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  1. how many presentation "touches" does the dish recieve during plating?
  2. How can you add colour to a dish?
  3. How can you add height to a dish?

Chef Guy Rubino"s Theory of Presentation

  1. Ideas are hatched in Chinatown "I’m in the market everyday it usually starts from there,"
  2. "Colours, shapes, or the weather that morning has a big impact on what sort of idea will stem from my visit."
  3. Rubino is known around the world for his complex plating designs
  4. getting him to describe how his ideas come to mind is like asking a child what they like most about a candy store.
  5. His eyes light up when describing how thinking of one colour can snowball into an entire dish.
  6. "Seeing the colour of orange and thinking curry and then green and green curry, three different curries, and OH! I think duck, and duck all about curries, done three different ways, with three different curries, three different cuts and three different colours," gushed Rubino.

Rubino’s plates push the boundaries of conventional food styling at well over 50 touches a plate.

  1. Long vegetables, straight herbs and frenched squab bones add impressive height to the dishes.
  2. Sauces, as many as three or four on a plate, never come into contact with one another.
  3. One main ingredient is deconstructed and served in three applications on one plate.
  4. In fact, Rubino’s three-way plating has made him famous.
  5. And, the reason behind this signature look has much less to do with aesthetics than one might think.
  6. At Rain, whenever an animal is brought into the kitchen it is brought in either whole or in very large pieces.
  7. "Because we buy in that manner it forces us, unless we want a lot of waste, to be creative in as many ways as possible," said Rubino."
  8. coming up with an idea for the plate is half the battle. The other half is making it work.

**Chef David Lee's Theory of Presentation

  • a dish for me should brings back a memory of my past,
  • normally you want to put that memory on a plate somewhere."
  • Lee also finds that the most important part of his plating designs is always remembering that the main ingredient sets the tone for the rest of the dish.
  • Many of Lee’s plates are surprisingly simple.
  • Even at Splendido, where each plate receives around eight or ten "touches" (or adjustments) before leaving the kitchen, what appears on the plate is an uncluttered balance of colour and texture.
  • Each garnish, whether it is a spiky fish bone or soft dollop of grainy mustard, brings out the earthiness, hue and true beauty of the main ingredient.
  • it can take anywhere from two months to six months to an entire year for a plate to be perfect enough to make it onto the menu.
  • "Functionality is very important,
  • colours are very important,
  • texture and taste are very important
  • most of all you have to ask what the ingredients are bringing to the dish," said Lee.
  • of the many ideas he has for certain dishes, only 25 per cent actually work out during the testing period.
  • After he has cooked and tasted all the elements he wants to include in a dish, Rubino then plates the ingredients on a plain piece of marble, or a large white plate.
  • He then considers the shape and form of the food and what type of dish will best showcase his work.
  • He’ll sketch out a few plating designs, factor in a few measurements for the piece and then he’ll go out and get a plate.
  • do not clutter a dish with too many ingredients, focusing on the food’s colours, using simple garnishes like herbs or edible flowers, and making sure there are no drips or globs of food and sauce around the plate’s edges.
  • As for Rubino, he advised the following: "Before you go off and start your dinner you should sit down and think.
  • Maybe draw out how it’s going to look or think about what plate you’re going to use."


  1. tree bark
  2. sheets of ice
  3. banana leaf

log house stacks

  • bell peppers
  • penne
  • green beans

herb wrap

  • green beans
  • possibly majorum but light leafy round with stringy stem
  • cilantro may be too pungent


sprinkle tiny leaves of baby spinach


  • long handled stirring spoon
  • served with tea
  • placed over cup
  • the spoon is lined with a small mint leaf and 5 blue berries in a pyramid


To sliver basil, stack about 5 leaves at a time and roll tightly into cigar shape. Slice crosswise into slivers (called chiffonade in French).

give height to your food

  • long triangles of toasted flat bread stacked in a pyramid held together by a heap of mint onions carrot medley

grilled garnishes

  • tomatoes and citrus
  • grilled fruit slices. Lemons, limes, oranges
  • Leave cherry tomatoes on the vine and grill them for a spectacular garnish.

bread garnish

queen mother - a cut of bagette with a slit in it wedged on the rim of a soup bowl as it is delivered


  • flecked with a pink brunoise of rhubarb
  • a method of food preparation in which the food item is first julienned and then turned 90° and diced again,
  • producing cubes of a side length of about 3 mm on each side or less.
  • Common items to be brunoised are leeks, turnips and carrots.
  • The diced vegetables are blanched briefly in salty boiling water and then submerged in ice water for a few seconds to set the color.
  • The brunoise is often used as a garnish in many dishes.
  • A common dish which often uses a brunoise as a garnish is a consommé.
  • A brunoise must be very consistent in size and shape, as it helps to ultimately create a visual effect.

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