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Food Presentation Secrets: Styling Techniques Of Professionals

A practical guide to adding that professional flourish to any dish. Food Presentation Secrets provides professional cooking school instruction, tips and recipes for more than 100 sweet and savory garnishing ideas. Using this comprehensive guide, any home chef can make professional-looking garnishes with delicious edible ingredients.

Hardcover: 176 pages

Publisher: Firefly Books (February 19, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1554074916

ISBN-13: 978-1554074914

Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 8 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #22,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #51 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Cooking #61 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Education & Reference > Reference #320 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Methods

My husband is a chef and I bought this for his use and for me to learn more about food presentation. The book's techniques for decoration and the illustrations are very good and helpful. They provide a lot of information and helped me imagine more and better ways to present the food. I would have rated this book higher but the recipes that are provided are wrong in many cases .We first noticed a problem when we were making the fruit in jelly dessert on page 101. My husband said it looked like it called for too much gelatin for the amount of liquid. He did some calculations on the quantities and was sure this was the case. We went ahead and followed the recipe to the letter and the jelly turned out extremely hard. Even cutting the amount of gelatin to half was still too much.We then made the tuile paste from page 162. When we baked it it turned into a runny, unusable mess. My husband then started going through several of the recipes and noticed more errors. For example, on page 164 the red bell pepper sauce recomends running it through a sieve withou mentioning the need to puree the ingredients first.I am lucky to have a professional chef in the house otherwise I would have been very frustrated trying to make the recipes and having them turn out "wrong" when in reality it is the book that has the errors.The book is still very useful but if you are not very experienced in the kitchen the errors may prove difficult to identify and overcome.

As a person who gets many review copies of food-related books, I actually went out and bought this one after flipping through it at a bookstore. It's a great volume to have if you have no idea how to create little tidbits for food styling, and it will teach you how to create little flourishes like pastry rings, noodles nests, and fruit twists.I love that this book has step-by-step instructions with photos for over 100 techniques, and then a few pages on plating, etc. I wish there'd been more photos of plating, showing different styles and even setups that don't work and why, but what's here is really valuable.Not sure why that other person said the content wasn't good - I suppose if you already knew all of this then it wouldn't be worthwhile to read, but overall, it's a great book for beginning food stylists, home cooks, new chefs and especially, food bloggers who are trying to better their plating and food photography.

I should begin by saying that I will probably never try a lot of the techniques in this book; many are more labor intensive than I would wish and a few require equipment (such as a CO2 siphon flask) that I am unlikely to acquire. Still, that fact did not diminish my enjoyment of this very nice little publication. I got a great deal of pleasure just looking at the illustrations and learning about how certain things were accomplished. The book is not lengthy. It covers a handful or two of different techniques each gathered under 9 separate headings and the organization is pretty good. There are plenty of pictures of the step-by-step variety which are very helpful and well-executed. Some larger images, full page or half-page, would have been nice but that is more of a casual observation rather than a serious criticism. Prospective purchasers should perhaps be aware that the focus of the book is very much on French and French Nouvelle-Cuisine. Those interested in Chinese Garnishes, or Japanese food presentation techniques will need to look elsewhere. However, most cooks with wide interests will enjoy this book.

I'm an amateur "chef"...meaning that I'm not trained but I definitely take cooking seriously. I picked this up with the idea that it'd do what it says it'll do: give amateurs creative ideas for plating. And well, it does just that. The step-by-step directions are a cinch to follow, and the photography of the procedures is excellent. I also have the impression that the ingredients being shown are not the ONLY ingredients that would work well with the detailed techniques. They state this is the case, and I believe them. The only reason I'm not giving this book a 5-star review is because it doesn't blow me away. It's great for what it is, but I don't believe it's the only book I'll ever need on plating.

Food Presentation Secrets collects lots of kitchen techniques that aren't secret but do add visual interest to your cooking. Just don't forget that your underlying main recipe has to nourish your guests.Firefly Press lays out this material in an exceptionally clean, and photographically beautiful style similar to what you'd expect of Dorling Kindersley. If the ingredients aren't clear, sometimes they're inconveniently located in the back of the book. But the key steps are visual, so the photographic instructions are great. Hobday and Denbury's steps are shown so cleanly that even beginning cooks should have little trouble.Many of these techniques can be found in other sources, but Hobday and Denbury took the time to organize explanations of decorative items sometimes seen but not explained elsewhere. Experienced cooks might not find a lot of secrets here, but newer cooks will find this book an easy way to add fun to a meal.

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