Chef Elaine Sikorski, CEC, CCE, an instructor at Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, is the author of the recently published Cooking to the Image: A Plating Handbook (Wiley, 2012). This is Sikorski’s debut publication. Resulting from years of teaching and cooking practice, Plating relates the look of plate presentations to chefs’ beliefs about food, situated in the larger culinary context. Beginning from a historical menu perspective, the book offers a complete design methodology to plating. Chapter topics include “Platter to Plate: Classical Style,” “Plate Frame: New American Style and Fusion Style,” “The Emerging Menu: Interactive Table Setting” and “Design and Culinary Plate Archetypes.” End chapters address finding inspiration, critiquing culinary art and culinary values.
According to Sikorski, more professional cooks are thinking visually about creating food. To do so successfully, a chef needs to recognize how form and function translate to appearance and flavor on a plate. “About 10 years ago, I was teaching plate presentation at Kendall, and realized that I could tell students that something wasn’t working, but I couldn’t really tell them why,” Sikorski says. “I couldn’t express what I knew.