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Thread 1: Plan Ahead - Pairing Menu Items with COLOR VARIETY
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Thread 1:  Plan Ahead – Pairing Menu Items with COLOR VARIETY

To offer a nicely presented plate, we begin with food selection and pairing.  When creating your menu, think about how the items will appear on a plate together.  Aim for variety, but be sure the items are complimentary in flavor and color:
  • Avoid a monochrome (all same color) food combination.  Go for contrast!  Note, complimentary colors add strong visual appeal (see Fig. 1 below). 
    Examples of food pairs using complimentary color concept:
    Carrots or yellow squash and blueberries (orange and blue)Strawberries and greens (red and green)
         Corn and red onions (yellow and purple)
         Red and green bell peppers (red and green)
         Radishes and lettuce (red and green)                                

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Fig. 1 Complimentary colors are found               Fig 2.  Garden Salad shows use of                                                                                  
opposite on the color wheel.                             complimentary colors red and green
  • Choose colorful side salads – Bright color says “fresh!”  Select colorful side salads to add color to your plate (vegetable, starch, fruit) 
  • Recommended colorful side salads you will find on your Spring/Summer 2017 menus: 
         Crunchy Vegetable Salad
         Carrot Raisin Salad
         Spinach Strawberry Salad
         Vegetable Medley Salad
         Marinated Salad
         Black Bean Corn Salad 
         Pickle Relish Plate and Radish Relish Plate are both simple and offer color variety
  • Fruit provides a "pop" of color.  Fruit salads provide an especially nice color variety!  
         Figure 3 below demonstrates variety and use of complimentary colors (red strawberries and green broccoli, golden/yellow croissant and pasta with purplish onions).   

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Fig 3. Chicken Salad on Croissant,     
         Garden Pasta Salad, and Strawberries                                                                                                              
         (Spring/Summer Menu 4/21/2017)
  • Tip:  Don’t overcook veggies – Prolonged cooking dulls the color, so aim to cook vegetables for the minimum amount of time required.  Even frozen vegetable blends can contribute appealing color to a plate!
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