• About FoodRavel
  • Privacy Policy


Where food and travel meet…

food presentation ideas for party

Logo Number 8 Cooking New

Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Disclosure Statement | License Policy


Logo Number 8 Cooking New

The Art Of Food Presentation — Plating Like A Pro

  • Shannon The Helpful Chef
  • November 9, 2023

I’ve learned that food presentation is just as important as taste. When it comes to creating memorable dishes that wow customers. While taste is paramount, how the food looks on the plate is almost equally as important.

The visual presentation delights customers’ eyes before they even take their first bite. An artful presentation demonstrates care, creativity, and skill. It can turn an enjoyable meal into an unforgettable dining experience.


In this blog post, I’ll share my tips and tricks for plating and presenting dishes. I’ve been a chef for 20-plus years and have learned a thing or two about plating food. Master these techniques to wow patrons and create Instagram-worthy culinary artwork with every meal.

Plating Like A Pro The Art Of Food Presentation

Food Presentation Plating Like A Pro

Throughout my career as a chef, I’ve come to view each plate as a blank canvas. Waiting to be turned into an edible work of art. While the flavors and textures of a dish are crucial, elegant, and enticing.

The presentation takes the meal to the next level, delighting customers and showing them you’ve put care into every component. As any successful chef knows, food presentation and plating skills are well worth developing .

Start With Quality Ingredients

Truly, exceptional ingredients make the job easier. The freshest, properly butchered proteins and peak seasonal produce. They showcase their natural beauty with minimal preparation required. While technique is important, sourcing the best seasonal ingredients gives you an advantage.

Focus on Color And Contrast

One of the keys to eye-catching presentations is playing with vibrant colors and bold contrasts. I like to feature ingredients with bright natural hues like:

  • Deep Greens — Spinach, arugula, fresh herbs, lettuce leaves, zucchini, fresh peas, and green beans.
  • Rich Reds — Fresh tomatoes, red bell peppers, English radishes, red beets, radicchio, red leaf lettuce, and sliced red meats cooked med-rare.
  • Sunny Yellows — Squash, yellow zucchini, golden beets, corn, and yellow beans.
  • Earthy Browns — Mushrooms, jacket potatoes, taro, Jerusalem artichokes, and seared or slow-cooked meats.

Contrasting colors help each component stand out. For example, I’ll place a seared med rare red meat like beef rump next to arugula or roasted potatoes to make both stand out. Varying colors excite the eyes and spark joy on the plate.

Mid-Rare Rump Steak Salad With Roasted Vegetables

Chefs Pro Tip — Use colorful ingredients to your advantage. Don’t complicate the process, when preparing each ingredient keep it fresh and simple. You will be amazed at what plating designs you can create.

Find Inspiration In Nature

I find endless inspiration for plating designs by observing the visual beauty inherent in nature. Notice compositions like seashell spirals, patterns in flower petals, or leaves fanned on a platter. Mimicking nature’s artistry through food is a constant source of ideas.

Allow Simplicity To Shine

Sometimes simple is best if I don’t overcomplicate a presentation . When the star ingredients speak for themselves. A pristinely seared fillet of salmon needs little more than an herb oil drizzle and chive garnish to impress. Allow quality ingredients and elegant simplicity to shine when appropriate.

Draw Plating Inspiration From Anywhere

I find plating inspiration almost everywhere. Nature, artwork, and even well-designed retail displays. Study what paints a pleasing visual picture and think about how to replicate it on the plate. Inspiration is endless for those with observant, creative eyes.

Pay Attention To Shapes And Height

When conceptualizing a dish, I always consider the natural shapes and heights of each element I’m including. Mixing and balancing the shapes and vertical dimensions makes the presentation more dynamic.

For instance, balls of zucchini are cut using a melon baller. Potatoes are cut into rectangular shapes. Spears of grilled asparagus can provide vertical lines next to rounded potato rosti. Or combine the height of a vegetable salad with the low profile of a sliced seared beef. Defining individual shapes gives a satisfying composition.

Classic Pot Roasted Beef With Savory Herb Rub

Food Presentation Go Vertical

Height adds drama and excitement to plated dishes. I build upwards with stacked ingredients like potato gratin, blanched broccolini, and a confit duck leg placed on top. Salads become more dynamic when ingredients are arranged vertically rather than tossed haphazardly across the plate. Reaching upwards with towers and heights naturally draws the diner’s eye in.

Incorporate Odd Numbers

When garnishing and portioning ingredients. Odd numbers do wonders when it comes to food presentation. Artful plating incorporates variety. Odd numbers of components like three ravioli or five haricots verts are more interesting than even pairs. The unevenness creates movement and delights the eye as it flows across the plate.

Play With Proportions

I carefully consider proportion when food presentation is the focus. The star of the dish is featured prominently with supporting sides artfully framed around. For example, an ample tenderloin takes center stage while the potatoes and vegetables are thoughtfully portioned as accents. Getting the proportions just right ensures an ideal bite each time.

Leave Negative Space

Don’t overcrowd or clutter the plate. I remind myself to leave ample negative space between the ingredients and leading up to the edges of plates and dishes. Negative space focuses the diner’s attention exactly where you want it. It also allows you to thoughtfully frame each component within the surrounding clean plate.

Consider Texture Contrasts

Beyond colors and shapes, textures add tactile variety and entice the appetite. I purposely pair contrasting textures like the juiciness of fresh tomato against the creaminess of mashed potatoes. A crispy crystalized chicken skin is another favorite. Varying textures excite both the palate and presentation.

Roasted Crispy Skin Chicken With Mashed Potato

Drizzle With Intent

One of my favorite plating techniques is taking advantage of the beautiful trail left when sauces and vinaigrettes are artfully drizzled onto the plate. I get creative with smears, straight lines, dots, and other patterns to adorn proteins or seasonal vegetables. Drizzling brings elegance through both taste and presentation.

Garnish With A Purpose

No plated dish is complete without a perfect garnish. Sprigs of fresh herbs, edible flowers, chopped nuts, and microgreens. These are my go-to garnishes to provide the final touch. I carefully select and position garnishes to complement other components. This is like a frame that completes a painting. This thoughtful detail finishes the food presentation.

Insanely Good Chocolate Mousse

Use Plating To Tell A Story

In my view, the best plating tells a thoughtful story. The ingredients, flavors, and preparation involved in crafting the meal are conveyed through a harmonious arrangement. Seasonality and passion come across in the details. This storytelling instills pride and attention to detail in my cooking.

Experiment With Plate Styles

An often overlooked plating tip is choosing plates, boards, and surfaces that complement the food. Patterns on plates can frame simply presented dishes. Wooden boards offer rustic charm while sleek slate can modernize a presentation. I get creative with my “canvas” to enhance the overall dining experience.

Medium Roasted Lamb Served On A Wooden Board

Develop Your Own Style

Just like with cooking techniques, plating has recognizable styles. Find what you love by looking at inspirational photos and experimenting. Over time, my personal plating preferences emerged into my signature style. Then I refined and perfected it. Maybe you prefer minimalist plates or architectural presentations. Your unique style is part of the art.

Practice Plating At Home

Even during home-cooked family meals, I practice plating in ways that feel fun and creative. The more you deliberately compose dishes with care, the more second nature beautiful presentation becomes. Use low-stakes at-home meals to hone your skills.

Invest In Quality Tools

Having quality tools at your fingertips facilitates plating success. I recommend investing in small spoons, tweezers, squeeze bottles, a melon baller, and other specialty items. The right kitchen tools allow you to intricately stack, drizzle, and embellish with ease. They’re essential for every aspiring platter.

Helpful Resources

  • Chef’s Non-Negotiables That Separate the Amateurs from the Pros
  • A Beginner’s Guide To Kitchen Slang Culinary Lingo All Aspiring Chefs And Cooks Should Know
  • A Day In The Life Of A Chef Knives Fire And Passion
  • Sourcing Seasonal Ingredients To Inspire Your Home Cooking

What Are Some Basic Plating Tips For Beginners To Improve Presentation?

Some basic plating tips are to start with evenly portioning ingredients. Use odd numbers for garnish. Use height to add dimension, and incorporate contrasting colors and textures. Leave negative space around components, and pay attention to the plate style. Even simple improvements can make a difference.

What Are Common Plating Mistakes To Avoid?

Here are some of the common plating mistakes to avoid. Crowding the plate, not leaving negative space. Lack of color contrast, sloppy or uneven drizzles. Overcomplicating the presentation, and poor proportions that don’t highlight the star ingredient.

A common mistake I see when cooks are plating food is the lack of height. They place everything on the plate which makes the dish look one-dimensional and boring. Another common mistake I see is minimal to no garnishes.

How Do I Come Up With Unique Plating Ideas?

Ways of coming up with unique plating ideas are drawing inspiration from nature, artwork, and other chef’s plating ideas. Also, telling a story about the dish’s flavor profiles can guide the presentation.

Final Thoughts

Perfectly executed taste with artful presentation creates a sensational dining experience. Mastering plating techniques demonstrates a passion for food and visual aesthetics that diners notice and appreciate.

I encourage all cooks and chefs to view every plate as a new opportunity to create food into an artistic showpiece. With practice, you can learn to plate dishes as skillfully as you craft the flavors. Turn every meal into a visually stunning culinary delight for patrons.

Skillful food presentation makes for an exciting dining experience. It touches all your senses and demonstrates the care and creativity the chef has put into the food. Food presentation it’s easier than you think.

You May Also Like This

How To Season Food Supercharge Your Next Meal

How To Season Food — Supercharge Your Next Meal With These Seasoning Tips

  • July 31, 2023

Eco-Friendly Cooking

Embrace Eco-Friendly Cooking Your Path To Sustainable Deliciousness

  • August 23, 2023

Cooking Without Guesswork Know Your Conversions

Cooking Without Guesswork Know Your Conversions

  • January 31, 2023

8 Pro Tips For Reading A Recipe

8 Pro Tips For Reading A Recipe Before You Start Cooking

  • February 1, 2024

food presentation ideas for party

Home » Tips And Tricks » The Ultimate Guide to Food Presentation: Elevating Your Meals

The Ultimate Guide to Food Presentation: Elevating Your Meals

An upscale meal being served at a home in Naples, Italy

Samantha Wachs

  • Published July 25, 2023

They say that the way food looks is important, and it’s true – how you present your food can greatly enhance your dining experience.

Whether you’re having a fancy dinner party or just enjoying a meal at home, making your dishes look elegant can turn them into beautiful works of art. Food presentation is a major part of the meal experience. It can elevate a person’s dinner into a new world, simply by its presentation and appearance. This ultimate guide to elegant food presentation will show you the key principles and creative tips to impress your guests and make your dining experience even better.

Making Home-Cooked Meals Look Fancy

elegant fruit desserts

The first step to elegant food presentation is using high-quality, fresh ingredients. Pick the best seasonal fruits and vegetables, flavorful herbs, and top-notch cuts of meat to make sure your dishes taste great and look good. Ingredients that are visually appealing not only make your plate look better, but also contribute to the overall taste and texture of your meal.

Plating Techniques

food presentation ideas for party

Thoughtful Plating Techniques Plating is like an art that involves thinking about balance, color, and how everything is arranged. Use clean and stylish plates that match the style of the food you’re serving. Leave some empty space on the plate to avoid overcrowding and let each element shine. Create height and different textures to add dimension, and arrange everything in a neat and pleasing way.

Using Colors

food presentation ideas for party

Playing with Colors and Contrasts Colors are a big part of elegant food presentation. Aim for a plate that looks visually stunning by using a variety of colorful ingredients that go well together. Make each element stand out by using contrasting colors, like pairing bright red tomatoes with vibrant green basil. You can also get creative by trying colorful sauces, drizzles, or even edible flowers to add an artistic touch. It doesn’t hurt to really buy into your meals aesthetic.

Precision in Garnishing

food presentation ideas for party

Garnishes are the final touch that can enhance your presentation from good to outstanding. Adding fresh herbs, microgreens, or a citrus zest can bring a pop of color and flavor to the plate. Keep in mind that sometimes less is more when it comes to garnishing; a sprinkle or a well-placed herb leaf can have a significant impact. Simplicity is key, so with that in mind, finish your plates carefully and methodically.


Creating an elegant food presentation is a delightful way to elevate the dining experience and make any home-cooked meal feel luxurious. Starting with high-quality ingredients, mastering mindful plating techniques, experimenting with colors and contrasts, and garnishing with precision can transform your dishes into visually stunning works of art that please both the eye and the palate. Whether you’re hosting a special occasion or simply enjoying a meal with loved ones, embrace the artistry of food presentation to make every dining experience memorable and delightful.

Did you like it?

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.7 / 5. Vote count: 415

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Related Articles

boiling broccoli

How to Boil Broccoli: 20 Different Ways to Perfectly Master the Art

  • 4.7 ( 367 )
  • 2 weeks ago

Nectarines, plums, peaches and green and red grapes at an Italian market stall.

Nectarine vs. Peach: 20 Differences Every Gardener Should Know

  • 4.5 ( 246 )

Closeup on young housewife opening jar of pickled cucumbers

How to Open a Stuck Jar: 20 Easy Methods

  • 4.7 ( 238 )
  • 3 weeks ago

close-up view of shelf inside of a hot oven with bread

How to Keep Food Warm for a Party

Want to get all the hot news.

  • Tips And Tricks
  • Entertaining So Yummy
  • Decorate The Plate
  • Work with us
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookie Policy

food presentation ideas for party

©2024 First Media, All Rights Reserved.

  • Dining & Entertaining
  • Food & Grocery
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Kitchen Accessories
  • Entertaining / Parties
  • Food & Pop Culture
  • Beverage News
  • So Yummy by Bella

Enjoy Your $19.99 FREE Copy of Our Digital Cookbook!

Enjoy our FREE Digital Cookbook as Our Way of Saying Thank You!

I agree to the storing and processing of my personal data by So Yummy as described by the Privacy Policy.

Get your So Yummy Cookbook digital copy - for Free!

Enjoy surprising, smart and absolutely gorgeous home cooking recipes & tips.

food presentation ideas for party

Thanks for subscribing!

Your Cookbook Awaits in Your Inbox

Call Sales: +1 (833) 437-3835

13 Food Presentation Ideas for an Unforgettable Culinary Experience

Sydney Kida | May 28, 2022 |

13 Food Presentation Ideas for an Unforgettable Culinary Experience

Eating is a sensory activity, and that doesn’t mean just taste — the culinary experience engages all the senses. That means texture, taste, aroma and, in some cases, even sound  (think: the sizzling of fajitas or sparklers atop a cake). When it comes to cuisine and the customer experience, how the food looks when it comes out of your kitchen is just as important as how it tastes.  

Need some food presentation ideas to take your dishes to the next level? We’ve got the details on why you need to step up your plating game, as well as how you can do it with 13 creative food presentation ideas sure to impress. 

Why Food Presentation Matters

We eat with our eyes first. You can put photos of beautifully arranged food on a restaurant menu and guests will point and say, “I’ll take one of those!” when without the photo, they wouldn’t have even considered it. Similarly, an artfully arranged pastry display in a cafe or bakery window will entice guests to come inside to see if the food tastes as good as it looks. 

Whether you’re a fast-casual establishment with a laid back vibe or a high-end restaurant with elevated and sophisticated dishes, presentation turns a regular meal into a memorable customer experience. People are drawn to beautiful things and let’s be honest, first impressions are everything. 

In today’s world of social media and influencer marketing, unique and beautiful food presentation increases the likelihood of a guest posting a photo to their social media and tagging your eatery. That’s powerful positive publicity and some serious word of mouth marketing – and it’s free ! Plus, people are more likely to try out restaurants recommended by a friend, especially if the dishes look thoughtfully planned and carefully curated.  

On the flip side, sloppy or unappetizing presentations can result in negative reviews online. Reviews are forever when written on the Internet and 94% of today's consumers check online reviews and photos before choosing a place to eat. 

Incorporating interesting food presentation ideas is an opportunity to get creative, show off a chef’s skill, and provide that “wow” factor to the dining experience. Just make sure the substance matches style! Unique dishes mean guests can only get them at your restaurant, and this uniqueness inspires loyalty. Plus, guests will gladly pay more for an artfully designed meal.

Creative Food Presentation Ideas , Tips & Tricks

A creative presentation of food is the final touch to a meal. Here are thirteen tips and tricks for presenting food, ranging from simple dishes to fine dining: 

Edible Flowers

Nothing classes up a dish like dainty flowers. Flower petals add pops of color in salads, soups, desserts, and even entrees. Because flowers are a beautiful and unexpected thing to appear on a plate, they are memorable. Just make sure they’re edible ! 

There are many food presentation techniques related to sauces that a chef can experiment with. A guest’s name spelled out in chocolate drizzle on a dessert plate is a fun way to celebrate a birthday. Dots, smears, and swirls of bright sauces add visual interest for both sweet and savory dishes. Practice with piping bags or squeeze bottles to perfect the hand control required for these sauce techniques.

Food presentation isn’t just about what to add to the food or how to style it. The tablecloth, place setting, and cutlery play a part, too. For in-restaurant dining, make sure your tables are welcoming with candles or flowers. If a guest is ordering to-go, the packaging is part of the visual appeal. So often en route, the food’s presentation gets ruined. To prevent that, choose high quality, eco-friendly sectioned packaging that keeps the food in place. 


As far as simple food presentation ideas go, deconstructing is a classic. Eating traditional meals in a deconstructed way makes humdrum food feel like a new experience entirely. For example, a deconstructed burger and fries encourages a bite of fries with onion and tomato — it’s a new way to enjoy an old classic. Having a focal point, like a red onion ring in the center, keeps it from looking sloppy.

For a fine dining steak presentation, the best way to elevate it is through height and layers. Visually, steak is flat and typically darker in color. Adding a colorful garnish with some height to it makes it look more exciting. If you don’t want to go for height, create layers to the dish for a similar effect. Cut the steak horizontally and fan it out to create layers. Place the steak atop or under a side, like mashed potatoes or greens. Pre-cutting the steak not only saves the eater time and effort, it gives them a peek at the beautiful pink in between the brown sides. 

Make Every Side Dish a Main Event

Just because it’s a side dish doesn’t mean it’s less tasty or important! Don’t forget about sprucing them up, too. Unless someone requests separate bowls or has a food allergy, you don’t have to serve side dishes in separate bowls. The placement of sides next to other food can make for a colorful palette and encourages the eater to enjoy the meal as one experience. If you don’t have the space on the main plate for the sides, serve them on beautiful plates with a stand-out design or color. 

Play with your Food 

The arrangement of an appetizer is everything: it must be enticing and easily shareable. A fried onion bloom is iconic for this reason. To make an engaging and interactive appetizer experience, consider plating it in a way that’s fun and interactive for your customers. For example, mozzarella sticks can be arranged around a focal point (marinara dipping sauce) or stacked on top of each other like Lincoln Logs. Top with a leaf of lettuce for a roof. Great for the kids’ menu! 

Sugar is cheap and you already have it on hand: just learn some techniques to create garnishes to top your crème brûlées and cakes. Sugar can be twisted into some truly stunning and unique shapes when caramelized. Not only does this add sweetness to your dish, it also adds a unique flair that’s sure to end up on their Instagram. 

The plate is your canvas, so make it a composition. While this may take some more time, it’s an opportunity for the chef to consider new flavors and designs. Think about the shape of the plate as well, not just the design or color. A square plate with round food in it provides an interesting contrast. Make the plates do the work for you.  

Color Theory 

Even if someone orders plain fish and chips, think of ways to pop color onto that plate. Yes, there is the standard lemon and parsley. But how can you go the extra mile? Another addition of color can make this basic dish be remembered above the rest. Go for purple cabbage in coleslaw instead of white or green. Plus, the more color, the more nutrition you are offering your guests. Certain colors can elicit certain feelings in customers. For example, red and yellow stimulate hunger.

Tools for the Job

Make sure you have the right tools in the kitchen for the delicate placement of food, garnishes, and sauces. Use squeeze bottles and piping bags for liquid-like foods, and precision tongs to place food just so on the plate. Don’t forget a small towel to wipe the plate clean in case of any accidental smudges. 

You don’t want the dish to become overwhelming or unwieldy to dig into. To leave room for presentation, consider either providing a smaller portion, or using a larger plate. While adding color is best practice, you don’t need to include every color or food group on a plate.

The best food presentation is authentic. If your restaurant’s appeal is its hominess and folksiness, having an over-the-top presentation when guests love the simplicity isn’t catering to your audience. If you are known for your simple and effective presentations, play to your strengths. Above all, stay true to your restaurant’s personality and ambiance.

Enhance Your Restaurant with Revel 

Cooking presentation is just one part of a successful restaurant. While show-stopping presentations are the hook to attract guests, efficient and reliable cloud-native software is the glue that keeps the whole enterprise functioning seamlessly. With a robust restaurant POS system , Revel Systems® keeps servers and kitchen staff updated in real-time to keep guests happy. 

See how our suite of tools can help your restaurant by requesting a free demo today!

Featured Articles


  • Skip to primary navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar

The Curly Spoon

go to homepage

July 18, 2022 Brunch

11 Simple Fruit Platter Presentation Ideas

food presentation ideas for party

These beautiful and simple fruit platter presentation ideas are perfect for any occasion!

Save or Share This Post


You might also like Breakfast/Brunch Fruit Platter , How To Make A Breakfast Charcuterie Board , and Cinnamon Walnut Coffee Cake .

A Simple Fruit Plate

A fruit platter or fruit tray is a staple for any large get-together or party! Not only is fruit a delicious and nutritious snack option, but it looks beautiful by nature. 

If you’re looking for inspiration about how to serve fruit at your next party, you’re in the right place. These simple fruit platter presentation ideas are beautiful and easy to create. Take your fruit tray to the next level with these incredible fruit platter designs.

How To Serve Fruit

There are many ways to serve fruit for parties, events, or for friends and family. A few of our favorite ways include:

  • Classic Fruit Platter: Get a variety of your favorite in-season fruits and spread them out on a platter for guests to graze. This is a beautiful and delicious option.
  • Charcuterie Board: This can include fruit, cheese, nuts, crackers, meats, and more. Fruit and cheese boards are a great choice if you want a mixture of sweet and savory.
  • Fruit Kabobs: Grab some kabob skewers and add pieces of colorful fruit. The more colors the better!
  • Chocolate Dipped: Whether you incorporate chocolate fondue, a chocolate fountain, or pre-dipped fruit, chocolate is always a good idea.

Fruit Platter Ideas

These fruit platter presentation ideas are both simple and beautiful. Create a fruit tray that will stun your party guests with one of the ideas below!

1. Summer Breakfast/Brunch Fruit Platter


This summer-inspired fruit platter idea is a perfect breakfast platter option. With fruit flowers of all kinds, this is one of our favorite fruit platter designs.

2. Fruit And Cheese Platter


Learn how to make the perfect fruit and cheese board for any occasion. This fruit platter design features additional items, such as cheese and crackers, that add more flavors and interest to this elegant spread.

3. Valentine's Day Fruit Platter


This Valentine’s Day fruit platter is so adorable and easy to replicate. If you’re looking for a simple fruit platter idea that everyone will LOVE, this one is perfect.

4. Fresh Fruit Charcuterie Board


An abundance of fresh fruit is so appetizing and beautiful for any gathering! This fruit platter presentation idea incorporates a combination of fresh fruit and various fruit dips like yogurt dip and chocolate.

5. How To Make A Fruit Platter


This gorgeous fruit display is so fun and simple. With beautiful cutting techniques, these fruits are transformed into works of art. It is definitely one of our favorite graze platter ideas.

6. Elegant Fruit Cheese Platter


Nuts, berries, and jams are a great addition to any fruit tray. This beautiful fruit platter idea has a great variety of items from chocolate bark to cheese, and more!

Get Free Recipes and Discount Codes Sent Right to Your Inbox!

As a subscriber of The Curly Spoon, you’ll get new recipes sent right to your inbox along with discount codes for some of our favorite products. Sign up now!

7. Patriotic Fruit Platter


With its patriotic theme, this fruit platter presentation idea incorporates a red, white, and blue color scheme. This charcuterie board is perfect for summertime!

8. Fruit And Chocolate Platter


You can never go wrong with fruit and chocolate. This super simple fruit plate with dove chocolates and dipped pretzels is a perfect combination.

9. Rainbow Fruit Platter


This rainbow fruit platter is definitely a ray of sunshine! Not only is it great for kids, but it’s extremely easy to make and so much fun! Give the rainbow fruit platter a try!

10. Dessert Fruit Platter


If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love this dessert fruit platter. With the addition of sandwich cookies, chocolate squares, chocolate-covered nuts, and more, this dessert-themed fruit tray design is beautiful!

11. American Flag Fruit Platter


This creative fruit tray design is a 4th of July favorite! Look no further for a red, white, and blue fruit platter. This simple fruit platter idea is both clever and cute!

What fruit do you put on a fruit platter?

There are tons of different fruits that you can put on a fruit platter. The most important thing is that you add fruits that you like. Here are some fruits that we enjoy adding to our fruit platters:

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Honeydew Melon

How do you arrange fruit on a tray?

There are many methods to arrange a fruit tray, but the key is to plan ahead. If you start with a presentation idea, there’s a much better chance your fruit tray will turn out how you want!  We live to start by adding any items that will be in smaller dishes to our platter. Then, fill in empty space with clumps of fruit, spreading out the groupings of colors. The more fruit, the merrier!

Can I make a fruit platter the night before?

Yes! Most fruit will be fine overnight as long as you keep your fruit tray covered and in the fridge. Avoid adding fruits that have to be peeled on the tray overnight (such as bananas, apples, pears, etc.) I recommend adding those right before serving to avoid browning. If you have any dry elements on your platter (such as cookies, crackers, breads, etc) I would add those right before serving as well so they don’t get soggy.

Do you cut strawberries for a fruit tray?

You can, but it’s not necessary. If you do choose to cut them, I have found that halving them makes them bite-sized and easy to enjoy.

How do you cut an apple for a fruit tray?

I like to cut my apples into wedges so they are easier to eat. Make sure you remove the core and seeds from them before serving (for an easier experience for guests). Apple wedges are also easiest to dip in any fruit dips and sauces.

Is it cheaper to make your own fruit tray?

Generally, yes! If you buy your own fruit, you usually get more bang for your buck, and you can choose exactly what fruits you want on your tray. You’ll also have total control over the quality of the fruit, and you won’t have to settle for whatever comes pre-made.

What do you line a fruit tray with?

If you use a plastic, wooden, or metal tray, you don’t need to line it with anything before placing the fruit on it. Since most fruit has natural moisture and juice that will get onto the tray, it’s better to use a water-resistant tray and forgo a liner.

You Might Also Love


Reader Interactions

Alexis says

June 29, 2023 at 9:42 am

How do you transport fruit platters safely? Where do you buy the serving trays from?

thecurlyspoon says

June 29, 2023 at 7:02 pm

Hi Alexis! We recommend doing any prep work beforehand and then assembling your fruit platter on site to avoid any issues. Here are a couple platters from amazon that we love: https://amzn.to/3pr4Tb6 https://amzn.to/46uIryv

Hobby Lobby also has a ton of great options!

September 05, 2022 at 11:29 am

Your platters are all so pretty and filled to the brim. I struggle with this, so this post gave me so great ideas.

August 02, 2022 at 7:17 am

These are so beautiful! These fruit platters are perfect for so many occasions!

Crystal says

August 01, 2022 at 10:10 am

These are all beautiful fruit platters! I especially love the fruit and cheese platter.

Cindy Mom the Lunch Lady says

July 31, 2022 at 9:25 am

These are such beautiful ideas. I am saving this post for inspiration when I have to do fruit trays at work 🙃

Audrey says

July 30, 2022 at 12:26 pm

I love all these ideas!!!

Giangi says

July 30, 2022 at 12:24 pm

Those platters look absolutely amazing! So hard to pick just one; I guess I will have to work my way thru making each of them. Thank you for the inspiration.

Judith says

July 30, 2022 at 9:32 am

Some great ideas here! They all look so tempting.

Leave A Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Celebrations at Home

9 Simple Ideas To Dress Up Food Presentation

9 simple ideas to dress up food for entertaining.

You’ll love these simple ideas to dress up food for a party. Whether you made it homemade or purchased your menu items, these simple tricks will take it to the next level.

Today we’re back to our Party Design Basics Series and this time we’re talking about ideas to dress up food presentation. You can’t have a party without food, right! So why not make it more appetizing by adding a few extra embellishments to the buffet display.

It’s great to add some designer items to your selection, which are already beautifully decorated, but when you need to dress up homemade or store bought items it’s as easy as 1,2,3. I’ll show you some of the ways I’ve dressed up food in both sweet and savory offerings, in hopes that you’ll add some extra pizzazz to your next celebration. Let’s start with the sweets….

Simple Ideas to Dress up Food:

9 simple ideas to dress up food for entertaining - use cookie cutters for different shapes

  • Cookie cutters are available in a seemingly endless number of shapes and can add a lot of bang for your buck when you use them for more than just cutting cookies. Here I’ve used a flower shape to cut out sandwich pops for a girls princess tea party . Actually kids AND adults love these shaped sandwiches for birthdays, tea parties, baby or bridal showers, etc. Since I used peanut butter here {which is sticky} I was able to make “wands” by inserting a lollipop stick inside – even cuter! Other uses for shaped cutters: cut out fruit, cheese, brownies, or pie crust {see below} .

9 simple ideas to dress up food for entertaining - add pizzazz to your cake or brownie pops

  • Cake pops are still a terrific party food and you can make them yourself and dress them up with melted chocolate. For this sweet 16 party I dipped them in blue chocolate and then drizzled with pink to coordinate with the party colors. It’s easy to create a zig-zag pattern using a squirt bottle filled with melted chocolate . You can also do swirls, dots, or simply sprinkle on edible pearls while the base chocolate is still soft.

9 simple ideas to dress up food for entertaining - make chocolate molds to top cupcakes.

  • Dressing up cupcakes seems to be the most classic and popular idea, with good reason – everyone loves cupcakes! Above I’ve used 2 different methods to add embellishments to simple frosted cupcakes. On the left I used chocolate molds to form keys and place on top. The cupcake on the right has a free form chocolate embellishment {see how to make them here }. I love this idea because it’s kind of like getting 2 desserts in one !

9 simple ideas to dress up food for entertaining - pre-scoop ice cream and top with a flag embellishment.

  • Some presentations are as simple as planning ahead and adding a flag! For this ice cream banana split party all I did was pre-scoop the ice cream and top it off with diy ribbon flags . This sitting on the table is FAR more attractive than a commercial carton of ice cream.

9 simple ideas to dress up food for entertaining - garnish mini pies with pastry cutouts.

  • For the mini pies I used tiny cookie cutters to cut out some of the crust. The shape of the cutout mimics the flavor of the pies and the dough can be attached to the pie itself or used as garnish. Once again, mini fabric flags top it all off.

9 simple ideas to dress up food for entertaining - serve mini salads in shot glasses for a cocktail party.

  • When all else fails, go with individual portion sizes for a fun display and easy grabbing . Everything seems tastier when it’s in a smaller portion size – even salad and beans! Why not serve little ceasar salads in glass votive holders or shot glasses, or fill 4 oz canning jars with baked beans for a summer backyard bbq . As guests move through the buffet line it’s easy to just pick up and keep moving.

9 simple ideas to dress up food for entertaining - make veggie cups with bread.

  • Last but not least, make your containers edible. What’s better than easy grabbing?…No Cleanup! Your guests will think you’re a genius if you set out these crudites in their very own edible bread bowl filled with dipping sauce. You’ll just be happy that there’s no mess to clean up since they can eat the entire thing!
  • Other ideas: chocolate cups filled with chocolate milk or liqueur , bread bowls filled with soup, and hollowed out cucumbers filled with veggie sticks .

The possibilities are endless when you use the tools that are readily available like cookie cutters, squirt bottles, piping supplies, sprinkles, etc. Get creative and have fun with your food. If you embellish those cupcakes, no one will ever know you bought them at the grocery store bakery!

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts

How to Design Parties

How to Design Parties

Easy Cocktail Party Ideas

Easy Cocktail Party Ideas

Best Kept Secrets to Flower Arranging on a Budget

Best Kept Secrets to Flower Arranging on a Budget

Lumberjack Chic

Lumberjack Chic

How to Write Simple Thank You Notes

How to Write Simple Thank You Notes

Dinner Party Menu Ideas

Dinner Party Menu Ideas

Great post, so enriched with information, well done 🙂

Great ideas! I particularly love the edible container ideas! One less thing to clean up and one more appetizer for guests to enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

These are great ideas–thanks so much for sharing!

Chris, fantastic tips as usual. You opened up my mind as for cookie cutters. I have lots of them and I have been endlessly trying to bake the perfect cookie and to be true I am hopeless. My recipes are good tasting but as for the looks … forget about it. The reason that I keep trying to bake them myself is because I love healthy, fresh cookies) but since I read your previous post on party planning I decided I’ll find a great cookie baker and designer and I’ll by from her and as for my cookie cutters they’ll be useful for other purposes. They can even be a template for cutting paper 🙂

Thank you ladies! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the series : )

Chris – love this series…thanks for sharing the great ideas!

Love it doll! The crudité cups are still my fave, I keep promising myself to do that one day!

Comments are closed.

food presentation ideas for party

Type above and press Enter to search. Press Esc to cancel.

Top Chefs Share Their 10 Food Plating and Presentation Tips

  • by Ellie Edwards

minute read

Top Chefs Share Their 10 Food Plating and Presentation Tips

A study from Oxford psychologist, Professor Charles Spence, suggests that the food presentation can actually make a dish taste better. 

In the study, Spence gave 60 people 3 salads and asked them to rate each one before and after they ate them. The salads each used the same ingredients, but presented them in different ways. One salad was put together with no regard given to presentation, one was neatly arranged, and the third was plated to resemble a painting by artist Wassily Kandinsky.

Can you guess which salad diners liked best? 

It was the salad that resembled a painting.

The ultimate guide to restaurant marketing

From social media trends and technology to traditional tricks that haven’t lost their magic, get the lowdown on how to market your restaurant with our free guide.

Diners thought it tasted better ( 29% tastier to be precise ), even though it used the exact same ingredients. Spence’s study concluded that consumers were willing to spend as much as three times more on a well-plated dish. 

Even basic dishes like a salad can benefit from thoughtful presentation – it makes the dish seem more appetising and valuable. 

So, how can you use that information to your advantage? 

We talked to chefs Daniel England, Joyce Tang, Tanner Agar, Jim Solomon, Michael Welch, and Brian Poe to learn their favourite food plating and presentation techniques. Each technique focuses on five key food presentation factors: colour, arrangement, balance, texture, and how easy it is for guests to eat.

The top food presentation and plating techniques

  • Create height on the plate
  • Cut meat horizontally
  • Play with textures
  • Use contrasting colours
  • Match presentation to the restaurant theme
  • Choose the right plates
  • Serve smaller portion sizes
  • Use edible garnishes and decorations
  • When in doubt, keep it simple
  • Express yourself

1. Create height on the plate

Chef Daniel England likes to create height as he plates food. 

Food Plating and Presentation Tips

“It’s important that you don’t separate the food trying to fill the plate – build from the bottom up,” he says. “If you could use a little structure, you can always purchase a ring mould to start with a base. Simply pack some food in the mould and gently lift it up. Now you have a base to build on.” 

Other ideas for creating height on the plate include:

  • Using vibrant leaves as a bed for salads. Try incorporating different sizes and colours of salad leaves, like radicchio, little gem, and fris é e. 
  • Rather than serving ice cream and sorbet on the side, place a quenelle on top of the dessert, as demonstrated by London restaurant, Casa Fof ò . 
  • Big Mamma Group takes things to the next level with its towering lemon meringue pie. Desserts such as pies and profiteroles naturally lend themselves to height. 

Leroy utilises slices of fruit to create height on its desserts. Try layering up sliced apple, blood orange, or roasted rhubarb.

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Leroy (@leroyshoreditch)

2. Cut meat horizontally

England also recommends “fanning” or shingling out slices of meat to show off its quality. 

Food Plating and Presentation Tips

“Slice your meat on a 45-degree bias, and also slice against the grain of the meat for a more tender cut,” he says. “Show off that perfect medium-rare steak!” 

This presentation technique works equally well with fish and vegetables, too. Here are a few ways to present other ingredients horizontally:

  • When serving crudo, fan out wafer-thin pieces of tuna, salmon, and sea bass across the base of a plate.
  • This same fanning technique can be adapted for aubergines, asparagus, carrots and cauliflower. Overlap grilled asparagus on the base of a plate and top with other ingredients, or slice cauliflower, pan-fry and place each piece next to one another.

3. Play with textures

Chef Joyce Tang suggests playing with textures, foams, and sauces to make the dish look more interesting. 

Food Plating and Presentation Tips

“I like to play up contrasting textures on my plate,” she adds. “Foams are usually really helpful in plating and can be really easily done, playing around with different sauces and textures.” 

Here are some ideas of how to incorporate sauces and foams in your dish:

  • Do like Llewellyn’s do and use a vibrant vichyssoise as a base for fish and meat. 
  • Take inspiration from Berber and Q and serve sweet sauces on the side of dessert, so customers can enjoy as much or as little as they like.
  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Llewelyn’s (@llewelynslondon)

4. Use contrasting colours

Tang also stresses the importance of playing with contrasting colours. She avoids artificial colours and uses matcha, powdered sugar, or natural colours to catch the eye instead. 

“The way you present your food is hyper-important,” she adds. “The more time you spend on how you present each dish, the more visual interest you can stimulate in folks.” 

Restaurant owner Tanner Agar echoes that sentiment.

Food Plating and Presentation Tips

Agar recommends using bold colours to create appealing visuals. “The easiest way to add colour is to start working with more colourful ingredients. Items like carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, lettuces, beans, and more come in a variety of gorgeous colours,” he says. “The difference a purple cauliflower puree makes on a plate is striking.”

Lightspeed customer, Manteca , uses contrasting colours in its dishes by incorporating herbs into its fresh pasta. An egg yolk on top brings an extra pop to the dish.

Embracing seasonal ingredients is a fantastic way to incorporate natural colour into dishes, from green asparagus to pink rhubarb and vibrant red strawberries.

5. Match food presentation to your restaurant theme

Chef Jim Solomon says that the style of plating should match the restaurant’s atmosphere.

Food Plating and Presentation Tips

“Your guests expect a simple, welcoming presentation that stresses straightforward flavour cooked with heart and served with an unfussy, rustic quality. At relatively pricey, hip and high-end restaurants, guests want to see a degree of artistry and care taken in constructing the dishes.”

The way you plate your food should directly reflect your restaurant type.

Solomon adds that “food should have an element of height or visual texture, the balance of colour and thoughtful garnishes – both carefully placed and intentional in flavour and texture.”

If you’re a Michelin-starred restaurant that specialises in fine-dining, guests might expect a more refined style of presentation, compared to a country pub, where a heartier, more rustic style of presentation is considered the norm. 

Being consistent with your presentation and theme will only strengthen your brand.

6. Choose the right plates

Chef Michael Welch preaches using the right plate size, colour, and style. The colour of the plate matters as the plate serves as the canvas for your food.

“Typically, chefs will stay away from blue plates as there isn’t any naturally blue food and it is thought to be an unappetising colour,” he says. “If you have something with a lot of vibrant colour, it might stand out better on a white plate.”

Food Plating and Presentation Tips

Jim Solomon echoes the importance of choosing the right vessel to present your dish. “Choose a dish vessel that makes it easy for your guest to eat. This is also an opportunity for your chefs to show their personality in the dishes they create.” 

Cubitt House coordinates its serveware with its furnishings, creating consistency across the brand. Big Mamma is known – and loved – for its vibrant, Italian-inspired crockery, that’s as much a focus of the restaurant as the food itself. 

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by BIG MAMMA UK (@bigmamma.uk)

Brat favours oval platters for its sharing-style plates of whole grilled fish and roasted lobster, while Osip works with local artists to create exclusive crockery for its restaurant. 

Get creative with your tableware, and choose pieces that align with your brand, and makes your food look its best.

7. Serve smaller portion sizes

You want to serve enough food to satisfy your guests and portion sizes can vary depending on the type of establishment you’re operating, but smaller portions are typically easier to style. 

Stick to no more than six elements on each dish to prevent them from looking overcrowded.

Tasting menus naturally lend themselves to small portion sizes, as you’re often eating between eight and twelve courses. An example of a restaurant serving beautiful, smaller portions is Osip . At the tiny Somerset restaurant, you can expect to feast on the season’s best. The fresh ingredients – be it asparagus, purple daikon, or cabbage – are simply prepared, so they can shine.

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Osip Restaurant (@osiprestaurant)

However, take this tip with a pinch of salt. If you’re a burger restaurant, like Fat Hippo , your USP is towering burgers, where patties are layered with sauces and served with lavish sides. In this case, it makes sense to ignore the ‘more is less’ motto.

Food Plating and Presentation Tips

Related read: 8 Benefits to Serving Smaller Portion Sizes

8. Use edible garnishes and decorations

Garnishes and decorations are a great way of styling your dish, but there are some guidelines you should follow when using them.

Food Plating and Presentation Tips

Whatever you use – whether it’s a herb, spice, or a flower – it needs to be edible. Everything on your plate should be placed with the intention of elevating the dishes taste first, and the way it looks second. 

Here are ways that Lightspeed customers are embracing edible garnishes and decorations:

  • Osip uses small herbs and green leaves to add flavour and beauty to a dish. 
  • Pollen Bakery makes the most of edible flowers to add colour to its frosted cakes. 

Portland picks seasonal ingredients to enhance its dishes, from wafer-thin slices of radish to pickled blueberries.

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Portland (@portlandrestaurant)

9. When in doubt, keep it simple

Michael Welch also emphasises the value of simplicity. 

“Overcrowding the plate with unnecessary oils or spices or microgreens just takes away from the food you worked so hard to make,” he explains. “Subtraction is your best ingredient.” 

Rather than piling on a zillion garnishes or swirls of sauce, let the quality of the cooking speak for itself. 

“A properly seared steak with some fresh watercress and perfectly roasted baby potatoes will look better than the fanciest of plates with subpar cookery,” Welch says. “Proper cooking will give you a lot of contrast within your ingredients with both texture and colour.”

10. Express yourself

There’s an art in plating food; it’s where chefs can allow themselves to be creative and have a high impact on how guests perceive the dishes they’re eating. 

Chef Brian Poe believes that chefs should approach food plating and presentation just as an artist would approach their next piece. 

“Presentation should be approached just like art, cooking, and music,” says Poe. “Take a moment to relax and look at what the others are doing, learn a bit of the technique and then find your own voice and style.”

Food Plating and Presentation Tips

One of Poe’s favourite approaches is to go “Jackson Pollock,” holding out the plate like a canvas and splattering it with sauce. “Other times we might look toward a more linear approach which could either be Picasso or street graffiti-style,” he adds. “Other times the negative space technique might work.” 

Big Mamma expresses themselves by going OTT, and serving its signature carbonara straight from a wheel of pecorino. On the other hand, zero-waste restaurant, Silo , make the most of negative space. This no-fuss presentation style ties into Silo’s zero-waste ethos.

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Silo London (@silolondon)

The role of technology in your food preparation 

Plating food beautifully takes time. While you want it to look great, you need to plate your food as fast as possible – especially if it’s a hot dish that you don’t want to go cold before it reaches your guests. 

You can’t help how long it takes to properly cook and prepare a meal, but you can give your chefs more time to prepare dishes by streamlining your ordering process. 

Lightspeed’s electronic point of sale enables service staff to quickly take a guest’s order and send it to the appropriate kitchen workstation in seconds.

Food Plating and Presentation Tips

Kitchen staff see orders in real-time on their kitchen display system and can notify servers as soon as the dish is ready to be run to guests. Over the course of a service, those saved seconds compound and enable kitchen staff to spend time getting food plating and presentation just right. 

The right restaurant technology can streamline your ordering and food preparation, which gives your cooks more time to create dishes with strong visual appeal.

Related read: Restaurateurs Share Their Tips for Success

Food plating and presentation matters 

When consumers dine out, they expect their food to taste great and be visually appealing. That, along with your restaurant’s interior design, are all instrumental to the quality of their dining experience. 

When plating your dishes, each element matters equally: colour, arrangement, balance, texture, and how easy it is for guests to eat. If you hit each of these out of the park, you’re setting yourself up to get rave reviews and user-generated content that you can share on your social channels for some extra publicity. 

Curious how Lightspeed can help your restaurant with its food preparation? Let’s talk .

food presentation ideas for party

News you care about. Tips you can use.

Everything your business needs to grow, delivered straight to your inbox.

Sorry, there was an error with your submission.

Success! You are now signed up to our blog content updates.

Ellie Edwards

Ellie Edwards is a hospitality content specialist at Lightspeed. With a background in food journalism, Ellie combines her passion for writing with her love of restaurants. When she’s not writing, she’s travelling the world in search of the perfect cardamom bun and plate of cacio e pepe.

Related articles

37 of the Most Successful Small Town Business Ideas

37 of the Most Successful Small Town Business Ideas

  • by Lightspeed

Brewing Up: How Much Does it Cost to Start a Coffee Shop?

Brewing Up: How Much Does it Cost to Start a Coffee Shop?

Lessons from Front of the House, Back of the House: Race and Inequality in the Lives of Restaurant Workers

Lessons from Front of the House, Back of the House: Race and Inequality in the Lives of Restaurant Workers

  • by Jody Hewitt

Browse more topics

  • Ideas & Guides

Planning & Prep

  • The Best Food Plating Ide...

The Best Food Plating Ideas for Parties and Get-Togethers

The Best Food Plating Ideas for Parties and Get-Togethers

Food just tastes better when it looks good, right? We’re all for rustic, home-cooked meals that look and taste like they’ve been made with love. But once in a while, it’s fun to switch things up and be a bit more refined. If you’re throwing a dinner party or hosting a get-together, these  food  plating ideas will wow your guests and make the meal you share even more special.

7 tips to elevate your food plating skills

Creativity is king. Yet if you’ve never tried to outdo a restaurant, it can be hard knowing how to get simple food presentation ideas. These tips are bound to get your creative juices flowing.

1. Emphasize height

If you pay close attention, upscale restaurants often stack ingredients on the plate. Instead of spreading out all the components of the meal to fill up the plate, they create several levels.

Height is important. It makes the dish beautiful seen from different angles—be it from bird’s-eye view or from the side, to showcase each layer.

Serving your guests a  spaghetti  dish? Twirl the pasta on a large fork or carving knife and place it on the center of the plate, like a tall nest. This creates a much more interesting presentation than covering the entire plate with pasta.

2. Be bold with shapes

Shapes are also an important aspect of food styling. This is where your creativity can really shine. Plate all components of the dish in the same shape or in various shapes for a more eclectic look.

Let’s say you want to serve your guests teriyaki chicken with broccoli and  rice . You could shape the rice into a circle using a rice mold, lay the broccoli on top, and display the chicken in a star next to it.

Plating with seafood and rice

3. Play with textures

Something else to consider is texture. There’s so much you can do with it in the kitchen. For starters, different textures add complexity to the dish, making it more interesting and delicious. Secondly, they also add that wow factor to the look of the dish.

For example, you could plate carrot purée or mashed potatoes alongside a medium-rare  steak  and crunchy veggies on the side. Then, you could drizzle gravy on top to tie everything together. It’s a feast to both the eyes and taste buds.

4. Bet on contrasting colors

What do you think looks more appealing to the eye? An all-yellow plate (think fried chicken and fries) or a colorful plate? Humans are drawn to colors—especially to contrasting colors.

When plating a dish, make sure you add vibrant elements that pop. For instance, steak (brown) with roasted carrots (yellow) and peas (green) all look great together. A generous drizzle of white gravy over the meat adds even more complexity to the dish.

5. Nail the portions

At first, you may be tempted to focus too much on the food plating and not enough on the actual food. In other words, you may end up with too much of one ingredient and not enough of another, simply because one looked more aesthetically pleasing. Don’t let this happen.

Before plating, think of what portions you should be serving. For example, if the star of the dish is roast beef, be sure to include more of that than of the sides.

Additionally, if you’re going for a polished and upscale look, serve small portions. That’s what most high-end restaurants do, and for good reason. Small portions tend to look better on larger plates, period. To ensure your guests don’t leave hungry, go big on the starters and dessert.

6. Use edible garnishes

Edible garnishes are a great finishing touch. From  edible flowers  to deep-fried shallots and cilantro, the choices are endless. They look best sprinkled on top of the dish in random patterns right before serving. And, besides looking great, they also pack a boost of flavor and texture.

Cooking shows and cookbooks are great places to get garnishing food presentation ideas if you’re stuck. Just make sure the garnish you’re adding makes sense with the dish served.

Food planing with edible flowers.

7. Don’t underestimate the decor

Lastly, remember that there’s more to food plating than just the food. For example, the color and shape of the plate you choose can make a great difference in how your presentation looks overall. The same can be said of cutlery, napkins, and table cloth.

What tools do I need to plate like a chef?

All food plating ideas in the world are easier to execute if you have the right tools at hand. Fortunately, they’re easy to find and quite affordable.

Piping bags allow you to make beautiful, interesting shapes with purées. They’re the same used in baking to decorate cakes.

Squeeze bottles

Squeeze bottles give you greater control of how your sauces and gravies look on the plate. No more inconsistent drizzles or accidental spills.

Tongs come in handy when you want to place small food elements in specific places. For example, when it comes to salad plating ideas, usually certain ingredients need to be neatly stacked on top of each other. For instance, pomegranate beads on top of baby carrots. Can you imagine having to do that by hand?

Be creative and have fun plating

Cooking and baking are great creative outlets, but so is plating. As you gain more and more experience with it, you’ll probably want to vary what ingredients get featured and left to shine. Whenever you need an ingredient—no matter how unique and hard-to-find—Instacart is there for you. Place your order via the app and, thanks to same-day delivery, you could get it delivered to your doorstep in under 2 hours.


Instacart Recommends

17 Grocery List Categories to Make Shopping Easy

Most Recent in Planning & Prep

15+ Best Butter Substitutes for Baking and Cooking

15+ Best Butter Substitutes for Baking and Cooking

Butter, the golden ambassador of richness and flakiness, is a mainstay in the world of baking. From decadent cookies to fluffy cakes, its magic touch elevates countless recipes.  But what happens when you reach for…...

Pounds to Cups Converter [Cooking Calculator + Charts]

Pounds to Cups Converter [Cooking Calculator + Charts]

Quick Answer How many pounds are in a cup? 1 pound generally equals 2 cups, but you’ll need the ingredient density for a more accurate measurement.  Measuring ingredients for a recipe should be straightforward, but…...

Steak Cooking Chart: Your Guide to the Perfect Sear

Steak Cooking Chart: Your Guide to the Perfect Sear

Nailing that ideal steak finish at home can be a real guessing game, especially if you’re new to the grill or experimenting with different cuts and cooking methods. This article will break down everything you…...

Free delivery or pickup on your first order of $35 or more. Sign up now ! Terms apply.

food presentation ideas for party

70 Smart and Creative Food Presentation Ideas

Creative food presentation ideas.

Please enable JavaScript

In this article:

Tattoo 7 top tattoo designs with meaning, art 40 adorable watercolor painting you must see, you may also like, 45 mouthwatering valentines day food ideas, 11 rosé wine recipes to try this summer, 40 delicious ideas for pizza party with recipes, 40 mouthwatering christmas candy recipes, 20 easy food hacks that will change the way you cook, 15 life-changing baking tips from pro-bakers.

Buffet Table Ideas

By an Award-Winning Professional Party Planner

food presentation ideas for party

Learn how to set up a buffet table / food station for parties, weddings, or entertaining at home

About This Site

Matt James video title

  • Hi, I'm Matt James, a professional event planner with 25 years experience
  • I've produced events for A-list celebrities, including: Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker, Stella McCartney, Kevin Spacey ...and more!
  • I've won 30 industry awards for my events

On this site, I'll share...

Food station / buffet table ideas.

Ok so I've got to tell you...buffet tables are over. They're old fashioned, sloppy, and bring to mind those nasty 'all you can eat' restaurant spreads where the food has been sitting there all day. Nowadays, for event professionals, it's all about creating food stations .

Food stations still enable you to feed large numbers, lay on a range of different dishes—so there's something for everyone, and keep everything relaxed and informal enough so as not to kill the party mood. The difference is that you get to wow guests with the elegant and creative presentation that comes with plated dishes, and the food station becomes a focal point in the room to center all your party decorations around.

With traditional buffet tables people tend to go a bit crazy and pile on the food, working their way along the entire table and taking far more than they'll actually eat, so you always need to prepare such huge amounts—so much of which gets wasted. With food stations, everything is geared towards offering small plates, DIY options, and 'bites'—like a tasting menu—which can help keep costs down. What you find is that people pick and try a few things, then go back to mingling (rather than shuffling off to a corner to demolish a huge plate of food!), so it helps keeps the party atmosphere going.

The only downside is that you can't just plonk big bowls of food on a table—it requires a little more thought and effort. Often, you're still serving the same types of food as you would on a traditional buffet table, but you're just presenting them differently. Just follow my simple food styling and presentation tips below and you'll have everyone thinking that your party has be professionally caterered!

fruit and vegetable buffet table

Buffet table / food station Backdrops

First off, you'll want to create a backdrop for your buffet table / food station. This will help make it the focal point of your party decorations.

Before we get started on menu ideas, food presentation, and styling, head on over to my page of Dessert Table Ideas which has lots of different ideas for backdrops, along with tips and suggestions for how best to construct, support, display, or hang them. There are ideas suitable for every occasion, including milestone birthday parties, weddings, and baby showers, which can easily be recreated at home and there's something for every type of budget.

At the end of that page you can follow the link back here.

great gatsby dessert table

The 80 / 20 Rule

When creating a food station at home, instead of a traditional buffet table, I would suggest going for approx 80% cold food and 20% hot, to make it easier on yourself.

For the 20% hot food, I recommend setting up a DIY station so guest can assemble things themselves. This could be a hot dog, burger, mac & cheese (below right), baked potato, taco, burrito, or mash potato (below left) bar with a selection of toppings, or something like a 'make your own grilled cheese' where you set up an electric panini press or toaster for guests to do it themselves.

These interactive food bars take the pressure off the host while providing an experience for the guests.

Check out my Pinterest board 'Party Food: Stations, Hot' for more menu ideas and tips for preparing the hot elements using crockpots.

mash potato food station / buffet table

Food Presentation

For the 80% cold food, it's easy to make even simple party food—such as chicken skewers, pasta, or salads—look amazing by serving items in individual portions. You can still batch-make everything in advance, then just before guests arrive, spend a little time dividing everything into small plates, bowls, and shooters.

When it comes to displaying the food, the reason most buffet tables / food stations at professionally catered events look so stylish is because they abide by a few simple rules; Groups, Rows, and Levels.

buffet table food presentation

If you look closely at the photos below you'll notice that the menu is presented in groups; that is, only one type of food per serving plate. It's a simple rule but it instantly gives the buffet table / food station a clean, defined, well-ordered look.

fruit and vegetable buffet table

Then, on each serving plate, food is presented in individual containers or with individual utensils, and arranged in rows. Not only does this give it a modern, professional look, it also helps with portion control as people are more likely to take just one of each item.

melon and parma ham

Finally, make use of different levels. Buffet tables / food stations look terrible if everything lies flat on the table, so make sure to add some height to your display with a mixture of flat plates, cake stands, and risers.

milk and cookies arranged on levels

shooter glasses

When it comes to presenting each food item, make use of a few different disposable tasting party containers ( check out the full range here or alternatively try here ).

Shooter glasses (below left) in particular are extremely versatile. Whereas you might ordinarily serve things like chicken skewers piled up on a plate, by serving them in individual shooters with a little dipping sauce in the bottom, they instantly look more interesting. Similarly, instead of big bowls of cold pasta salad, skewer a few store-bought cheese-stuffed tortellinis and serve them in shooters with a little pesto. Or serve chilled soup shots with a crostini balanced on the rim. You can pick up disposable shooters here .

Check out my Pinterest board 'Party Food: Shooters' for more menu ideas.

Disposable plastic shooters

Shooters are also a great way to serve salads, such as this caprese (below left) or this feta, tomato, cucumber (below right), veggies, or mini shrimp cocktails.

caprese salad in shooters

Of course, shooters are also perfect for mini desserts. Even the most simple mousse recipes and jello desserts look great served in individual portions, or if you have a bit more time you can get creative with layered fruit cocktails and cheesecakes.

chocolate mousse in shooters

tasting cups

These square plastic tasting cups are also perfect for any number of snacks, salads, and dips. Check them out here .

See my Pinterest board 'Party Food: Cold + Savory' for more menu ideas.

disposable plastic tasting cups

You can also get more creative with salads, such as this chilled sesame salmon, rice, and avacado salad (below left), or just use them for mousses, fruit cups, or even individual cups of anti-pasti.

Sushi Salad

tasting spoons

Another option is to serve bite size items on elegant serving spoons—these look great when presented in rows. Check them out here or alternatively try here .

See my Pinterest board 'Party Food: Serve on Spoons' for more menu ideas.

avacado salsa on appetizer spoons

Skewering party foods with sauce filled pipettes is a really simple way to wow your guests with something unusual, and they work just as well with sweet or savory bites. You can also combine them with the square tasting cups above and serve salads with the dressing in pipettes. Pick up the pipettes here .

See my Pinterest board 'Party Food: Pipette Ideas' for more menu suggestions.

caprese salad pipettes

premium disposable serving plates

Once you've decided which foods to present in each of the tasting containers, arrange them in rows on these premium plastic square and rectangular plates. They're really great value and perfect to use as serving plates on a buffet table / food station. They look great as they have a gloss finish and even though they're plastic, your guests won't be handing them, so it's fine. Check them out here .

premium plastic serving plates

Don't forget to arrange your serving plates on a number of different levels. You could do this just by covering stacks of books in gift wrap, or draping them in fabric, before placing the plates on top. However, I always perfer a nice clean modern look, so you might want to check out the range of different risers here . The acrylic ones, such as these below left, are often quite inexpensive.

buffet table risers

designer tasting plates

if you have a bigger budget, or your catering for much larger numbers, you might want to check out this range of designer plastic tasting party supplies . Unfortunately though, they're really aimed at wholesale purchasers so a lot of the items only come in cases of 50+. But worth a browse depending on your budget.

disposable tasting bowls

party food in jars

Another fun way to serve party food is in mason jars. You often see desserts served in jars, but don't forget about savory options too. They're great for pasta salad, taco salads, or even regular salads. You can pick up cheap mason jars here or failing that try here .

If it's a special occaision, such as a milestone birthday or baby shower, get some inexpesive personalized stickers printed ( available here ) to use as labels then tie a wooden fork or spoon ( available here ) around the neck with decorative string.

See my Pinterest board 'Party Food: Serve in Jars' for more menu ideas.

pasta in mason jars

Another great little attention to detail is to have personalized wooden utensils made for a special occasion, such as these below center and right. Alternatively, there are plenty of ready-made ones available stamped with different phrases which should make people smile. See here for both options .

personalized wooden utensils

martini glass salads

Another stylish way to serve salads is in martini glasses. If it's for a party at home and you've got large numbers, just go ahead and use plastic ones. They won't look out of place with all the other plastic tasting cups and glass ones will only end up scratched and broken anyway. You can pick them here .

salad in martini glass

chinese take out boxes

A trend often seen at professional events is to serve salads or chilled noodle salads in chinese take out boxes, complete with chopsticks or wooden forks. They look great lined up en-masse on a buffet table / food station.

Again, you can personalize these with simple stickers used as label and tie the utensils on with decorative string. I think the brown kraft paper style boxes look nice for parties as they look more decorative, but you can check out the full range here , or, alternatively, see here for decorative / colored ones .

party food in chinese take out boxes

Fork displays

A fun way to serve individual bites is to skewer them on upright forks, like these cheese examples below. Use craft foam blocks with slits cut into it to support the forks, then either cover with gift wrap or place the foam into shallow boxes and cover with coarse rock salt, like in the example below. These heavyweight plastic forks are designed to look like silver, so if you've got large numbers you could use these. Alternatively, you can pick up a pack of 36 stainless steel forks here quite cheaply.

buffet table fork display

Party Food Ideas

Check out my Pinterest boards for 40th birthday party food ideas, including sweet and savory ideas both hot and cold.

birthday party food

Another way to give your buffet table / food station a more professional look is to label each item. Check out this site for a whole range of inexpensive labels—many of which are printables—that you can customize with your own text.

buffet table food tent labels

chalkboard runners / tablecovers

Another fun way to identify dishes on a buffet table / food station is to hand-write the name of each item on a chalkboard runner or table cover. An inexpensive way to do this is to just buy a roll of chalkboard paper and use it as a table runner. Alternatively, you can buy chalkboard table covers, runners, and serving trays. See here for all options .

chalkboard buffet table cover

kraft paper

Alternatively, if it's a less formal event, you can do something similar with simple kraft paper .

buffet table craft paper cover

Through the Years Plates

These custom photo collage paper plates are a great way to create really personal 'Through the Years' style party supplies by uploading photos of the birthday boy or girl at different stages of their life. They're also far more special than the regular store-bought 40th birthday party supplies emblazoned with 4-0. There are a number of different designs available, depending on how many photos you want to include, and you can just use the 'Personalize' to change colors, fonts, and text. Check out all the options here .

Through the Years photo collage paper plates

Premium Disposable Tableware

If you prefer something less themed, this range of elegant disposable tableware looks stunning. They make several different collections, so I've identified the designs used underneath each picture below incase you want to recreate the exact look. Check them out here . Update: You can also find these here now too .

pink & navy disposable tableware

If you're laying on a buffet or catering to large numbers, you can get some pretty good premium plastic cutlery in either gold, silver, or rose gold, available here , or even with a glitter finish, available here . Similarly, they also have matching premium plastic plates, such as the ones pictured below, available here . Update: Check out this supplier too as they often have better prices.

gold premium plastic tableware

Napkin Wraps

An easy way to style the dinner or buffet table for a 40th birthday celebration is to use these personalized napkin wraps, below left available here , or these glittery 40 napkin holders that come in a range of different colors, available here . Alternatively, you could continue the 'Through the Years' theme by wrapping cutlery in napkins and fixing them in place with these stickers printed using old photos of the birthday boy or girl as a kid—they're only 5¢ each— available here .

milestone birthday napkin rings

Place Settings

If you're doing a sit-down dinner, these laser-cut names make stunning place settings—and you can get them for less than $1 each. Check them out here .

laser cut name place settings

Drinks Styling & Presentation

Now that we've looked at how to set up a buffet table, with ideas for decorating, food styling, and presentation, head over to my other page of party drink ideas for more tips and suggestions to give your party a professional look and feel.

lilac drink

If you've enjoyed these food station / buffet table ideas , please help me to promote my website by sharing this page. Just click on the Facebook or Twitter buttons below to post a link back to this page, or share this collage image.

Alternatively follow the "Enjoy this page?" link under the logos below to get the address for this page of food station / buffet table ideas so you can paste directly into your own blog, website, or any forum that you contribute to.

Many thanks

buffet table ideas

About Matt James

Matt James is a professional event planner and owner of event agency Left Field Productions , which has produced events for Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Spacey, Stella McCartney, David LaChapelle, John Waters, and Elvis Costello & Diana Krall. Left Field Productions has won 30 event industry awards for excellence including Production Company of the Year. Matt is the author of the book Become an Event Planner: Secrets for Getting Hired from Employers, Recruiters, and Event Professionals .

matt james

40 Extraordinary Food Presentation Ideas

May 3, 2024

  • Facebook 66
  • Pinterest 74.4K

In the realm of the culinary world, it is well known that the presentation of food is a standout factor that will either pull in or dismiss your guest to pick a particular dinner. The art of presenting a food dish makes it look more appealing and delicious. Do you realize how to make a combination of hues or make the food look its best? Extraordinary food presentation ideas will establish a first connection that your visitor gets and will choose whether it will be all-consuming, instant adoration or not. People can have loved at first sight just by looking at the food presentation. Now, there are endless ways to present or serve a food dish. Food presentation is an art, of course with some basic rules about serving and presenting particular food.


Image Source

Extraordinary Food Presentation Ideas


Basic Rules Of Food Presentation

No matter what food you’re serving or to whom you’re presenting your skills, to master the technique of extraordinary food presentation ideas, you must know some basic rules. To get more ideas, view these fascinating ideas of food presentation.

  • Plate should neither be over-burden nor apparently unfilled with food. Choose the plate size and plate shape very carefully. If food presentation is an art, then the plate is your canvas. Take pictures of your cool food presentation to hang it on the pinboard.
  • This rule goes without saying, yet it is the most common mistake made by a lot of people. It is important to leave clear space along the edge. Do not fill the entire plate with food. The plate should be big enough to allow your portion.
  • For extraordinary food presentation ideas, it is important to have color contrast on your plate. Ever imagine why scramble egg and avocado toast always look good together.
  • Keep consistency with regards to parcel estimate. Portion size has to be moderate. The guest should never complain about portion seeming less in a huge plate.
  • Try not to exaggerate with sauces, rather served them independently. It reduces the risk of spilling and looks tidy.
  • Have you ever observed in a restaurant that food is always served in odd number amount? Either the serving is 5 or 7. If you’re opening a new restaurant, you might want to have a look at the latest interior designs trend.


Extraordinary Food Presentation Ideas and Tricks

  • Decorating a dish gives a personal touch to the meal and makes it look more appealing. Think about color and contrast and pay attention to the tiniest detail.
  • To catch your guest’s eye, present your food dish in a way to increase its height. Use a tall plate and create a visual appearance of a heighted dish. Place ingredient one above the other.
  • Create designs with sauces on your plate. Once you’ve plate your food dish, create some strokes using paint or squeeze bottle using sauces to make it look attractive.
  • Garnish your food dish before serving it. Garnishing your food dish will make it look attractive and enhance its visual appeal. Use lemon slice, coriander leaves, orange peel or anything attractive. If you’re throwing a party, food is the only thing people are excited about. 


How To Present Main Course?

Main course is known for having to many food dishes served together. Main course is an entire meal served together. According to the old traditional extraordinary food presentation ideas, look at the main course dishes to be served as a clock. At 11’o clock direction, place carbohydrate, at 2’o clock vegetables and at 6’o clock it is usually the protein. This is a very old traditional way how the main course were presented back in the day. After the heavy dinner, you want to burn those calories, check out these fitness tracker to have a look how much calories you need to shed off.


What Are The Presentation And Garnishing Tools?

To master the talent of extraordinary food presentation ideas, you might require some proper tools. Here are some tools you should definitely purchase like Decorating Brushes, To apply brush strokes of sauces or purees. Culinary tweezers, different knifes and scalpels for carving fruits, forceps, spatulas, choppers and squeezing bottles. A heavy meal of the day demands ten minutes of brisk walk and some stretching exercise post workout.


  Image Source


Whether you own a fine restaurant or invite guests for dinner, extraordinary food presentation ideas allow you to demonstrate your food in the most delicious way. Specially for kids, nicely presented food is a smart way to trick them to eat all the healthy food they would deny looking at. For years, mothers have seen serving salad to the kids in a beautifully presented way. You can make the most regular food look visually appealing with some tricks. The most common practice is shaping the fruits and salad using scalpels and knifes. Food presentation and photography takes the food dish to the next level, it makes them look very appealing and beautiful. 

' src=

Haylay M Harmonica

Cancel reply.

You cannot copy content of this page

39 Easy Party Food Ideas for Your Next Celebration


Everyone loves to eat, so offering a selection of fun party food makes any event that much more memorable. From bite-sized finger foods to elaborate platters and gluten-free or vegan dishes for your healthy lifestyle guests, there are plenty of options to choose from. That means the hardest part of creating your party spread often comes down to narrowing options while still providing choices that will please everyone. 

Are you searching for the perfect list of fun and popular party foods for your next special event? Does a constant stream of guests coming through your front door demand easy party foods you can pull together with little forewarning? From decadent chocolate truffles to savory sliders and fresh vegetarian or keto-friendly delights, we have the list for you. Keep reading to discover the top party food ideas for your next celebration with family and friends. 

  Jump to Section

39 Great Party Food Ideas

Elevate your party with a private chef meal, 1. antipasto skewers.

Colorful, refreshing and packed with flavor, antipasto skewers are a delightful Italian-inspired addition to any party food table. The skewers make them portable, so guests can grab a couple on a plate or a napkin and continue socializing. Preparation only requires about half an hour. A drizzle of balsamic glaze adds an intense burst of flavor to the tortellini, soft mozzarella balls and garden fresh produce.

Antipasto skewers are an excellent party food

2. French Dip Sliders

Thinly sliced tender roast beef and melted cheese on fresh mini rolls make up the French dip slider . This party food option is compact and easy for guests to carry as they mingle. It packs plenty of savory goodness in a small package. Pair it with a small cup of au jus for dipping to take the flavor of the dish to the next level in traditional French dip fashion. 

3. Cheeseburger Sliders

The cheeseburger is an American classic and a fun party food option that guests of all ages will love. Serve a mini version by preparing cheeseburger sliders , featuring small beef patties and bite-size portions of American cheese on fluffy and sweet Hawaiian rolls. To complete this classic and versatile dish, put together a toppings bar with fresh salad items, crisped bacon and popular condiments.  

Two cheeseburger sliders on a blue plate

4. Roast Beef Sliders

Another great slider option, roast beef sliders are one of the easy party food choices that will elevate any occasion. Layered with tender roast beef, caramelized onions and aged provolone cheese, you can bake them on a single tray for convenience, and serve them with sweet and tangy poppy seed dressing. These roast beef sliders are an exceptional choice for graduation party ideas when your guests might need grab-and-go options as they hop from one party to the next. 

5. Bruschetta Chicken

Consider bruschetta chicken as a garden fresh addition to the party food table. The dish is light, creamy and flavorful, topped with fresh avocado, ripe tomatoes, pungent garlic and peppery basil. Serve this Italian-inspired dish in mini portions that guests can easily grab as they gather around the food table or walk and mingle.

Bruschetta chicken is a tasty party food

6. Air Fryer Chicken Wings

Whether you are searching for elegant New Year’s party ideas or laid-back tailgate party food suggestions, putting out chicken wings at a celebration is sure to be a hit. Air fryer chicken wings are a great option and are a healthier version of classic wings, packing all the flavor with less fat. Pro-tip: more cayenne pepper increases the kick of this dish, so consider making two plates — one more mild and one with extra spice. 

7. Cream Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms

Appeal to the vegetarians on your list with earthy and flavorful cream cheese-stuffed mushrooms . They are easy to make in under an hour and fun for guests to quickly pop in their mouths and enjoy herb-infused cheese and a dense consistency of earthy mushrooms. You can serve them warm or room temperature, making them fantastic party foods for longer parties with a more expansive food table.  

Cream cheese-stuffed mushrooms are an easy party food idea

8. Crunchy Shrimp Rolls

Crispy, crunchy and filled with everyone’s favorite seafood, crunchy shrimp rolls are a popular party food and a hit at any gathering. Give guests a sweet chili sauce for dipping as they pop these bite-sized delicacies into their mouths. Shelling and deveining fresh shrimp requires a slightly longer time commitment, but you can still make this recipe in under an hour.  

9. Bacon-Wrapped Smokies

Sweet, savory and smokey goodness wrapped up in a bite-size package, that describes bacon-wrapped smokies ! Their small size makes them an ideal party food, and with three varieties to try, you will have an option for everyone at your gathering. Best of all, this party food is easy and quick to make in large batches, and you likely already have many ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator. 

Sausages wrapped in bacon on cocktail sticks in a bowl

10. Vegan Artichoke and Spinach Dip

Creamy and dairy-free, vegan artichoke and spinach dip is an ideal party food for any occasion. The artichokes and spinach provide a fresh flavor, while the crushed pepper flakes add a touch of heat. Pair your dip with fresh crackers, warm pita, blue tortilla chips or crispy raw vegetables. It is an easy dip choice to munch on before the main course, and the variety of dippers you can use makes it versatile, too. 

11. Green Goddess Dip

Putting a colorful and creamy green goddess dip out for your guests is an excellent idea, especially if planning a summer get-together or if you have health-conscious guests. The combination of garlic cloves, avocado, yogurt, baby spinach and fresh citrus juice make this a fragrant and zesty dip. Serve it as the centerpiece to a crudité platter for a real crowd-pleaser. The refreshing flavor will appeal to a wide variety of guests and also pairs well with crackers or pita bread. 

Green goddess dip is a healthy party food

12. Deviled Crab

If your guests love the texture and flavor of crab cakes but you want to serve a slightly different version on your menu of party foods, give deviled crab a try. Served in small ramekins, deviled crab appetizers combine the sweetness of crab with just the right level of heat. This seafood recipe is easy to prepare and takes about 35 minutes to put together and cook.

13. Korean Corn Dogs

With a sweet and savory outer shell and a melted mozzarella core, Korean corn dogs are the ideal hot dog on a stick with a twist. The panko crust gives them a light, airy crunch that will surely appeal to your guests. They are a popular choice for any gathering. Start working on this party food recipe a bit early, as they take about two hours to prepare.

Three corn dogs next to two small bowls with sauce

14. Corn Nuggets

Perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy and tender on the inside, corn nuggets are a party food that is high in flavor and easy to munch on while you are mingling. The corn adds that perfect touch of sweetness, and canned, frozen or fresh corn will all work in this recipe. Serve the bite-sized portions warm for the best taste. They pair well with sliders, smokies or wings. 

15. Dark Chocolate Truffles

This one is for all your guests with a sweet tooth, which basically means all your guests, right?! Serve rich, decadent dark chocolate truffles alongside your favorite seasonal berries. Plated correctly, this party food offers a beautiful presentation, and the compact size makes it easy for guests to enjoy this lovely dessert without missing a beat or any of the party fun. 

While this treat works for any party, serving chocolate truffles or giving them as a party favor is notably one of the best engagement party ideas , adding a touch of decadence to the event. 

Dark chocolate truffles on a board

16. Buckeye Brownies

Buckeye brownies are the party food to pick when your goal is to please every chocolate lover in the room. Packed with fudgy goodness and delightful creamy peanut butter, they pack plenty of flavor into a small package. Cut the brownies into bite-sized pieces for a creative presentation and serve them in small tulip-shaped cupcake wrappers.

17. Lemon Posset

Creamy, luxuriously smooth, slightly tangy and also sweet, lemon posset is the perfect summertime party food to add to your dessert table. This small treat offers texture and balance. Just a few bites can quiet that craving for sweets, so it is the ideal dessert choice after a big meal or for guests who have loaded their plates with savory appetizers. 

Lemon posset is a great party food dessert

18. Apple Tartlets

Apple tartlets are the ideal party food, delicate and perfectly portioned for individual servings. Create them by wrapping not-too-sweet delicate slices of apples into airy puffed pastry. Preparation is easy and only requires about 30 minutes of your time. These apple tartlets compliment brie beautifully, so serve them next to your cheese charcuterie board for an upscale and French-inspired treat. 

19. Chocolate Covered Pretzels 

Irresistibly delicious and salty yet sweet, chocolate-covered pretzels are the perfect party food for fans of rich chocolate on the salty side. Store-bought options are easy to find, or for more refined party food, dip pretzel rods or squares into your favorite brand of melted dark, white or milk chocolate. Add fun sprinkles or a drizzle of caramel to create a visually stunning yet simple party food for your table. 

Pretzel sticks with milk chocolate and a white chocolate drizzle

20. Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

Serve your guests a slightly healthier version of gooey, melted cheese encased in a crisped shell by making air fryer mozzarella sticks . This party finger food eliminates the deep frying process by using the air fryer instead. They are a delicious and popular grab-and-go option as a party food and offer portability that makes it easier for guests to snack while they continue to socialize. Provide small ramekins of store-bought or homemade marinara sauce for dipping. 

21. Rosemary Focaccia

Combine the rustic goodness of fresh bread with the freshness of herbs by offering your guests rosemary focaccia as a party food option. You can bake it on a baking tray and create variations by mixing up toppings. Preparation for this party food takes a little while as the dough needs time to rise, so plan to start in the early morning or even the night before your party. 

Focaccia and fresh rosemary on a plate

22. Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Enhance the mildly tart flavor of seasonally fresh strawberries with a light cream cheese filling and crunchy graham cracker crumbs by serving your guests cheesecake-stuffed strawberries . This party food makes a beautiful addition to any fruit platter or served alongside chocolate-covered strawberries, offering your guests sweet variety. They are simple to prepare, easy to grab and fun to eat. 

23. Accordion Potatoes 

The presentation of accordion potatoes is lovely, but their flavor is even more divine. Serve this party food as a fun and more upscale version of traditional potato skins. Your guests will appreciate the garlic buttery goodness, soft texture and easy-to-grab skewers. Really bring out the flavor of this dish by adding chopped garden fresh parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Accordion potatoes are a fun party food

24. Sausage Dip 

Do you need a keto-friendly party food to add to your spread? Sausage dip is a fantastic choice! This low-carb option is packed with savory flavor and a spice level that you can control by adding more or less crushed red pepper or even a dash of your favorite hot sauce. Serve it warm with flax-seed crackers, pork rinds and raw vegetables for dipping. 

25. Spicy Meatballs

A crimson-hued gochujang glaze gives these Korean-inspired spicy meatballs color and heat, making them a popular party food that also presents beautifully on your appetizer table. Serve this fragrant dish as a stand-alone party food on skewers or pair them with noodles or rice in small ramekins to create a slightly more filling option. This dish freezes well, so you can prepare it ahead for your next gathering. 

A bowl with meatballs garnished with green onions and sesame seeds

26. Roasted Chili Corn Salsa

Seasonal, sweet corn compliments roasted chilis and fresh cilantro in this version of the popular salsa dish — roasted chili corn salsa . Your guests will love the zesty goodness of this party food. It is easy to prepare and easy to serve next tortilla chips, fresh vegetables or warm pita squares. Alternatively, use it as a summertime topping for mini tacos. 

27. Pulled Pork Nachos

This party food is easy to pull together quickly for a more spontaneous gathering. Pulled pork nachos served on a bed of crispy tortilla chips are also portable, full of flavor and easy to customize with pickled jalapeños, creamy sour cream or fresh guacamole. You can use any leftover pulled pork or prepare a recipe like Dr. Pepper pulled pork for extra flavor.

Pulled pork nachos

28. Vietnamese Egg Rolls

Appeal to your guests who love Asian flavors with Vietnamese egg rolls . This dish features pork and vermicelli noodles in a crispy spring roll wrapper and is served alongside a delightful umami hoisin sauce. Egg rolls are perfect party foods to serve before the main course or add to your easy-to-reach-for list of appetizers and munching snacks.  

29. Keto Guacamole

If you are looking for the perfect side for your tortilla chips, consider homemade keto guacamole . This dish is light on carbs, heavy on healthy fats, creamy and full of flavor. The dip is also filling and satisfying, making it the perfect party food when the time for appetizers extends late into the evening or there is no main course being served.

A bowl of guacamole next to half a lime

30. Air Fryer Tortilla Chips

Why choose store-bought when you can make your own? Air fryer tortilla chips are healthier, crunchier and fresher than bagged chips. They are also easy to prepare with four ingredients in about 20 minutes. Add them to your party foods spread alongside fresh guacamole, fragrant salsa, homemade hummus or any of the other dips mentioned in this party food list for a versatile dish that your guests are sure to enjoy. 

31. Fried Mac and Cheese

Everyone loves mac and cheese, and you can add a portable version of this popular dish to your party food spread by making fried mac and cheese . These bite-sized treats are full of all the creamy goodness of mac and cheese, and their panko pockets provide the perfect dose of crunch. Offer bowls of marinara sauce for your guests to spoon onto their plates for dipping. 

Fried mac and cheese is a great party food

32. Vegan Tacos

If you want to impress your guests with a dose of healthy party food, try offering them vegan tacos . Combine mushrooms with walnuts for a filling with a meat-like texture. Then, place all the ingredients on mini taco shells for portability at your gathering. A dash of hot sauce pairs rather nicely with this Mexican-inspired dish.

33. Mango Avocado Salsa

Mango avocado salsa combines the creamy goodness of avocado with the refreshing sweetness of mango. It is a fantastic and healthy addition to your list of foods for the party and offers your guests something that is a bit different from traditional salsa. Serve it alongside tortilla chips or as a stand-alone salad that offers your guests forks full of some of summer’s best flavors. If you’re planning to have a taco bar at your party, this salsa has to be part of your spread!

Mango avocado salsa in a bowl surrounded by tortilla chips

34. Crudités Platter

Arrange your favorite vegetables and variations of crackers for a fresh and flavorful crudités platter. There is no cooking involved when creating this party menu option, simply thin slice or intricately chop your vegetables and arrange them on the platter. The presentation is colorful, beautiful and reminiscent of a springtime garden. Your guests will love this refreshing platter. It is also easy to combine with dips spread across your table. 

35. Cherry Cobbler

Juicy vanilla-scented cherries are a tasty addition to this sweet treat for guests. Serve  cherry cobbler warm with a scoop of homemade ice cream to create a decadent treat your visitors will love. You can also serve the cobbler in individual ramekins for portability, stacking them on a tiered serving tray for a beautiful presentation.

A cherry cobbler in a red dish

36. Funfetti Dip

Chips and dip are not the only kind of dip-based foods for a party you can choose. For a sweet variation, try funfetti dip . This quick recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes and it tastes just like cake batter. Serve it with animal crackers, graham crackers or fruit for dipping. Top this party food with whipped cream and sprinkles for a beautiful and festive presentation.

37. Pumpkin Dump Cake

Dump ingredients into a pan to create a delicious sweet food for your guests — pumpkin dump cake . The dense pumpkin base is complimented by the light and airy cake middle and crisped graham cracker and nuts topping. It is easy to portion this party food dessert into small pieces or let guests scoop it right from the tray for a simple addition to your table that tops nicely with whipped cream or ice cream. The fall flavors work perfectly if you’re looking for Halloween or Thanksgiving foods for a seasonal party.

Pumpkin dump cake is an easy party food dessert

38. Portable Ice Cream Sundaes

Another of the top party food desserts to serve is portable ice cream sundaes, which make the perfect handheld party food for your summer gathering. Serve this party food in mason jars for a beautiful presentation, and offer a tray of toppings, including things like fresh berries, warm chocolate, salted caramel and crunchy nuts. Store your lidded mason jars with ice cream in the refrigerator or freezer until right before serving them.

39. Sangria Ice Pops

For a little fruity, boozy goodness at your next gathering, add sangria ice pops to your dessert table menu. This one is super refreshing and easy to make with a bottle of your favorite red or white wine. Chop up seasonal fruits, and freeze the wine and fruit, plus some of your favorite juice, together on popsicle sticks using ice pop molds. For a non-alcoholic version, use grape juice or apple juice instead of wine or whip up some unique lemon and blueberry boba popsicles . 

Purple popsicles and slices of fresh lemon

While this list should have shown you how many delicious and easy party foods you can whip up, sometimes, it’s nice to relax and let someone else do the culinary work. By booking a private chef near you , you can leave the shopping, prep, cooking and clean-up for your party meal to a professional, allowing you to enjoy the festivities. Whether you want them to cook a multi-course meal or just prepare some party foods for snacking, a private chef can work with you to create your dream celebration menu.


Thank you for signing up for our mailing list.

A festive event or simple, impromptu gathering is never complete without a spread of fun and flavorful party food. Finding a selection that will please your guests is a great way to create a memorable affair that people are eager to attend and will talk about for weeks and months to come. 

Having browsed through this fun and comprehensive list of crowd-pleasing party food options, choose some of your favorites and get creative while putting the dishes together and preparing your party theme. Best of all, cooking your party food spread is a fun way to feel inspired and get in the mood for all the celebrations to come! 

For even more ways to explore your favorite foods, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.

Chef icon with thought bubble

Discover the best in culinary experiences and products on Cozymeal: From in-person cooking classes to virtual cooking & mixology classes to private chef meals and top-rated cookware — from world-class chefs, mixologists & more.

The 7 Most Unique Bachelorette Party Ideas Shot

You Might Also Like

Food for thought, join the conversation..

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, analyze site traffic and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies Accept

This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website.

We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.

This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.

Share This article!

2 Core Principles of Catering: Surprise, Delight, Satisfy – and Make It Easy to Eat

  • Client Feedback
  • Company Information
  • Industry Information
  • Web Application

Almost every fun, surprising, and successful food trend you can find can be traced back to these 2 core principles of catering: surprise, delight, satisfy – and make it easy to eat.

What that boils down to is:

mini grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup shots

These two principles can even help you give your old recipes a face lift!

Let’s talk about the first principle, “surprise, delight, satisfy”. What is it that people really want? What has the potential to surprise guests intellectually while satisfying their palate?

Too many people still get stuck on tradition. “What are we supposed to serve?” Well, there’s nothing like breaking with tradition and following your own heart (and stomach) to decide what to serve at an event. Choosing foods that are special to the guests or hosts at birthdays, weddings, and other events is a quick, easy way to instantly personalize an event, too.

Looking for food preparation ideas and ways to surprise, delight, and satisfy your guests? Think about:

  • Familiar foods presented in new ways. Mini appetizers are such a fun way to serve food, and everyone loves seeing things they’re used to seeing as full size in a miniature form. Very popular right now are favorites such as mini grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup shots and mini pies made from food ingredients that aren’t normally pies, such as cheeseburgers, pizza, and lasagna. (Check out these 10 recipes you can make in a muffin pan for inspiration.)
  • Foods they know and love in unexpected settings. Sometimes, going to a fancy event and seeing small BLT sandwiches or gourmet mac and cheese bites can make people excited. It gives people a moment of, “Oh, wow, it’s like they thought of me!” And sometimes it’s the presentation! A trend we hope will never go away is serving fresh fruit and other treats in waffle cones, like this s’mores ice cream cone recipe . (Don’t let the fact that it’s on a kid blog deter you – grown-ups will be just as delighted by the treat.) Or make your own pizza cone!
  • New flavor combinations. It’s like that first time someone said to themselves, “I like chocolate. I like peanut butter. What would happen if I put them together?” This year’s unexpected flavor combination winners include chocolate and avocado (to the delight of vegans and the health conscious everywhere), sriracha and peanut butter, and olive oil and ice cream. (See all 18 strange food combinations , so you can experiment with them yourself.)

Mozzarella, grape tomatoes, and basil on skewers

Speaking of serving things on a stick, that brings us to principle 2: Make it easy to eat. No one wants to look ridiculous while they’re eating or mess up their fancy clothes. And juices or sauces dripping down one’s arm is just not pleasant.

  • Make it mini! Because who can resist cute little versions of their favorite foods? They’re so cute! And manageable bite-size portions mean people can enjoy their food while still carrying on a conversation. Check out these mini app recipes for inspiration.
  • Resist sauces. Unless you can find a way to serve your food in such a way that it won’t get on people’s fingers, clothes, chins, and other unexpected places, like these very trendy edible spoons. (No waste either!)
  • Think self contained. Wrap ingredients in pastry, the way samosas, egg rolls, and wontons come served. Or, put ingredients in a crust, the way one does with mini pies and quiches.

Pretzel crusted deep-fried brownie on a stick with caramel drizzle

Reading article after article about food trends, it seems everything leads back to these two principles. Brides and grooms are starting to serve pie or doughnut towers instead of cake. Why? Because they don’t like wedding cake, and the doughnuts or pies are more meaningful to them. The guests are surprised and delighted, yet comforted and satisfied by the familiarity of their favorite treats. Edible spoons are hot, because they are less wasteful (nothing to throw away or wash), and they make messy food easier to eat.

So get inspired! What do you already make that you could present in a different way? What will surprise, delight, and satisfy the guests at your next event ?

Ready to be inspired and informed? For the latest in catering industry news and trends and small business marketing, join the conversation on social media. Follow TPPSoftware on Twitter, like Total Party Planner on Facebook, and explore our boards on Pinterest.

Privacy Overview

cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional11 monthsThe cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-others11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.
cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".
viewed_cookie_policy11 monthsThe cookie is set by the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin and is used to store whether or not user has consented to the use of cookies. It does not store any personal data.
  • Search Please fill out this field.
  • Martha's Blog
  • Newsletters
  • Sweepstakes
  • Food & Cooking
  • Holidays & Events

32 Party Food Ideas for Every Kind of Celebration

You’ll be the host with the most when you serve these sweet and savory recipes at your next celebration.

Riley is an associate food editor for Martha Stewart Living.

food presentation ideas for party

Food makes the party—and our party food ideas will help you plan the menu for your gathering in delicious style. We have big-batch recipes to feed a crowd, as well as dishes for more intimate gatherings. Some are bite-sized; others require a knife and fork. Many are no-bake or make-ahead dishes that will save you time on the day of the event. Whether you're organizing a dinner party and need an unforgettable main course, some different dips for a game day party, or a decadent dessert to end a special celebration, you'll find ideas and recipes here that are the perfect mix of sophisticated, fun, and simple. 

Paella for a Crowd

Paella will feed a lot of hungry party-goers, and they’ll have a lot to choose from. Tender paprika-seasoned chicken and pork tenderloin mingle with rice, vegetables, and several kinds of seafood, including clams, mussels, shrimp, and calamari. This dish feeds 12, but you can double it if needed.

Kettle-Chip Nachos

Nachos are always one of the first things to go at parties. This recipe can be passed around with drinks or served as something more hearty—there’s plenty of cheesy goodness to go around. Crisp potato chips stand in for the usual tortilla chips and are just as substantial.

Popcorn Shrimp

You’ll find your guests eating these popcorn shrimp almost as fast as you’d devour movie theater popcorn. The bite-size crustaceans are battered in a Cajun-spiced cornmeal mixture and served with tartar sauce and cocktail sauce for dipping.

Instant Pot Shrimp Boil

Nothing encourages guests to gather like a steaming pot of fresh seafood. Creamy red potatoes, sweet corn, briny shellfish, and smoky andouille sausage steam together in a broth seasoned with Old Bay. Have some crusty bread handy so people can sop up all of the flavorful liquid.

The filling for these Filipino snacks can be made sweet or savory, but they’re always rolled in spring roll wrappers and fried. For an appetizer, they're filled with shrimp, tofu, and plenty of aromatic vegetables. Serve them on a platter with a tangy, garlicky dipping sauce .

Classic Latkes

These crisp, golden potato pancakes are great for all kinds of special occasions, not only for Hanukkah. You can serve latkes as appetizers or top them with filling ingredients, like smoked salmon, trout roe, sour cream, fruity jams, and fresh herbs to make them more substantial.

Baked Chicken Wings With Mustard-Marmalade Glaze

Though they are baked, not fried, you’ll still need to put out plenty of napkins when you serve these irresistible wings. The sweet-and-tangy glaze that coats each is sticky and saucy (the two most important qualities when it comes to chicken wings, if you ask us).

Smoked Salmon Flatbread

This easy, savory tart is inspired by the flavors of an everything bagel loaded with cream cheese and lox. There's no need to make pastry; the base is a store-bought pizza dough. And it's much easier to slice and serve—and eat—than bagels.

Spicy Shrimp Dip

This creamy dip packs some serious heat—unseeded serrano chiles are mixed with cream cheese, mayonnaise, and fresh lime juice. Serve the dip with buttery crackers and cooling crudités to tame the spiciness. Pro tip: Save yourself some time ahead of the party and use pre-cooked shrimp for this dish.

Heirloom Tomato Tartines With Garlic-Parsley Aioli

These open-faced sandwiches are bright and refreshing for any occasion, and they couldn’t be easier to prepare. Give the bread a hearty toast before topping it with herby aioli and thick, juicy slices of tomato. (When it's well-toasted, the bread won’t get soggy as fast.)

Cheesy Soppressata Pull-Apart Bread

If pizza parties are your thing, this pull-apart bread should be on your menu. It's the perfect combination of pepperoni pizza and cheesy bread. Keep things simple by using store-bought pizza dough, then finish the bread with a drizzle of sweet and spicy hot honey.

Easy Lobster Rolls

Nothing says summer or celebration like lobster rolls. These mini versions couldn't be cuter or more delicious. We use pull-apart dinner rolls as the base for this party food and fill them with a buttery lobster mixture. Swap in your favorite chicken or egg salad if that suits your gathering better. These petite sandwiches are too good to skip.

Italian Seafood Salad

This salad is hearty and filling, yet bright and refreshing, taking cues from Southern Italy’s seafood-centric cuisine. A lemony herbed dressing coats perfectly steamed seafood (shrimp, mussels, crab, and squid) and a medley of crisp vegetables (fennel, celery, and bell peppers).

Baked Brie With Boozy Fruit

To those who think cheese boards and gooey baked brie should be reserved for the holidays, we say—you're wrong. They're perfect party food for any occasion. Use store-bought puff pastry as the wrapper around a wheel of creamy brie. It bakes up crusty and delicious with melting cheese within. Port wine-poached fruit adds a touch of sweetness.

Rich Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs always disappear fast at parties. This recipe makes a paprika-dusted classic and three variations—smoked trout, spiced hummus, or basil pesto. Choose one or make all four.

Chicken-Liver Mousse With Raspberry Jelly

This luxurious chicken liver spread will be the hottest topic amongst party-goers. Put out a tray with crostini for spreading, assorted pickles (think cucumbers, red onions, and cauliflower), and sweet raspberry jelly to cut the fattiness.

French Onion Mac-and-Cheese

Baked pasta is a crowd-pleaser, and it feels extra special when you serve it in individual ramekins. Caramelized onions and nutty Gruyère cheese both make their way into the pasta sauce for this unique recipe that falls somewhere between traditional macaroni and cheese and French onion soup. The dish can be assembled ahead and baked for serving.

Crispy Fried Tofu

Add a plant-based option to your party menu with these golden brown tofu fries. A cornstarch coating keeps the tofu planks nice and crispy, and a spicy Sriracha mayo is just the thing to dip them in.

Bloody-Mary Tomato Salad

Dana Gallagher

Worcestershire sauce, celery seeds, and fresh horseradish are essential ingredients for making Bloody Marys. The same goes for this colorful tomato salad variation. Mix them into a quick vinaigrette to drizzle over thick slices of heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes.

Grilled Buttermilk Chicken Tenders With Dipping Sauces

Food on a skewer is another indicator of a great party. These chicken tenders are marinated in buttermilk and wrapped with bacon before being threaded onto skewers and grilled. Serve them with spicy romesco sauce and buttermilk-scallion ranch for dipping.

Mushroom-Bacon Galette

Wow your party guests with this savory tart—they don't need to know just how easy it is to make. Mild-flavored leeks and earthy mushrooms are sautéed in bacon fat before being piled onto homemade pie dough. Lots of cheese is the finishing touch. To make it easy on the host, this galette can be served warm or at room temperature.

Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread)

For a conversation starter, serve this classic Georgian dish. It's the most delicious cross between fondue and pizza. The combination of mozzarella and feta cheese melts perfectly in a pizza dough boat. Top each bread with an egg yolk to add even more creaminess.

Soft Pretzels

Homemade pretzels are deceptively easy to make once you get the hang of the twisting technique. The secret is boiling them for a few minutes before baking. Serve them with our beer cheese dip or go sweet and serve them for dessert with hot fudge sauce or chocolate-hazelnut spread.

Pigs in a Blanket

They're the ultimate finger food, no matter the occasion. Wrap franks in puff pastry and sprinkle them with toppings such as poppy, caraway, or sesame seeds before baking for our take on this favorite app. If you want to go a little more elegant, swap the usual hot dogs for bratwurst and andouille sausage.

Meatball Parmigiana Sliders

Meatball parmigiana isn’t the easiest thing to pass around at parties, but when the saucy, cheesy meatballs are piled into brioche slider buns, the result is a handy appetizer version of this Italian-American favorite. You can cook the meatballs in the tomato sauce up to three days ahead of time so they can be reheated and served in the buns once the party gets started.

Pull-Apart Vanilla-Wafer Cupcake Cake With Berries

Is it really a party without dessert? We don't think so and we suggest this fun recipe that looks like a beautifully frosted cake, but it pulls apart to reveal individual cupcakes, making it much easier to serve—no slicing necessary. This cake is topped with whipped cream, but you would also be delicious with chocolate buttercream or cream cheese frosting instead.

Hi-Hat Cupcakes

These whimsical cupcakes are the perfect party send-off. Pipe billowy meringue frosting over decadent devil's food cupcakes, then dip them into a chocolate ganache coating. Then, watch as guests take a bite and are delighted by the big reveal of the decadent treats.

Mini Strawberry-Rhubarb Galettes

Individual desserts always wow and these gorgeous galettes are made with a sneaky shortcut. Instead of regular pie dough, they use frozen puff pastry. It’s the perfect golden, flaky base for lavender-scented fruit filling. And, of course, strawberries and rhubarb are a match made in heaven.

Texas Sheet Cake

Sheet cakes are the best way to make dessert for a crowd. You can serve 16 to 20 people with just one cake. Since chocolate is always a crowd-pleaser, this Texas sheet cake is a great choice. The fluffy cake and shiny glaze are a chocolate lover’s dream.

No-Bake Key Lime Cheesecake

Not only is this creamy citrus cheesecake a no-bake dessert, it can (and should) also be made well in advance of the party. The buttery graham cracker crust and silky lime-flavored cream cheese filling is a not-to-be-missed combination.

No-Bake Chocolate Eggnog Crème Brûlée

You can make perfect crème brûlée without turning on the oven or worrying about those pesky water baths. The custard is made on the stovetop and it sets completely in the refrigerator. Finish each individual ramekin with a layer of toasted sugar.

Marbled Soufflés

Need a spectacular, sweet ending for your dinner party? Can’t decide between chocolate and vanilla? These light and airy individual soufflés are just the thing. Chocolate and vanilla batters are folded together before baking to create a marbled effect. This recipe is best suited for smaller get-togethers since the soufflés should be enjoyed right after baking.

Related Articles


  1. 40 Extraordinary Food Presentation Ideas

    food presentation ideas for party

  2. 24 Best Ideas Party Food Display Ideas

    food presentation ideas for party

  3. Amazing Party Inspiration [Video] in 2022

    food presentation ideas for party

  4. 30 Quick and Easy Spring Appetizers for Your Parties

    food presentation ideas for party

  5. Homemade Party Platters

    food presentation ideas for party

  6. 40 Clever and Innovative Food Presentation Ideas

    food presentation ideas for party


  1. Simple Food Presentation Ideas/ By: Cristy

  2. @59 creative food platter presentations/#party food platters #successhabits

  3. food presentation ideas #food #fooddecore

  4. #food

  5. How to decorate a fried rice plate 🍛🔥

  6. The BEST Ways to Make Steak #food #recipes #cookingvideos


  1. The Art of Food Presentation: Tips for Plating and Garnishing Like a

    Create a Visual Picture. Going back to the plate-as-canvas analogy, create a picture on the plate. Put your main food item in the center and arrange everything around it. Make sure to use space to your advantage and to keep your plate from looking crowded. Your food picture should have a pleasing balance of flavors, colors, textures, and heights.

  2. Plate It Until You Make It: 11 Clever Ways To Present Food ...

    The fact is presentation matters, and like a well-tailored suit can help you nail that big interview, a beautifully plated dish can help elevate your next dinner party to a full-on soiree. ... a beautifully plated dish can help elevate your next dinner party to a full-on soiree. Simply paying a little extra attention to how your meal looks is ...

  3. The Art of Food Presentation: Tips & Techniques

    Treat the plate as a canvas: Envision the plate as your artistic canvas, employing negative space to accentuate the overall presentation. Allowing the food to breathe by leaving empty spaces between the components enhances visual appeal. 5. Maintain portion control: Strive for balance by avoiding overcrowding the plate.

  4. Food Presentation: Creative Ways to Serve Food

    Alleviate long serving lines and messy, drippy plates by creating small veggie portions in cups with the dip already conveniently added in the bottom. To-go cups are also great for dessert—pack a couple of mini-cupcakes in a to-go cup, put on the lid, attach a spoon, and you have a tasty party favor guests can take with them.

  5. The Art Of Food Presentation

    The visual presentation delights customers' eyes before they even take their first bite. An artful presentation demonstrates care, creativity, and skill. It can turn an enjoyable meal into an unforgettable dining experience. TABLE OF CONTENTS. Food Presentation Plating Like A Pro. Start With Quality Ingredients.

  6. 40 Artistic Food Presentation Ideas

    Flavorful Layering! This is another popular artistic food presentation idea used by most people these days. The vegetable dish can act as a 'bed' to the meat, while other items like - cooked potatoes, rice, and spinach can be spread on top. Just imagine those colorful food items standing out when served in a white china plate or bowl.

  7. The Ultimate Guide to Food Presentation: Elevating your Meals

    The first step to elegant food presentation is using high-quality, fresh ingredients. Pick the best seasonal fruits and vegetables, flavorful herbs, and top-notch cuts of meat to make sure your dishes taste great and look good. Ingredients that are visually appealing not only make your plate look better, but also contribute to the overall taste ...

  8. 13 Food Presentation Ideas for an Unforgettable Culinary Experience

    Creative Food Presentation Ideas, Tips & Tricks. A creative presentation of food is the final touch to a meal. Here are thirteen tips and tricks for presenting food, ranging from simple dishes to fine dining: Edible Flowers. Nothing classes up a dish like dainty flowers. Flower petals add pops of color in salads, soups, desserts, and even entrees.

  9. 11 Simple Fruit Platter Presentation Ideas

    Fruit Platter Ideas. These fruit platter presentation ideas are both simple and beautiful. Create a fruit tray that will stun your party guests with one of the ideas below! 1. Summer Breakfast/Brunch Fruit Platter. This summer-inspired fruit platter idea is a perfect breakfast platter option.

  10. Food Plating: Easy Food Presentation & Plating Techniques

    Then, take a small plating wedge and place it at the center of the first accent dot in your row. Drag the plating wedge through the accent dots, creating a multicolored, single-sided edge. Swirled Sauce Plating Technique- Fill a squeeze bottle with your desired sauce. Place your plate atop a cake turntable.

  11. 9 Simple Ideas To Dress Up Food Presentation

    Other ideas: chocolate cups filled with chocolate milk or liqueur, bread bowls filled with soup, and hollowed out cucumbers filled with veggie sticks. The possibilities are endless when you use the tools that are readily available like cookie cutters, squirt bottles, piping supplies, sprinkles, etc. Get creative and have fun with your food.

  12. Top Chefs Share Their 10 Food Plating Tips

    10. Express yourself. There's an art in plating food; it's where chefs can allow themselves to be creative and have a high impact on how guests perceive the dishes they're eating. Chef Brian Poe believes that chefs should approach food plating and presentation just as an artist would approach their next piece.

  13. The Best Food Plating Ideas for Parties and Get-Togethers

    Plate all components of the dish in the same shape or in various shapes for a more eclectic look. Let's say you want to serve your guests teriyaki chicken with broccoli and rice. You could shape the rice into a circle using a rice mold, lay the broccoli on top, and display the chicken in a star next to it. 3.

  14. Top 11 Food Presentation Tips for Your Restaurant

    4. Play with Textures. Using textures is a great way to create depth and dimension with your food presentation. This can be as simple as adding a delicate foam or sauces with a crunch on top. You can also drizzle dressing sparingly around the plate and place the meat in the middle. 5.

  15. 70 Smart and Creative Food Presentation Ideas

    Flavor layering is another concept used by most people these days. The vegetable or side dish can act as the 'bed' to the meat, while others like rice, cooked potatoes or spinach or cold salads lie on top. Using a white backdrop gives a clean and fuss-free look. Imagine those fresh and colorful food items standing out when served against a ...

  16. food station / buffet table ideas

    Matt is the author of the book Become an Event Planner: Secrets for Getting Hired from Employers, Recruiters, and Event Professionals. Learn how to set up a buffet table / food station for parties, weddings, or entertaining at home—with food presentation, display, and styling tips by a professional party planner.

  17. 40 Extraordinary Food Presentation Ideas

    According to the old traditional extraordinary food presentation ideas, look at the main course dishes to be served as a clock. At 11'o clock direction, place carbohydrate, at 2'o clock vegetables and at 6'o clock it is usually the protein. This is a very old traditional way how the main course were presented back in the day.

  18. 900+ Best PARTY FOOD PRESENTATION ideas

    Oct 20, 2021 - Explore Homegoods's board "PARTY FOOD PRESENTATION", followed by 1,695 people on Pinterest. See more ideas about food presentation, food, wedding food.

  19. Party Food

    39 Great Party Food Ideas 1. Antipasto Skewers. Colorful, refreshing and packed with flavor, ... Plated correctly, this party food offers a beautiful presentation, and the compact size makes it easy for guests to enjoy this lovely dessert without missing a beat or any of the party fun.

  20. Food Presentation Ideas, Catering Presentation

    1. Think ahead to what people will truly enjoy (versus feeling boxed in by what tradition dictates should be served) 2. Make food that's easy to eat (not too messy, very manageable) These two principles can even help you give your old recipes a face lift! Let's talk about the first principle, "surprise, delight, satisfy".

  21. 130 Best Party Food Presentation Ideas in 2024

    May 20, 2024 - Explore Susan Smith's board "Party Food Presentation Ideas", followed by 414 people on Pinterest. See more ideas about food, appetizer snacks, appetizer recipes.

  22. 83 Best Party Food Presentation Ideas

    Jul 29, 2018 - Explore Michelle Morris Arnett's board "Party Food Presentation Ideas", followed by 419 people on Pinterest. See more ideas about party, party food presentation ideas, food presentation.

  23. 32 Party Food Ideas for Every Kind of Celebration

    Food makes the party—and our party food ideas will help you plan the menu for your gathering in delicious style. We have big-batch recipes to feed a crowd, as well as dishes for more intimate gatherings. Some are bite-sized; others require a knife and fork. Many are no-bake or make-ahead dishes that will save you time on the day of the event.

  24. Creative Party Food Presentation Ideas

    Elevate your party with these creative food presentation ideas that will impress your guests. Discover unique ways to make your dishes look as good as they taste.