20 Fun Food Decoration Ideas & How Make Food Look Pretty
Have you ever noticed how beautifully presented food somehow seems to taste better? It’s not in your head! Visual cues actually do impact the way we perceive food—including how appetizing it tastes.
Whether you want to impress your guests at a lavish party or you just want your 3-year-old to eat their veggies, using some simple food decoration ideas can help you achieve your goals. Start with these 20 tips.
Level up your garnish
A “garnish” is a decoration or embellishment you can add to your dish to make it more appealing. While you might be used to adding a sprig of rosemary or a sprinkle of parsley to your meals, there are plenty of other creative ways to use garnish.
Not only can the right garnish add visual appeal, but it can also enhance the flavor of the dish. These 6 ideas will help you take things to the next level.
1. Chocolate garnish
There are many chocolate garnish ideas that can make your desserts look like they were created by a professional chef. All you’ll need is some waxed paper, melting chocolate, and a bit of creativity. Have fun making fun designs, then wait for them to harden and use them to decorate your dishes.
2. Edible flowers
You might be surprised to learn that many common flowers are edible! Not only do they make a tasty addition to your plate, but they’re also a great way to make food look beautiful. Some of the prettiest edible flowers include daylilies, lilacs, sunflowers, and chrysanthemums.
3. Tomato rose
With just a bit of practice, it’s easy to carve a cherry tomato into a rose shape. Basically, you’ll peel the outside of the tomato in a spiral, then wrap up the skin and pinch it together until it looks like a rose. This makes a great addition to salads, meat platters, and other dishes.
4. Citrus star
You can make a lemon, lime, or orange look like a star by making V-shaped cuts all the way around the middle, then carefully pulling it apart.
5. Veggie spirals
If you have a spiralizer, it’s easy to make vegetable spirals. Use different colored vegetables—like squash and zucchini—to create a variety of garnishes you can add to your dishes.
6. Sauces and purees
Upscale restaurants often create a pretty pattern or design with sauces and purees before plating their dishes. You can easily replicate this at home!
Create single servings
With everyone being a bit more careful these days, single-serving foods have grown in popularity. Not only can presenting food this way make your guests a bit more comfortable, but it’s also easy to display it in a super impressive way. Start with these 5 ideas.
1. Seafood in a shot glass
Use food-grade paper wrapped in a cone shape to hold a piece of fried fish and a bit of tartar sauce. Place the cone into a tall shot glass and garnish with a piece of bell pepper for color.
2. Ravioli on a spoon
Present a single fried ravioli and a bit of marinara sauce on a Chinese soup spoon. Garnish with a bit of parsley and top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
3. Guacamole in a martini glass
Fill a small plastic martini glass with guacamole and top it with a large tortilla chip.
4. Shrimp and sausage skewers
Wrap a piece of shrimp around a slice of cooked sausage and hold it together with a small skewer. Serve it in a shallow shot glass with about half an inch of cocktail sauce inside.
5. Charcuterie cones
This is a fun mini-version of a charcuterie board. You’ll use the same types of meats, cheeses, and nuts but serve them in a decorative paper cone. You can still create a beautiful presentation and make an impression thanks to your creative serving method.
Have fun with fruit
When learning how to make food look pretty, fresh fruit is a great place to start. There are so many options when it comes to color, shape, and texture that it gives you a lot of room to experiment. Check out these fun fruit design ideas.
1. Strawberry mice
Try to find some large strawberries, then use almond slivers or carrot slices to make ears and mini chocolate chips to add eyes and a mouth. Make the tail with a small piece of licorice strap, or a stem cutting.
2. Tropical fruit plate
Start with a round white plate. Use a sliced banana to create a trunk and kiwi wedges to make the top of a palm tree. Add some mandarin orange slices to the bottom of the plate for a fun finishing touch.
3. Fruit butterflies
Slices of banana, strawberry, or large blackberries make great butterfly wings. Use almonds or blackberries to make the butterfly’s body and pieces of sliced almonds to create the antennas.
4. Pear hedgehogs
To make an adorable pear hedgehog, start by peeling the pointy end of a pear, leaving the larger round end with the skin on. Create the quills by sticking in toothpicks. Add grapes to the toothpicks, pushing them down so they still look like spikes. Use mini chocolate chips to make eyes and add the end of a red grape for the nose.
5. Rainbow kebobs
To create a fun fruit presentation, try placing multi-colored fruit on skewers, making rainbow kebobs. Slice the end off of a watermelon and place it fruit-side down. Then use it as a holder for your fruit kebobs.
6. Strawberry-banana sticks
Looking for a more upscale fruit presentation for your next party? Cut bananas into 1in slices. Top them with a strawberry and a mint leaf, holding it all together with a toothpick.
Try some festive food decorations
Whether you’re celebrating the holidays or you just want to bring a bit of glam to your table, you can’t go wrong with these festive food decorations.
1. Edible glitter
Many stores that carry cake decorating supplies will have at least a few types of edible glitter. You can sprinkle it on plates, add it to drinks, use it to decorate cookies, and more!
2. Colored sugars
Colored sugars can also add sparkle to your baked goods and other sweet treats. Try picking up a bunch of different colors so you can get creative!
3. Spun sugar
Want to add a classy, minimalist look to your plates? Try making spun sugar decorations. It definitely takes some practice, but once you master it, you’ll really impress your guests!
Bring some beauty to your table
Once you start experimenting with food decoration ideas, you’ll constantly find yourself wondering how to make food look pretty. While it takes a bit of extra effort, the end result is well worth it. Best of all, when you let a professional take care of your grocery shopping, you’ll have plenty of time to have fun decorating with food.
Just head over to Instacart.com, make your grocery list, and have your items delivered right to your home.
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