Preparing your meals is an action that requires some time and at least a basic level of expertise so they end up tasting good. While preparing food might not be that much of a challenge, making it look beautiful and something people die to taste is another story. If you want to learn how to create the most outstanding garnish ideas for your meals, keep reading. For best reference, check out the timecodes in the title of each garnish so you’ll know the exact location of the action on the clip.
1. Cucumber Sun (00′ 07”)
Light up your dinner plate by creating a cucumber sun garnish! To begin, cut off the ends of a whole cucumber and then slice the cucumber lengthwise so that you are left with 2 semi-circle halves. Next, take one half of the cucumber and start slicing into very thin slices. You’ll end up with thin pieces of cucumber in a semi-circle shape. Plate the cucumber slices around the outer edge of the plate with the rounded side facing the center. With the other half of the remaining cucumber, slice into thin strips and then make diagonal cuts to create diamond shapes. Arrange these diamond shapes around the half-moons shapes creating the “sun rays”.
2. Radish and Cucumber Rose (00′ 31”)
Cut a cucumber in half and then slice thin slices in the shape of a half-moon. Place the half-moons side by side to create a small circle in the middle of the plate. Slice a radish in the thinnest possible slices, then start stacking them up only by the tip so you can roll them up carefully to create the shape of a rose which you will later place in the center of the cucumber circle. To finish, cut some diamond-shaped pieces of cucumber and draw lines with the knife to create the illusion of leaves.
3. Lotus Flower Apples (01’ 12”)
Cut an apple to about a 3cm slice, then chop off the core. Carefully fillet the apple peel but leave a small portion at the end unpeeled. Take the peel, flip it upwards, and place it on top of the apple so that it bends upwards. Repeat this process 6 times and arrange the apple slices to form a circle. In the middle of the circle place a red cherry and decorate with little leaves around the slices.
4. Carrot Butterflies
Take a carrot and remove the tips, then place it vertically and cut off the left and right sides leaving the middle section. Place this piece horizontally and carefully remove triangles in order to carve the shape of a sideways butterfly. Once you have the shape slice an extra thin slice but don’t remove it completely. When you start the next slice cut it completely to remove it from the thick carrot. Open carefully the butterfly like a book.
5. Egg Snowman (00′ 01”)
Start by boiling eggs and remove the tips of both of them with a knife. Join two boiled eggs vertically with a large toothpick. Using a straw, punch holes on the eggs to create the space for the buttons and the eyes. Then punch holes over a black olive and take the pieces of olive to place them over the holes in the eggs. Take a carrot and cut a small triangle to place it over like the nose of the snowman. Finally, take some carrot slices and place them over the top egg like the hat.
6. Apple Swans (00′ 26”)
Cut an apple diagonally so it slices right through the center of the apple core. Take the half that still has the bottom attached and place it face down. Remove a triangle shape in the apple using a 90º angle on both sides. With the removed pieces create more “L” shaped pieces then place them slightly staggered to form the wings of the swan. To create the head, remove a thin piece of apple from the center of the body to attach the head into. Now, take the other half of the apple and slice off 2 or 3 slices horizontally from the bottom. Select the best slice that resembles a heart and make 3 strategic cuts with a knife – one angled cut to form the head, a horizontal cut to form the neck and one slanted cut at the bottom to form the base. Place 2 apple seeds where the eyes should go. Simply drop the neck into place into the notched area you made in the first half of the body.
7. Carrot Leaf Designs
Cut a carrot in half vertically, then take thin slices from one half. Carefully take a small knife and remove the edges to shape it like a leaf. Take out small triangles from the outline to give it a more realistic shape and then carve out small drop shapes from the body of the leaf. Repeat this process with the rest of the carrot and then arrange the leaves to create a bouquet.
8. Gold Fish (03’ 34”)
Create a garnish that will enchant the little ones simply by using a healthy apple. Cut a thin slice of apple and remove two semicircles from the edge. Carve out two spheres of apple and place them as the eyeballs of the fish, then carve a red part of the apple for the center of the eye. For the tail and fins, slice very thin semi circles of apple and spread them out like a fan, then carefully place them on both sides of the body.
9. Cucumber and Tomato Mushrooms (03’ 55”)
Take a fresh cucumber and cut a 3 inch piece, then start scraping the peel of the cucumber halfway to create the effect of grass. Using a thin knife remove the top layers of “grass” until you leave only the lowest layer. Take a small tomato and cut a half and place it on top of the cucumber to create the shape of a mushroom.
10. Radish and Carrot Barbie Doll (00′ 01”)
Take a large squash and, using a stencil of a doll, carve and cut out the silhouette/outline using one half of the vegetable. Smooth out the details and remove as much peel as possible using a thin knife. Peel a thin layer of carrot and cut out the shape of a heart-shaped top for the body of the doll. Start slicing thin pieces of squash, carrot and radish and place them one over another (stacked) to decorate the skirt of the doll. Use very thin pieces of radish and carrot peel to create the face of the doll and carve the arms and the hat for the doll out of squash.
These garnish ideas are just some of the many ways in which you can create delicious and beautiful meals. Check the videos out for all the details and start making your own creations.