7 simple art-of-plating ideas for your next dinner party

It’s been over a month since I moved from Calgary to Toronto, and I am missing and craving good ol’ red meat. Hands down, Alberta is home to the best beef in our country … if not, the world.

A couple of months ago, I attended the Sip & Savour event hosted by Alberta Beef and Highwood Distillery.

The family-style dinner prepared by Chef Brett McDermott at The Daily Brett was an opportunity for local bloggers to learn more about incorporating Alberta beef into every meal … yes, including dessert!

Throughout the night, each aesthetically stunning dish came out making a grand entrance like the dish before – filling the room with “oohs” and “ahhs” by guests.

Even though high-end restaurant dishes look intimidating, home cooks can embrace the ease of re-creating the same at home.

At your next dinner party, impress your guests with these 7 ideas for Instagram-worthy home dishes:


Personalized menus aren’t only reserved for special tasting menus at restaurants or weddings. You can do it at home with printable templates found online to add a bit of je ne sais quoi at your next social gathering.



One-bite appetizers on skewers means clean hands for your guests. And for the host/hostess – no cutlery means less clean up.

flat iron steak skewers with chimchurri and semi-sun dried tomato
Flat iron steak skewers with chimichurri and semi-sun dried tomato


Edible flowers have made a comeback from the 70’s and can be used in salads, main dishes and desserts to add as a palatable pop of colour. Now don’t go pulling out marigolds from your garden, edible flowers can be found at the local farmer’s market, florist or supermarket.

Alberta beef tartare, pickled ramps, grain mustard, radish, micro mustard greens and kettle chips
Alberta beef tartare, pickled ramps, grain mustard, radish, micro mustard greens and kettle chips


Deconstruction has been all of the rage lately in the culinary world using ingredients in a dish and assembling in a way so the flavours and textures harmoniously interact in an alternate dazzling presentation.

Romaine wedge salad topped with dried cranberries, blue cheese, mint, Alberta beef bresaola and fig vinegrette
Romaine wedge salad topped with dried cranberries, blue cheese, mint, Alberta beef bresaola and fig vinaigrette


Whether it’s a charcuterie & cheese board or a main entree like a roasted chicken, pork chops or salmon, using a wooden board emphasizes the rustic food sharing experience.

Wagyu corned Alberta beef with smoked mustard
Wagyu corned Alberta beef with smoked mustard


The molded glass jars originally intended for pickling and jams can now be found on many Pinterest boards as containers for mutli-layered salads, overnight no-cook oatmeal and dessert like the crumble below.

Gooseberry compote and Alberta beef jerky crumble topped with vanilla bean ice cream


The food is typically the main attraction but the conversation will shift to the dinnerware if the dishes have an elaborate, unique and whimsical pattern. Be sure not to overcrowd the plate or conversely, leave too much negative space.

20150625_221056-01 (1)
Earl Grey chocolate truffles (no beef hidden in here)

Next time you’re preparing a meal, envision the plate as a blank canvas and start creating your own beautiful work of art. With these approachable tips and techniques, you can transform any home dish from ordinary to extraordinary. No filter needed.

Smooches xo

P.S. If you’re not in the mood to cook or rather leave the plating to the professionals then check out the full on-site catering service from Our Daily Brett. Don’t worry, it’ll be our little secret 🙂

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