If you have been enjoying fine dining from a takeout carton during lockdown, you’ll have developed a new appreciation for the art of plating. Three Michelin star chef Grant Achatz, of Alinea, Chicago gives us some pointers on how to present your take out like I the restaurant.
It’s been well documented how chef Achatz and Alinea, pivoted to take-out and charted a path for other restaurants to navigate the choppy waters of the coronavirus crisis. It looks like fine dining has embraced the takeout concept for the foreseeable future, That means we’ll all have to up our plating game.
For the noin-chef among us, those who are used to being served, rather than serving, toiling with vacuum-packed ingredients and, reductions and jus, sides and salads, has given us a new appreciation of the artistic merits of the art of plating.
Initially when Alinea pivoted to takeout they focused on simple food thaey they knew they could trun around quickly and at a high quality. So they developed a short-rib and beef wellington offering, But as the customer base bought into the takeout concept the restaurant’s configuration was justly aligned, Achatz was able to offer more complex fine dining cuisine. The more complex stuff, hoever, requires a little more from the customer at home.
Nothing puts you back in your place like presenting a Michelin starred meal, undoubtedly delicious, but rendered somewhere between pathetic and comedic by a drooping blob of mashed potato and ‘swish’ of sauce on the plate.
Luckily chef Achatz comes to our rescue and he has posted some plating lessons for dishes on the Alinea menu.
First up were Achatz’s instructions on how to plate the Alinea 15th anniversary menu dishes. The restaurant wanted to celebrate 15 years in business and of course, had to shelve its plans for a big event. Instead they developed a special menu for customers to enjoy in the comfort and safety of their own homes.
Achatz shows us how to get the best presentation for the Alinea 15th Anniversary Takeout Menu.
Root beer of Beef Short rib plating and story from 15th Anniversary To-Go
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#RoisterToGo Plating: Spicy Shrimp Thai Curry
#alineaathome I plate course three on the current Alinea To-Go tasting menu