How to Serve Food Like the Pros

Holiday How To — Day 10 — Each day leading up to Christmas I’ll post a bit of holiday know-how that will help make your season a little easier.

Here’s a tip that will make your dinner guests feel extra special. Before serving your meal, take a moment to warm your dinner plates. Serving food on plates that have been gently warmed has long been the mark of a fine dining establishment. The best restaurants will take the time to make sure the temperature of the plate matches the temperature of the food. Hot foods should be served on plates that are warm to the touch and foods served cold are best presented on plates that have been chilled. The fact that a warm plate will help keep food warmer longer is an added benefit. (The same holds true for chilled plates, too.)

No special equipment or expensive plate warmers are required. You simply turn your oven to its lowest setting and pop your plates in for a few minutes just before serving. Again, the oven should be on its lowest setting (warm or 150°F tops). The goal is plates that are slightly warm to the touch, not piping hot plates that are too hot to handle. To chill plates, a few minutes in the fridge will suffice.



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