Walking the tight rope of overkill with preparing a meal for a chef is essential to stand out.
In the past few years, simple is more has been the motto. It is true to a certain extent, but little touches make that thought process thrive.
When executing a dish it’s wise to think about this. Flavor: savory, spicy, sweet, bitter, salt. Whatever it is, these flavors shape the dish. It’s also important to have depth. For example, a few bay leafs go a long way. Then you have texture. It’s important to have a crunch or something crispy to lift the dish. Height. To have something edible lifting up the dish typically in the center of the plate is ideal to catch the eye. Clean. To have a well executed plate it’s important to catch any splatter or thumb prints. The flavors should also be clean. Don’t make the food submit into something else. A tomato should taste like a tomato. The dish should also not be aligned with the flow of the presentation. A good way to test this concept is to take a picture of the dish at a tilted position. Color is also something to take into careful consideration. Color can make or break a dish. We eat with our eyes. Certain colors play well with each other. Once again. A camera will show you that from another perspective.
So taking in consideration: overkill. The more experience I’ve gotten, the more I think along the line of what can I take off the dish rather than what can I add. A nicely prepared protein with a nice sauce with some carefully cut vegetables can be a beautiful thing. Doctoring up crazy garnishes or using inedible garnishes are a thing of the past.
So when you hear simple is more, remember there is a tight rope associated with that theory. Top chefs don’t get the respect from peers and publications by just putting out food that is simple.