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Food Styling 101:

With Chef Chervan Desaugauste

Chef Chervan Desaugauste knows a bit about styling. As the chef/owner of Mesob, an African/Caribbean fusion restaurant in midtown, he sends out beautiful plates full of flavor. But this Northlander also says that the days of sticking a random sprig of rosemary on for garnish are gone. Now plate styling is all about flavor and no ingredient is overlooked. Try his tips at home with the Surf Duo tonight. 

Surf Duo

  • 6 oz Salmon Fillet
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil 
  • 4 jumbo shrimp 
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1 oz white wine
  • 5 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic

Season salmon with salt and pepper then put it on the grill for 5 or 8 minutes on the base and on both sides. Set salmon to the side; add olive oil to a pan on a medium heat and add shrimp. Saute for 1 minute and add garlic, lemon juice wine. Reduce for less than a minute then add butter and parsley.

Roasted Vegetables

  • 3 whole Brussels Sprouts, cut in half 
  • 1/2 cup of chopped potatoes and onions, precooked 
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp butter unsalted
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • 5 grape tomatoes

Add olive oil to a medium hot pan then add your cook pre-cooked potatoes. onions, Brussel sprouts, garlic, sugar, basil, salt, pepper, and butter. Stir the vegetables. Finish in the oven for about 2 minutes. Pull out from oven and add grapes tomatoes. Serve warm drizzled with balsamic reduction.

Styling tips:

Be creative with plating. Most chefs prefer white plates to show off the colors and textures of the food. There used to be rules about where the protein and starch should go but that's all gone now. Chef does recommend keeping all your proteins together.

Place your starch (roasted vegetables) on the plate in a circle or a line. Drizzle with balsamic reduction off of the back of a spoon or using a squeeze bottle. Pro tip: cover at least some of the opening of the bottle with a finger to close it off. The more pressure you exert, the more precise you can be with placement. 

Place your protein (the salmon) adjacent to the starch. On our plate, two lines create a pleasing image, especially in contrast to the round plate. 

Place shrimp on top of salmon. Chef recommends not spreading out the protein too much to avoid an amateur feel to the plate. 

Ladle a good amount of the lemon and wine sauce over the shrimp and the salmon. This helps to marry the two proteins flavors together even more. 

Finish with some fresh greenery. Chef uses edible flowers but says that parsley or another light herb could work as well. 

  • Chef Chervan Desaugauste with a beautifully styled plate of surf combo.