Easy Gourmet Food Plating Tips

We’ve teamed up with Petrus Madutlela, Head Chef at The Poet in Matfield UK, to provide you with some easy to do and easy to remember tips for gourmet food plating at home.

Food art by Chef Petrus Madutlela

We all like to think we are budding chefs, after all, who doesn’t like to leave a lasting impression when entertaining friends and family at a dinner party? As we start to socialise more again in our homes, it’s the perfect time to impress your guests with some gourmet-style plated food.

You don’t have to be a Michelin starred chef to create a memorable plate of food. In fact, there are plenty of tricks that can be achieved from the comfort of your own home, using things that you can easily source or have in your kitchen.

Follow Petrus Madutlela's step by step guide for gourmet food plating at home. Enjoy!

1. Use the flat base of a glass to create a bed for your meal

Sometimes it can seem difficult to make a main meal look beautiful, but with this simple trick you can really bring your plate to life.

Perfect when using pea puree as seen here, the glass base creates a circular shape from which to build your meal upon.

Complete your dish by adding edible flowers that add a pop of colour (use tweezers for added accuracy!) and to finish off, sprinkle your dish with a savoury powder.

2. Achieve the perfect ‘swoosh’

Who hasn’t tried to attempt the perfect ‘swoosh’ of a puree or sauce at home? It’s a simple yet effective trick that adds an artistic touch to your dish.

The key to the perfect swoosh:
- add a generous amount of puree to the plate in one area
- take a teaspoon and quickly (speed is key!) swipe through the puree or sauce in a half circle
- be confident! If you hesitate the shape won’t look as natural

Once you have achieved this decorative base, use it to plate the different elements of your dish. Here, Petrus uses it to build up fruit and edible flowers to accompany a delicious dessert.

Another tip when it comes to your fruit, is to break them up with your fingers instead of cutting them, it will make the dish appear more organic and more appealing to the eye.

3. Create a quenelle scoop

If you’re wondering what a quenelle is, you will have definitely seen one on Masterchef! Essentially a beautifully oval scoop of cream or ice cream, a quenelle is a great way to add a touch of finesse to a dessert dish.

How to make a quenelle:
- Get two tablespoons and put them in a pot of water
- With the back of one of the spoons, smooth out the surface area of your cream or ice cream to create a smooth base to scoop from
- With your other clean, wet spoon, scoop away from you, turn the spoon and then scoop back towards you, twisting your spoon as you change direction
- Place on your plate and voila! The wetness of the spoon will help make sure none of the cream or ice cream sticks to the spoon and helps it to slide easily onto the plate

To make even more of a feature out of your quenelle, take a small wet teaspoon and press down on the top of its surface. This will create a ‘well’ where you can add a further dressing, jus, or puree.

For that final finishing sprinkle of magic, have some cold chocolate to hand and simply grate it over your dish.

4. Use paper to cut shapes for plating

It may seem very simple, but using cut out shapes of paper will help you to create a gourmet style dish.

Here, Petrus has taken a circular shape, placed it on the plate and sprinkled chocolate powder into the centre. This then becomes a beautiful base to work from for this mouth-watering chocolate dessert, making it look like a piece of art on a plate!

Everyone has paper and scissors in the home, and you can cut whatever shapes you like! It’s so wonderfully simple!

We hope that our tips have inspired you to create meal-time masterpieces in your very own home! Our 100% natural stone worktops are the perfect prep surface for cooking; from preparing delicious desserts to placing hot pans on the surface without a worry. Keep your eyes peeled for more tips and insights!



Chef: Petrus Madutlela, Head Chef at The Poet in Matfield UK and @poetatmatfield on Instagram

Photographed on Lundhs Emerald natural stone worktops.

Written by Janne Magnussen

Last edited 12 Aug 2021