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Garnishes. What is a garnish?. The word garnish comes from the French word “garnir” which means “to decorate or furnish”. In the culinary world, it means to use food as an attractive decoration.

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what is a garnish
What is a garnish?
  • The word garnish comes from the French word “garnir” which means “to decorate or furnish”.
  • In the culinary world, it means to use food as an attractive decoration.
  • It is something that should add real value to the dish by increasing its nutritional value and visual appeal.
garnishing tools
Garnishing Tools
  • Vegetable Peeler
    • Use to make decorative carrot curls and chocolate curls.
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Garnishing Tools
  • Butter Cutter
    • Has four sides that can be used to make a range of garnishes from curls to grooves to marble-size balls.
    • For best results, use ice-cold butter and a butter cutter that has been warmed in hot water.
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Garnishing Tools
  • Zester
    • Use to remove small strips of the colored part of citrus peels. You can also use this tool to shave pieces from colorful vegetables, such as carrots and radishes.
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Garnishing Tools
  • Melon Baller or Parisienne Scoop
    • Can be used to scoop out balls of cheese, potatoes, butter and melon.
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Garnishing Tools
  • Tournée Knife
    • Use to make tournéed, or turned, vegetables that have an oblong shape with seven equal sides and blunt ends.
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Garnishing Tools
  • Channel Knife
    • Use to pare strips of peel from citrus fruits and thin grooves from carrots and cucumbers.
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Garnishing Tools
  • Decorating Spatula
    • Has a flat blade that is used to create attractive designs on soft foods, such as cream cheese, butter and frosting.
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Garnishing Tools
  • Pastry Bag and Tips
    • Pastry tips fit into pastry bags and shape the flow of food as it is squeezed out of the bag.
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Garnishing Tools
  • Paring Knife
    • Has a sharp, V-shaped blade. Use this tool to carve fruits and vegetables.
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Garnishing Tools
  • Fluting Knife
    • Use to do detail work that requires a lot of control. Has a triangular blade that is about 2 inches long.
garnishing guidelines
Garnishing Guidelines
  • Be sure the flavor is compatible with the food on which it is served.
  • Keep color in mind. The color should complement the food.
  • Consider the size of the garnish in relation to the size of the food and the container. If it’s too large it may overpower the food.
  • Do not over-garnish food
  • Keep in mind the cost when working in a food service operation. The cost of the garnish should not add too much to the cost of the item.
plate composition
Plate Composition
  • Presentation is the process of offering the selected foods to diners in a fashion that is visually pleasing.
  • Remember- We eat with our eyes and then with our mouths!
  • The colors, textures, shapes and arrangements of all foods must work together to form a pleasing composition on the plate.
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Plate Composition
  • Plates should be neat and clean.
  • Inspect all plates before they leave the kitchen; wipe fingerprints, drops of sauce or specks of food from their rims with a clean towel.
  • When serving food remember :“Hot food should be placed on a hot plate, cold food should be placed on a cold plate”
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Plate Composition
  • Everything on the plate should be deliberately placed that way. Choose and position the food carefully to achieve a plate presentation with a balanced, harmonious composition.
  • Avoid the “smiley-face” plate.




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Plate Composition
  • Careful cutting of food increases visual appeal and reflects the chef’s attention to detail.
    • Some foods such as polenta and escalloped potatoes can be presented attractively when baked, removed from the pan and cut into various shapes.
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Plate Composition
  • Some foods such as grains or vegetables can be molded into attractive shapes by using metal rings, circular cutters, or other forms. This creates height and keeps the plate neat and clean.
guidelines for arranging foods on a plate
Guidelines for Arranging Foods on a Plate
  • Strike a balance between overcrowding the plate and leaving large gaps of space. Foods should not touch the plate rim.
  • Choose a focal point for the plate. Design the plate with the highest point to the rear or center. Avoid placing foods of equal heights around the edge of the plate-leaving a hole in the center- the eye will naturally be drawn to the gap.
  • The plates composition should flow naturally. For example, make the highest point at the back of the plate and have the rest of the food become gradually shorter toward the front of the plate.
plate dusting
Plate Dusting
  • Cover the entire plate with a dusting of powdered sugar, cocoa powder or both before placing the dessert on the plate.
  • Can be dusted on with a shaker can or a sifter.
  • Can be dusted on free-form or use a template such as a doily or stencil.
garnishing plates with herbs
Garnishing Plates with Herbs
  • Use fresh herbs that complement the dish to add color, texture and flow to a plate.
  • Can also use finely chopped herbs or nuts or whole or ground spices to decorate plate rims.
plate painting
Plate Painting
  • One or more colored sauces can be used to paint plates.
  • Simply drizzle or splatter sauce onto the plate.
  • Squirt bottles can also be used to create abstract patterns or designs. This technique is most often used with cold sauces.