Plating Techniques the Pros Use

Location, Location, Location

There really are no hard-and-fast rules about food placement, but do yourself a favor and try to curb your burning desire to construct edible Eiffel Towers out of chicken and green beans. Go minimalist -- simple is always better. Here are a few general placement guidelines that you can use as starting points.

  • Use the tried-and-true clock method -- starches at 10 o'clock, meats at 2 o'clock and veggies at 6 o'clock.
  • Find a focal point (probably the chicken) and elevate it -- maybe on a pile of beans.
  • Mound the potatoes at the back of the plate and lean the beans against them.
  • Slice up the chicken and fan it out on the plate.