The Art of Seafood Plating: Tips How to Do it Right

Nick Mirev
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    Nowadays, going to a restaurant is not about just eating. It’s about having a pleasant dining experience. Restaurant marketing is all about the little details. That’s where dish presentation, such as seafood plating, comes into play. 

    Allow us to share some useful seafood plating tips that help skyrocket social media marketing for restaurants. If you’re a seafood restaurant owner, make sure to incorporate the following ideas into your menu.

    What Is Seafood Plating?

    Simply put, seafood plating is the presentation of the dish that is served to customers. A meal should not only be tasty, but it should also be aesthetically pleasing. 

    Guests want to experience the WOW effect when waiters bring their food. This is especially true for venues that have higher standards and elegant menus, such as those offering seafood. 

    Whether it’s a dinner at a seafood restaurant or at catering events, plating is as important as taste. Perhaps even more. 

    There are three main forms of plating - classic, landscape, and free form.

    Classic Form of Plating

    It’s probably the most common style. In classically plated meals, the elements are arranged side by side. In order to bring them together, you can use sauce or garnish. You will usually see this form on meat meals, brunches, and most other dishes.

    Landscape Form of Plating

    This type is more suitable for seafood plating than the other two. In this modern approach, the food is placed across the plate, not necessarily close to one another like in the classic style. 

    Some of the food items are connected, leaning on one another. A puree spread or dots of sauce are frequently incorporated into the plating process. 

    One of the general plating tips for the landscape form is to not go for height. The dish must be spread across the plate. 

    Free Form of Plating

    This is where art combines with cooking seafood. Fine-dining venues usually serve their guests meals plated in free form. In this form, the plate itself is a canvas and the executive chef is “painting” with the dish. Dots, swirls, splashes, and brushes correspond with the food in order to achieve the WOW effect.

    Key takeaway: Seafood plating is as important as taste. The plate is like a canvas and the dish is the painting. Plating also positively affects marketing as aesthetic images attract more followers on social media.
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    General Seafood Plating Tips

    Balance of Colors and Textures

    It’s essential to combine colors well. For example, if you have a grilled salmon that is in brown and red pallets. You might want to combine that with a green vegetable puree. This way, the crispness of the grilled salmon will go well with the texture of the puree.

    Consider the Height

    In many cases, it’s suitable to stack the meal components on one another in order to create a dynamic presentation. One of the good seafood plating tips is to use shellfish for stacking and increase the height. 

    An example of that technique is a risotto with shrimp on top and microgreens seeds and salads over the shrimp. This way, the colors will also combine well and the plate will be exciting.

    Everyone Loves Edible Garnishes

    An old-school chef might tell you that everything on a plate should be edible. And there’s a reason for that. A lot of customers will visit your venue for the taste. Furthermore, if a person is hungry, the last thing they want to think about is what part of their meal is edible and what isn’t. By adding tasty garnishes like herbs, microgreens, and even edible flowers, you can achieve the magnificence of the dish in taste, texture, and aesthetics. 

    The Plate Is Your Canvas

    Restaurant plates are often white. However, some venues also have patterned and colorful plates to enhance the meal’s presentation. 

    It’s not rare to also see food served on a black slate platter. It is often used for seafood plating for sushi and nigiri, shrimp, and seafood platters

    One of the plating tips we can give you is to not overdo it. If the dish is served on a patterned plate, consider using less sauce and garnishes.

    Be Careful with the Sauce

    The main plating tip we can give you is that the sauce should complement the meal not overwhelm it. The same goes for decoration with sauce or puree. That’s why you will often see simple dots and short lines of sauce on the plate. In cases where there’s more sauce, the reason might be that it’s the sides’ seasoning.

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    Plating Tips and Ideas for Seafood Platters

    Platters are usually used at receptions, cocktail parties, corporate events, and other types of catering events. That is why they are often rich in colors, choices, and flavors.

    Include Sustainable Seafood Options

    A lot of people want the food they eat to adhere to reputable seafood sustainability standards. If you use licensed and accredited wholesale seafood vendors for your catering business or restaurant, your clients will appreciate it. 

    Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

    Seafood dishes are strong in flavor and spirit. They have the potential to truly offer something your guests have never tried before. 

    One way to guarantee that is to experiment with flavor combinations. Seasonal seafood platters are a great way to do that. If it’s not up to the expectations of your guests, they can always switch to another option at the catering event.

    Here are some ideas for experiments: scallops and grapefruit, grilled shrimp with creamy basil dip, and oysters with coconut cream and rose petals.

    Let Your Guests Combine Their Plates

    When we talk about platters, the attendees of the special occasion have more freedom in choosing. You can give them even more flexibility. 

    For example, you can prepare platters of differently cooked shrimp, various types of lobster, and other seafood platters. Then, they will be able to combine those with a rich platter of variously seasoned garnishes, citruses, and sauces. The combination might give you ideas for new menu items too.

    Choose the Right Seafood Pairings

    Even though drinks are not part of the plating process, a restaurant or catering business can increase its profit margins by offering the right seafood pairing. Consider offering cocktail food too. A good example can be shrimp cocktails served in martini cocktail glasses with a dip inside and cooked shrimp hanging over the glass.

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    Frequently Asked Questions about Seafood Plating

    Plating is not an exact science. It consists of following modern trends and techniques, having a vision about the combination of venue interior and dish presentation, and even guessing the mood of your guests. 

    Let’s dive a little deeper into the ocean of questions one might have about seafood plating. 

    What Are the Fundamentals of Plating Seafood Dishes?

    Keep it simple, highlight the main ingredient of the dish, and create a framework with the help of sauce or puree. Other than that, use the garnishes and sides to balance the meal. Make sure the portion is enough, but not too much.

    Are There Different Types of Plating?

    Yes, the three most popular types of plating methods are classic, landscape, and free form. Other than that, there are multiple trends and techniques that vary depending on the type of venue, the country, the interior, and multiple other factors. 

    How Proper Plating Helps Seafood Restaurants?

    With good plating, dishes are more exciting. This helps not only increase the value for your guests, but also attract new visitors. 

    There has been a huge impact of modern trends and technology in restaurants. Nowadays, restaurant marketing is everything. And a large part of eating seafood is enjoying the experience. 

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