The Importance of Plating and Presentation in a Social Media Driven World

The Importance of Plating and Presentation in a Social Media Driven World

By Courtney Walsh, West Coast Editor

“Never judge a book by its cover.” This old adage is just that: old. In today’s world, diners enjoy their meals as much with their eyes as they do with their mouths. And more importantly still, these same diners judge a restaurant by the images it presents on a variety of social media platforms of the dishes it serves.

With the ever growing importance of social media in influencing dining decisions, dishes must captivate an online audience for restaurants to remain competitive. The importance of plating and presentation is thus incredibly essential for chefs and restaurant owners to consider when designing dishes to feature on their menus.  

Considering the iPhone Wielding Diner

When crafting a dish, chefs must consider a number of elements—most importantly, flavor profile, but additionally the seasonality and availability of ingredients, the food cost involved in preparing said dish, and how each particular dish melds into the overall restaurant concept. It can thus seem like an additional burden for chefs to also focus their time and energy on perfecting how each dish appears as well. Yet chefs must also remember that each restaurant diner could potentially be wielding an iPhone and could snap a photo of that dish that will live forever on the internet.   

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Cook-It-Yourself Dining Now Trending In LA

By Allison Levine, Foodable Contributor

From Korean BBQ and shabu shabu to hot pots and fondue, it is as popular as ever to go to a restaurant where the servers bring you the ingredients to cook your own food. It seems we have come full circle. Now we are paying others so that we can “cook our own meal.” 

Cook-it-yourself restaurants are not passive experiences; they’re interactive and communal. For many, the social aspect is the appeal. Groups of friends sit around a hot pot or a grill in the middle of the table as they drink, eat and chat. Diners select pieces of prepared raw food on platters around the table and then wait for them to cook. This enables the diner to cook the meats exactly as they want it. 

As for the restaurant, “cook-it-yourself” has some benefits as well. The biggest benefit is in overhead costs. While the restaurant can focus on quality of the products served, they can minimize the number of people needed in the kitchen and on the floor. Service will vary from restaurant to restaurant and from style to style. While there is generally a more hands-off approach in these “cook-it-yourself” restaurants, there are servers are on the floor to help you. For example, in Korean barbecue, servers will regularly check on the table to adjust the temperature of the grill and assist with cooking the meat. At hot pot and shabu shabu restaurants, servers will continue to fill up the pots with more broth which tends to cook down over time.

Learn more about the LA concepts embracing this trend here

Taster's Table Club Offers Diners Exclusive Access to Austin's Top Restaurants

Tasting Table Dinner  | Girl Eats World

Tasting Table Dinner | Girl Eats World

Austin newcomer Taster's Table is a revolutionary new dining experience that offers Austin locals exclusive access to a number of the city's top restaurants. Inspired by founder Max Kunik's own "must-try" restaurant list, Taster's Table is essentially a monthly dining collective that offers Austin-ites the opportunity to try local restaurants at a reduced price. By paying a monthly fee, members are able to choose tasting menus offered by ten different restaurants each month.

"It's a win for all parties. The consumer wins because they're getting a good, perceivable value on the menu, and the restaurants win because they bring in about 12 people who may not have come in before," says fellow founder Matt Wolski. Read More

A Guide to the Local Produce of Santorini

A Guide to the Local Produce of Santorini

By Allison Levine, Foodable Contributor

With the crisis happening in Greece, all eyes and ears are on the country. Greece faces a difficult road ahead and there are many challenges that face the country. Perhaps that means that this is a good time to look into Greek food and learn about local, indigenous ingredients that can be sought out to import or use in the US. After all, the Greek diet is a part of the Mediterranean diet that we are all encouraged to follow for its healthy nature.

Known more for beaches and tourism, Santorini is an island located among a combination of islands that are called the Cycladic islands, the islands most distant from Athens. Santorini was a round island filled with water and vegetation until the volcano erupted. Today, Santorini is a volcanic island, made up of soils consisting of pumice and minerals. The weather is dry and hot, with strong winds and a lack of water. There are not many products that survived the volcano but the products that do thrive on Santorini are concentrated in flavor.

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Vegas Entrepreneurs Look to Establish Restaurant Row

Isabela's Seafood, Tapas & Grill  | Facebook

Isabela's Seafood, Tapas & Grill | Facebook

The shopping center in Desert Shores was created to function as a sort of restaurant row nearly twenty years ago when it first opened. Yet with only one to two restaurants operating inside the center at a time, it never reached its true potential. Today, a trio of entrepreneurs are looking to reinstate the center's function by opening several unique concepts inside.

The trio is behind newcomers Isabela's Seafood, Tapas & Grill and the Republic Kitchen & Bar as well as the upcoming Soho Pizza restaurant, a concept that originated in New York. Will these new concepts prove enough to transform the space into a culinary destination? Read More