Some raspberries and a sprig of mint turn a plain brownie into something glamorous, indeed. Photograph by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.




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KAREN HOCHMAN, Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE, prefers plating and garnishing to the actual cooking.




November 2005
Updated November 2009

Home / Product Reviews / Main Nibbles

Garnish Glamour

Just A Slice Or A Sprig Turns A Plain Jane Plate
Into A Real Dish


CAPSULE REPORT: It’s easy to make every food you serve look more exciting—just by selecting a good garnish. With food, it’s not just about good taste, it’s about presentation. Here, we present  This is Page 1 of a three-page article. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

As people known for their fashion sense will tell you, it’s all in the accessories. It’s the same with fine food. As easy as it is to pick the right tie or scarf to set off your suit or sweater, you can pick the right garnish for every dish you bring to the table—from toast through crème brûlée.

Deciding in advance on the garnish is part of our dinner planning process. We know that the right final touch on the plate makes people take notice. (And, as packaging is everything, it can make the dish you serve—like a plain bowl of tomato soup—seem a lot more important than it is).

In addition to matching the color and flavor of the food to the garnish, also try to select dishes with colors that complement the food. Fine restaurants don’t use a matched dinner service: each particular dish is served on a plate or in a bowl of a color and/or shape specifically chosen to enhance the food. Vanilla ice cream disappears in a white dish: it looks exciting in a red one.

General Garnish Tips

Olive Pick
  • For variety, use a crinkle cutter to slice vegetables and fruits.
  • In addition to making peel curls, use the lemon peel tool to score the sides of lemons, cucumbers and zucchini before slicing: it makes an attractive border design.
  • Use vegetable cutters—like small cookie cutters—in the shape of stars, crescents, birds, and abstracts. Popular Japanese garnishes, they make beautiful accents in vegetables and fruits.
  • Use long cocktail picks to make garnish skewers of grapes, cherry tomatoes, and olives

Skewered, not stirred: Repurpose your cocktail picks to skewer garnishes for sandwiches, lunch and dinner plates, and desserts.

Hors d'oeuvre picks
Cocktail picks from Mum’s Creations.  


Continue To Page 2: Savory Garnishes

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