The Art Of Vegan Presentation: Mastering Plating And Styling For Plant-Based Dishes

Posted on: 19 April 2023


Traditionally, food in restaurants is plated around a meat dish — however, with the growing popularity of plant-based diets and increased focus on sustainability, chefs are now embracing innovative ways to create visually stunning vegan dishes that celebrate the natural beauty and flavors of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. If you've recently opened a vegan restaurant or accepted a job in one, here's what you need to know about plating your kitchen creations:

Color Your Plate 

One of the best things about vegan cuisine is the abundance of vibrant, colorful ingredients. To create an eye-catching plate, use a variety of hues from different vegetables, fruits, and grains. Remember that contrasting colors can make each element on the plate stand out, while a monochromatic approach can create a more subtle, sophisticated effect.

Textures and Layers

Incorporating a mix of textures adds depth and intrigue to your vegan dishes. Think about combining crispy, crunchy components with smooth, creamy elements, or adding a layer of toasted nuts or seeds for added interest. When plating, consider how you can create layers by stacking or arranging ingredients in a visually appealing way.

The Rule of Thirds 

The rule of thirds is a classic principle in photography and design that can be applied to plating as well. Imagine your plate divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal and vertical lines. Placing the main focal points of your dish along these lines or at their intersections can create a sense of balance and harmony in your presentation.

Garnishes With Purpose

Garnishes should be more than just a decorative afterthought. Choose garnishes that not only enhance the appearance of your dish but also complement its flavors and textures. Fresh herbs, edible flowers, and citrus zest are some examples of garnishes that can add a pop of color, aroma, and flavor to your vegan creations.

Sauces and Drizzles

Sauces and drizzles are a great way to add visual interest and depth of flavor to your vegan dishes. Consider the consistency and color of your sauces, as well as how they will be applied to the plate. Experiment with different techniques, such as spooning, drizzling, or using squeeze bottles for more precise application.

Negative Space

When plating your vegan dishes, remember that sometimes less is more. Leaving some negative space on the plate can help to highlight the ingredients and create a clean, uncluttered presentation. This can be particularly effective when showcasing a minimalist or avant-garde culinary style.

Plate Selection

The choice of plate can greatly impact the overall look of your vegan dish. Consider the size, shape, and color of the plate, as well as how it will complement the food. A contrasting plate color can make your dish pop, while a coordinating color can create a more cohesive and harmonious presentation.

Visit a restaurant that has a vegan menu to learn more.