Garnishing Tips

 

  • Generally, garnishes should always be edible and complementary ingredients or flavors to the dish.
  • Fresh herbs are an easy way to add color, flavor, and aroma – try basil, mint, tarragon, chives, dill, parsley, thyme, etc.
  • Citrus zest, peel, and segments are complementary to a wide variety of dishes and add a welcome acid component. Use caramelized or grilled citrus, too.
  • Sauces (especially dessert sauces) can be utilized to make a decorative pattern on the plate, adding visual interest as well as flavor. Drag a toothpick through the sauce or apply with a squirt bottle to make patterns.
  • Chocolate is a versatile garnishing tool – it can be shaved, grated, chopped, ground, melted, etc., and comes in a variety of flavors, such as milk, dark, bittersweet, white, etc.
  • Use simple white plating to allow your food and garnish to stand out, and be sure to clean any unintentional splatters or other food debris off the plate before serving.

 

Ideas for Savory Dishes

 

  • Croutons, mini breadsticks
  • Sour cream or yogurt infused with dill or other herb
  • Crème fraîche
  • Grated cheese
  • Citrus zest or segments
  • Flavor-infused oils
  • Pink peppercorns
  • Chives, dill, basil
  • Caviar, baby shrimp, or crabmeat
  • Gherkins, pickled vegetables
  • Microgreens
  • Sprouts

 

Ideas for Sweet Dishes

  • Chocolate nibs, shaved chocolate
  • Crushed candy
  • Nuts – chopped, candied, roasted
  • Petit fours
  • Crème anglaise
  • Whipped cream
  • Edible flowers (nasturtium, pansy, violet)
  • Citrus zest or segments
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Dried fruit chips
  • Cinnamon – sticks or ground
  • Mint, thyme, culinary lavender
  • Sauces – butterscotch, chocolate, coffee, fruit