5 food styling tips

"Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements." – Marcel Boulestin

Dinner at home should be a relaxed affair. But how food looks is almost as important as how it tastes! (Honest! It's science.) But just because you're eating at home doesn’t mean the presentation needs to be careless.

Using the humble bruschetta as an example, our resident food stylist Ashley St George has some food styling tips that are both easy to incorporate into your meal routine, and effective in wow-ing your family.

1. Asymmetry

Placing the main components of your meal off-centre on your serving plate creates asymmetry, which draws your eye around the plate. The off-balance effect creates visual interest.

2. Odd numbers

Similarly, odd numbers help with creating a sense of "off-centeredness". We used three slices of tomato, for example, and 3 basil leaves surrounding the bread.

3. Colour

Use colour to your advantage! In this example, the vibrant red of the tomato is a stunning contrast to the green herbs. This works especially well in salads – the more colour, the more appetising it is.

4. Herbs

The subtle zing of fresh herbs finalise the seasoning, but they also help presentation by adding colour. Side note: limp herbs are never a good look. Keep them vivacious by prepping them in a bowl of iced water for a couple of minutes before adding them to your dish.

5. Less is more

Last but not least, don’t overload your plate! The ingredients won't have room to shine if they’re crowded.

Ashley is BOOKPLATE's resident food stylist, responsible for making our dishes look beautiful. You can check out her amazing creations and food photos on her Insta.

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