Dinner parties may look a little different these days, but one thing remains the same: it’s all about presentation. Whether you’re dining solo, eating with your housemates or hosting a virtual dinner party over Zoom, we’ve got you. Here, culinary expert and supper club founder Joseph Denison Carey shares his tips for plating-up like a pro.
1. Supper clubs originated in the home – a heritage I try not to forget. So making your guests feel comfortable is just as important as matching utensils and polished glasses. I love warm, low-level lighting for creating a sense of cosiness. You can use a hardwood table and chairs, but ditch the ironed white tablecloths.
2. In my experience, to be a good chef is to be well-organised. Everything has its place, both in the kitchen and the dining room. Small glass containers for dry store items like salt, spices and pulses are a great addition – for displaying lovely ingredients as well as keeping them orderly.
3. Style is individual, but keep it consistent. On a menu, it’d be strange to have a refined classical starter, followed by a rustic artisanal main, then a Michelin Star dessert. The same can be said for your choice in decor. Whatever your style may be, embrace it in every aspect of your dining experience: from food to tableware to glassware. Try to nail an aesthetic to give your gathering a real sense of identity.
4. Keep your table setting simple. As a chef, the plates you choose to use are like the canvas on which you display your work. It’s best to choose dinnerware that will allow your food to be the star of the show, without upstaging it.
5. Whether your dinner menu is set, à la carte or sharing, make sure you have the right stuff for the job. For larger set menus, I prefer smaller bowls and plates to reflect the size of the courses. For sharing menus, big serving bowls and platters with tongs and serving spoons are much more useful. Aesthetics are important, but so is practicality.
Article written by: Natalie Wall