They say we first judge with our eyes, and we scrutinize by appearance—this is true for both food and fashion. Like one’s ensemble, the plate presentation must be coordinated to include fit, color, balance, and good taste. Fitting within the rim of a plate or around a woman’s waist makes for positive eye appeal. Color dictates the persona of the food presented or the person selecting the components of their outfit. Balance makes all things equal—the right ingredients, like the right ensemble, are matched when a perfect balance is achieved. And, lastly, good taste is the defining moment for food and fashion. Each month we will take you on a journey discussing fashionable foods, plate presentation, and good taste with self-trained Executive Chef Bernadette Pirone – lovingly known as Mrs. P. to the Stroudsmoor Family and Friends. Her mantra is to “ensure our guests begin the dining experience at first sight and end it completely satisfied.”
Balancing the Wedding Ensemble and the (wedding) Dinner Plate
Here we explore how balance is the condition in which different elements work together in the presentation of a meal or the selection of an ensemble. Balance can be further defined by the setting of the dining table to enhance the meal, or the selection of the outer garment to complement the ensemble. Let’s study the balance in the food on this plate vs. the fashion of this wedding ensemble.
Together the bodice elements of this wedding gown show great balance enhanced by the poise of the skirt, train and veil in the photos below:
Bodice, Back and Skirt Balance:
- Note the balance between the lace covering the bustline and the continuation of the lace accenting the waistline and the skirt. The lace appears to flow from one section of the dress to another.
- Compare the visibility of the bride’s skin to the tone in the illusion bodice – from front to back
- Reference the low neckline complemented by dropped back of the corset.
- Measure the fullness of the skirt at the hips to the paralleling bust circumference – which in turns supports the look of the small waistline.
- Enjoy the balance of the hairstyle in:
- The selection of the hair comb
- The simplicity of the veil
- The choice of jewelry – or lack of – to support the intricacy of the lace
- Again, note the continuation of the lace below the waistline as it gently fades to the fullness of the front of the silk chiffon skirt.
- Notice how the lace on the train brings the eye down the beauty of the bodice.
- See how the cathedral-length veil complements the train and how the veil blusher’s length accents the waistline.
All perfectly balanced to create a cohesive look and a stunning bride!
And, as if she wasn’t beautifully balanced enough, this lovely bride chose to balance her winter background with the warmth of her grandmother’s vintage mink jacket.
Dressing the plate is a balancing act, just like dressing the bride. Let’s take this plate and dress it by balancing the various components of the meal.
Prepping the meal and dressing the plate:
- Pan-fry or broil the filet mignon or the center cut of the beef tenderloin.
- Broiling is best for home cooking. We suggest you don’t try the flame broil at home.
- 3 medallions (or mignons) of beef balance atop each other to create the vertical appeal of the plate.
- Chef Gerard selected roasted garlic mashed potatoes to support the stacked medallions and complement the beef’s taste.
- Fried onions are perched carefully atop the protein pyramid – to give balance to the triangular shape of the plate pyramid.
- Lastly, to add color and complete the dressing of the plate, chopped chives and red pepper curls are added to give it a POP and finished look.
The beauty of this balanced plate could never equal the beauty of our bride, but it too made its appearance at the wedding!