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feast your eyes

Here's how a top chef plates their food

“Just keep it simple.”

TheJournal.ie / YouTube

THEY OFTEN SAY that we eat with our eyes.

To that end, chefs go to serious lengths to ensure their food not only tastes good, but looks good, too.

But how does that process work?

Anthony Smith, the head chef of Mr Fox on Dublin’s Parnell Square is an expert in presentation as anyone who follows the restaurant’s Instagram page can attest.

Since opening just before Christmas, Smith’s creations have prove a hit on social media for their look, and of course, the taste.

He told TheJournal.ie that putting together a meal that makes it to a diner’s table is a process.

You start with the season, so in winter that might be Partridge. Then you go with what goes with that, parsnips, barley and pears. Mostly you start with the seasons and go from there.

And the presentation?

“That comes, you don’t start off plating food, so that has only come to me in the last four or five years.

You find your own style then. I found it difficult at the start, but you practice like anything else. When you pick up a guitar at first you can’t play it. And it’s a moving puzzle, that trout dish was very different when we started. People eat with their eyes – if it looks like a dog’s dinner, it probably tastes like one.

And what’s Smith’s personal philosophy?

Just keep it simple.

Smith says that his desserts are a particular favourite to present – many are based on childhood treats such as Walnut Whips, Bounty bars and Super Split ice creams.

So, what about the home chef? Is there a tip for making your food look more appealing?

“Do it family style. When I cook for my family, there’s 9 or ten of us so I do big platters of meat and bowls of veg and let people help themselves.

“If you’re doing ten dishes at home, you’re getting nervous or the food’s going cold, but a big casserole in the middle with some sides is interactive and fun.

“It looks great, too.”

Read: Dinner at the ‘world’s best restaurant’ will set you back $295 per head (and that’s just for the food)

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