How to Beautifully Plate Sweet Potato Components

Serving sweet potatoes on a dish requires good techniques to make it very appealing on the plate.

Besides the taste and quality of the components in your recipe, one thing that you have to consider is how it looks like on the plate. The overall look of a dish should be eye-catching to the diner that they’d want to suppress their hunger for a moment and take photos first.   

In the age of social media there is this growing pressure for restaurants to serve meals that are worthy to be placed on Instagram. This phenomenon can actually be a good thing for your business to trigger free marketing through user generated content – that is, if you serve visually-appealing food.  

Plus, this isn’t just great for classy restaurants, but also to smaller food establishments or stores that specialize in a specific kind of food, like vegan or vegetarian cuisines. If the majority of your menu offerings include sweet potato and puree – one of the most versatile food ingredients – then here are some suggestions on how to serve them beautifully on a plate.  

Plating Basics 

In plating, it’s very important to create balance while showing variety and transparency. Everything that your chef has done should be presented well on the plate, for instance, how each ingredient is cooked and prepared. It’s also a way to show diners that the plate has all the components you described in the menu.  

Don’t leave too much empty space that the diner feels like you’re scrimping out on quantity. At the same time, don’t put too much on the plate that it becomes too overwhelming. The components must be able to complement each other, in terms of texture and colors.  

Salmon and potatoe on a white plate.
Use the puree as a base to keep your starch components in place (Photo: Shuttterstock)

Working with Sweet Potato and Sweet Potato Puree 

Sweet potato can be prepared in a variety of ways, depending on what the recipe calls for. If you’re using the food in chunks, put an odd number on the plate to create more visual appeal. This also lets your guests feel like the portions are bigger. Stack these pieces to create height.  

If you’re incorporating a puree, keep in mind that this tends to run when transported to the table. So, to prevent this from happening you can place the starch component on top of a dollop of puree.  

Another way to achieve a contrast in texture is by putting together crispy sweet potato chips with a smooth puree. You can also pour a more liquid puree on the mashed sweet potato, or the Knorr Mashed Potato as an alternative. For the latter, don’t pour a whole lot so that the starch component doesn’t become too soggy.  

To make the final dish look even prettier, utilize a few kitchen tools when putting the puree on your plate. Use a squeeze bottle to create drops surrounding the food, therefore framing the dish, or placing them in the corner of the plate for extra appeal. A regular spoon can also be used as a paintbrush to help you draw swooshes, swirls, and other patterns on the plate using the puree.  

Plating starch components like sweet potato and puree boils down to making sure you showcase a variety of texture and color. Highlight these ingredients and make sure they are complementing and not overpowering each other. 


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