Food garnishes: Let's play with our food!


by Linda Davis

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 22 at 12:47 PM

I know Mom told us not to do it, but when it comes to making garnishes it's required.

Linda Davis - Food garnishes

Food garnishes: Let's play with our food! - I know Mom told us not to do it, but when it comes to making garnishes it's required.

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I've spent the last couple of days learning some key techniques on how to make beautiful . And in this segment, I show you the tricks and tips. In my opinion, you've just got to watch it and practice. Pictures or video are definitely required to learn these techniques. So watch how to do them and if you want a great book to take you through the steps I found one at Barnes and Noble. It's called aptly, The Book of Garnishes by June Budgen. It's has easy how-tos and pictures of each garnish and steps along the way.

The ones I found to be easiest to learn and produced the coolest effects were the tomato roses, cucumber spirals, mushroom swirls, lemon basket, wedge cutting of limes, melons, apples, etc. and the curls and whisks.

After trying each technique only a couple of times, I ended up with results that really looked like the picture and would dress up any plate.

One key tip is to grab a big bowl fill it with cold water and put your cut curls and whisks in there, a couple of hours will result in some fancy curls that you won't believe but overnight the result is even better. This works with celery, green onions, radishes, carrot curls - whatever you're cutting into thin strips and wanting to curl up.

All the tricks I learned used only a really sharp paring knife, a chef's knife for larger items and a potato peeler. With only those tools, you can do a large number of garnishes.

So take a few minutes and watch the segment. Then give a couple of them a try. It's fun and not as difficult as you'd think.

Even Mom would approve of this kind of playing with our food.

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