August 28, 2008

Wedding Inspirations

The food styling at the wedding I attended last weekend was phenomenal so i thought I’d share some pictures and tips. The bride (my good friend from high school) is a big foodie and wanted everyone to have a taste of many foods on her wedding day. So we all had the privilege of having our own “tasting plates” or “small plates”.

I am a HUGE fan of the most current trend of ordering several small plates instead of the typical 3 course meal. Not only because its great fun to try out multiple dishes but you can be so creative in styling small plates. You can serve them in edible vessels like wonton spoons or parmesan cups. Or serve them in martini glasses, small ramekins, shot glasses or ice cream cone holders. Or in the case of this wedding - a few tasting items on each full size plate. There is almost no need to garnish they look so good on their own !!

Another clever trick the caterers used were cucumber ribbons to wrap around and contain the salad. To do this at home, simply use your vegetable peeler and peel the entire length of the cucumber. It also works with carrots and zucchini.

Lastly, to keep up the small plate theme of the menu the dessert plates were literally half a plate.  I honestly have never seen that before.

x Adele

August 5, 2008

Small things make a big difference

After hosting a great number of events in the past month I thought I’d pass along a little food styling tip that I practice at work and at home. I call it “small things make a big difference,” which in essence is: Take a minute to GARNISH !!

I held a wedding shower for a girlfriend at my place and made a few things as well as the other bridesmaids brought items. One recipe I made was for carrot muffins. To make them just a little more special, I made them into mini muffins with a cream cheese and maple syrup frosting...but what really made them go from good to great was my garnish. I took finely sliced (julienned) carrots and crystalized them to place on top of each muffin. It probably took about 10 minutes ... using my julienne grater to slice the carrots, boiling the carrots in a simple syrup (half water/half sugar) and letting the carrots cool.... but it was definitely time well spent !

Another garnish tip that I use regularly at work and at home is spring onion curls. They are great to decorate a serving plate for many appetizers well as add flair to individual plated dishes like a stir fry or lettuce wrap.
Simply thinly slice long strips of spring onion (green onion, scallions) and place them in a bowl with ice cold water with a few ice cubes. Leave them for a few minutes and when you return the lovely long green strips will be beautifully curled.

So for your next gathering, add a little flair to your meal by taking a few extra minutes to garnish !
x Adele