Ina Garten in her kitchen
Ina Garten's Preferred Plating Technique Is Inspired By Picture Frames
Ina Garten believes food "pops" against white dinnerware and likes to frame and "showcase" her culinary creations by leaving a white border along platters like a picture frame.
Garten shares this tip for plating techniques in her 2018 cookbook "Cook Like a Pro," which she often echoes in interviews and social media posts.
Garten compares plating food to arranging flowers in a vase. Just like flowers should be the focal point, not the vase, so should the meal, not the intricately patterned serveware.
When serving salads and pasta, Garten prefers shallow bowls and platters over traditional deep ones so that the food is piled high, leaving a white frame around the perimeter.
She also factors in the shape and size of the food to find a complementary platter. According to Garten, shallow, round platters soften the edges of angular and blockish items.
She uses oval platters when serving long, narrow recipes. When appropriate, Garten likes to serve individual portions to make the presentation feel more special and intimate.