Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Trying Harder at Presentation

Today was a challenging day for presentation.  Recently, my presentation has been lacking.  I have either made it sloppy and uninteresting or tried too hard and created something to corny.  Today we had 2 back to back practicals; the first being raspberry anise macaroons in pastry class.  This was one of the first desserts we have plated.  I thought about it ahead of time, something I've learned is very necessary with plating.  We were to make medium sized macaroons and I made a few minis to plate along with it.  I think the chef really appreciated my efforts, although he said that I needed to add more sauce to the plate.  
In cuisine, we made duck leg pot-a-feu, a stew like creation that is very tough to plate well.  Not only were we presenting a stew like, monotonous dish on a plate (rather than a bowl) but we also boiled marrow bones that we were supposed to plate AND making a tartar sauce to go along with it.  I plotted ahead of time with my friend and she lent me a small porcelain dish to hold the tartar sauce.  We also decided to run out to the delicious local bakery and get a baguette.  With that, I made wonderfully buttery croutons and spread the marrow onto those; MUCH prettier than plating a clunky bone.  Chef Thivet didn't have much to say, but I was definitely pleased with myself.  I also talked to the new chef about ways to improve my plating.  He mentioned making sure that the main part of the dish (usually the meat) is on the lower right hand side, making easier to eat.  He also said to look at cookbooks for inspiration and then to try to find my own personal style.  

Off to oooh and aahhh over some Thomas Keller cookbook photos...

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