal. Long awaited by professional chefs, this groundbreaking guide to food presentation will also delight and inspire culinary students and sophisticated home cooks.
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Each section of the book has four or five examples of a plating style, demonstrated by one dish. For each dish, you get one photograph of the finished dish, and usually three small photographs demonstrating the process to construct the dish.
The problem photographically is that the "completed dish" photos were almost all made with incredibly small depth of field, making it difficult to really see what was going on. Depth of field is an important tool in I found this to be somewhat disappointing.
Depth of field is an important tool in photography, no doubt, but in this sense it is used stylistically in a pretty hamfisted way, and it obscures that food. Fortunately, I borrowed it from the library. There are a number of profiles of individual chefs; had the chefs been given more of an opportunity to discuss their techniques and illustrate them, it would have been much better. As it is, they each get a vague single page summarizing their overall style, with another page dedicated to detailing their career.
Again, this distracts from what I was interested in learning. To others this will be a lot more practical and a guide to helping them improve the visual presentation of their food dishes and to go on to the next level of culinary expertise. 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. 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. This is probably not a book for the average home cook and it is certainly not a recipe book. ISBN , pages. Typical price: GBP Whether you call it a cookery book, cook book, recipe book or something else in the language of your choice YUM will provide you with news and reviews of the latest books on the marketplace.
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Working the Plate : The Art of Food Presentation