Why is it that images of food on Instagram and in magazines look…so…finished?
Without going into all the trickery of food stying, typically, when it comes down to it, it’s garnished. Garnish is both a verb and a noun, referring to decorating or embellishing something, usually food.
In culinary school, we were taught to only use edible items for garnish (never put something inedible on a plate!). Garnish can come in the form of many things – flowers, herbs, microgreens, nuts, grated cheese, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, whipped cream, sliced fruit, sliced vegetables, crushed candy, a cocktail umbrella (although, that breaks the edible rule). Garnish is that finishing something that compliments whatever the dish may be, adding flavor, texture, or simply beauty.
Once you start looking for garnish, you’ll notice it everywhere. The next time you want to take your own meal or dish to the next level, add a garnish. I typically reserve some of whatever is going in the dish for sprinkling on top, and I just love using edible flowers to pretty up salads and desserts. What have you garnished lately?