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Food plating takes practice, but it's essential to have a fundamental understanding of how and why great food plating works if you're going to be turning out beautiful plates of food.
This video from the Institue of Culinary Education explains the four essential elements of plating using four very different dessert plating ideas to illustrate the relationships between composition, balance, shape and texture on the plate.
This is a great tool to get your head around the basics of food plating and to realise that actually, beautiful plating is fairly straightforward when you know how and should become second nature. You just need a steady hand and a little imagination.
Talking of tools, take a look at this video, also from the Institute of Culinary Education, detailing five essential food plating tools you need in the kitchen.