A stack of bright multicolored ceramic plates on a white background.
Food - Drink
The Art Of Pairing The Right Plate Color With The Food You're Serving
A well-presented plate can elevate a dish into something truly special, drawing in all of the diner's senses by allowing them to eat with their eyes first. Plate presentation can be broken down into four elements, including the main food item, sides, sauces, and garnishes, but there’s one component that's often ignored: the plate itself.
The way that plate color impacts a meal is purely psychological, affecting only the perception of how food tastes and not its actual flavor, but that doesn't mean it's not important. Food whose color contrasts with the plate it's served on is perceived as more flavorful, and neutral white plates make the colors of any meal appear more vibrant.
A black, earth-toned, or brightly-colored plate is used in the same way as a white one, but they contrast better with lightly-colored foods. Research suggests that black plates play up the savory elements of foods to the human palate, while white plates bring out sweeter notes, which is why desserts are almost served on white plates.
Earth-toned (brown, tan, warm gray, and green) plates work well with colorful foods, but are particularly impactful when paired with dishes that feature seasonal ingredients. Plates that are very colorful can clash with your food and should be used mindfully, and some colors, like red and blue, are generally considered unappetizing.