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Cooking to the Image: A Plating Handbook

Cooking to the Image: A Plating Handbook

Elaine Sikorski

ISBN: 978-1-118-54533-1 September 2012 176 Pages




Cooking to the Image: A Plating Handbook offers readers a fascinating perspective of a culinary Art that demonstrates taste as not simply a means of creating flavor, but also a cultural context larger than the Professional kitchen. Itprovides future chefs with the prerequisites to cultivate a professional viewpoint of plating by considering the different ways a chef looks at food. Its goal is to provide a map of how a chef creates a plate of food by considering such questions as:

  • Where in the menu is this food item to be placed?
  • What food is selected? How is the food prepared? How will it be served?
  • How is it presented in relationship to other food on the plate?
  • How much will it cost?

Plating exposes a chef’s deepest beliefs about what food is, and how food should be. Structured as a design process, Cooking to the Image: A Plating Handbook outlines how personal creativity and professional traditions fuse to create successful plated presentations of food.

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Chapter 1: Your Field of Vision

Chapter 2: The Plate in Context

Chapter 3: Framing Culinary Art

Chapter 4: Platter to Plate: Classical Style

Chapter 5: Plate Frame: Nouvelle Style

Chapter 6: Plate Frame: New American Style and Fusion Style

Chapter 7: Plate Frame: Global Style

Chapter 8: The Emerging Menu: Interactive Table Setting

Chapter 9: Design and Culinary Plate Archetypes

Chapter 10: Looking for Inspiration

Chapter 11: Plating the Styles

Chapter 12: Critiquing Culinary Art

Chapter 13: Culinary Values


  • Introduces the concept of culinary research in chef education, defining the menu as a central component of culinary understanding.
  • Explores the following to guide you toward creating successful plated presentations:
    • Your Field of Vision: explains why an educated viewpoint forms the parameters of plating.
    • The Plate in Context: outlines the guidelines of a chef’s vision by relating plate design to the menu.
    • Framing Culinary Art: uses the idea of art history and culinary craft to create a culinary Art history.
    • Classical, Nouvelle, New American, Fusion, and  Global Styles, and Interactive Table Setting: provides detailed analyses of styles within the Plate Frame of the culinary Art history.
    • Design and Culinary Plate Archetypes: explores design by relating various contemporary plate styles.
    • Critiquing Culinary Art and Culinary Values: guides in critiquing presentation, and considers customer viewpoints by matching consumer values to the work done by chefs.
  • Elegantly adorned with over 100 photos and illustrations.