How to Make Photo-Ready Proteins

Flavor Trends, / Dec 11, 2018 / MIN READ

Four ways to bring the “Wow!” factor to the center of the plate

When it comes to the center of the plate, looks matter. Which is why in this Instagram-driven world, chefs are leveraging the built-in visual appeal of proteins to make their dishes truly stand out and increase their premium value. Showing off a nice char or beautiful caramelization is an expectation; add in a few modern approaches and not only will diners order, but also snap a photo and share with the rest of the world. At Union Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp, a New American restaurant in San Diego, Calif., its Pork Tomahawk is a showstopper, featuring an elegant long bone jutting out from its two-rib, belly-in center-cut chop. The pork is served with Hoppin’ John risotto, black-eyed peas, tasso ham, braising greens, cracklings and apple compote. Rethink proteins with these four creative approaches—designed to give next-level status to your menu.

Herb-Crusted Pork Rib Roast with Red Wine Sauce (1) copy

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff. Des Moines, IA USA

Boning Up

Bone-in presentations make every cut photo ready.

  • Serve a sharing plate of a blackened eight-bone rib rack of pork on a chopping board, adding fresh herbs and roasted vegetables as accompaniments.
  • Carve a pork chop into slices, then place the meat up against the bone for dramatic effect, serving it family style.
  • Serve a pork shank standing up straight, garnishing it with a giant chicharron jutting upward.

Smoke ‘Em

Smoke delivers drama and aroma to the table.

  • Serve a shareable crown of pork under a glass dome, burning rosemary to create a beautifully perfumed smoke.
  • Serve pork ribs under a silver dome filled with applewood smoke created with a smoking gun.

Go Thin

Pound out pork chops and char for good plate coverage.

  • Serve thin-cut pork chops with the bone in, serve with a trio of mustards.
  • Char pounded-out pork chops, then top with smoked clams.

Stuff It

Update classic French technique for modern menus. Nothing says comfort food like a rich, satisfying stuffing.

  • Make a dressing of pork sausage, then spoon it over a pork loin, roll and roast.
  • Slit a hole in a thick-cut pork chop and add za’atar-spiced stuffing.

By employing creative techniques to fan favorite dishes, modern entr├®es stand out with visually striking, mouthwatering presentations.