Using Fresh Flowers in Food Presentation

“I’m into very colorful food obviously, lots of flavor but I think we eat with our eyes first, so it has to look great.  The presentation has to be great.”  Giada DeLaurentiis

When I entertain, I often turn to the garden to enhance the presentation of foods served.  I like to pair seasonal foods with florals also seasonally growing in the garden. I walk outside and just snip some flowers to add interest to a dish.  Most flowers will hold up without water long enough for this star role.  The elegance and simplicity of a bloom, leaf or berry cluster will add beauty to any dish and elevate it to art.  It enhances the visual appeal of a dish before it has even been tasted, engaging another one of our senses. Research has shown that when we find food more appealing visually, not only do we enjoy it more, we absorb more nutrients!

By turning to the garden,  nature has done the work for you and it is easy to enhance a dish.  If you don’t have access to a garden, pick up supermarket flowers you can snip for presentation.   When I started this blog, it was to share my how-to in entertaining.  Using natural elements to celebrate food is definitely one of my signatures and easy to duplicate in your own entertaining. Lift a dish from the ordinary to the extraordinary with the creative art of food presentation.    Remember if the flowers will come in contact with food they should be washed and free if pesticides.image

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A bright orchid filling a void in the center of a platter of jalapeno poppers. Recipe here.

Coneflower on a tray of individual Mason jar soup

Coneflower on a tray of individual Mason jars of ginger carrot soup.  Recipe here.

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Pansy-topped shortbread cookies, where the garnish is also edible. Recipe here.

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The adornment on this box hints at what’s inside!

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A bright Asiatic lily adds some punch to a tray of lentil bruchetta which would be otherwise drab.

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Coconut layered cake edged with Etoile Violette Clematis. Recipe here.

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A yellow spring tulip brings out the citrus notes of this triple lime mini bundt cake. Recipe here.

 

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Serving a cheese platter on a hosta leaf adds a colorful punch.  Recipe here.

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Even the winter garden offers food garnishes!  Swedish Cookies, recipe here.

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A quick walk through the garden offers seasonal highlights such as this azalea cluster with a seasonal glazed  rhubarb pound cake.  Recipe here.

Milkweed blossoms adorning whipped cream reveals the secret ingredient of this raspberry pie from Salt Water Bistro in Rockport Maine

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These helianthus blossoms contrast brightly with this blueberry cake.  Recipe here.

 

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A raspberry panna cotta cake is circled with mini geranium blooms.  Recipe here.

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The same cake, served in fall, was adorned with orchids this time.

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The “heart” of adornment: a February tulip on a Valentine cookie monogram.  Recipe here.

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Lemon and pansies, always a pretty combination. Lemon tart recipe here.

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Yellow daisies hint at the lemon in these lemon-ginger scones. Recipe here.

 

Edible nasturtium blossoms add visual appeal to grilled tuna at Primo Restaurant in Rockland, ME

Edible nasturtium blossoms add visual appeal to grilled tuna at Primo Restaurant in Rockland, ME

Make a gathering more memorable by taking a few minutes to kick presentation up a notch. Your guests will rave about how great your meal tasted and made them feel special.

16 thoughts on “Using Fresh Flowers in Food Presentation

  1. Thanks for all the inspiration and information Johannes! I’ve been wondering about using flowers with cakes for a while… which would be the easiest to grow on a balcony that sees sun in the mornings/half a day? Oh, and easiest to look after – I’m okay with vegetables but flowers seem to die on me! 🙂

    • Dahlias would be good to plant now Lili. Orchids in the house year round would also be beautiful on your cakes. If you look at what is featured at your nursery seasonally for part shade, those plants should do well in your area. If your balcony is high up you may have to see what the wind conditions are like also. I like to use smaller flowers in general.

      Sent from my iPad

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      • Thanks so much for your advice Johanne. I’ll make a note of it and have a look around for seeds… I’ve never had orchids – sounds lovely and exotic. I’m on the 2nd floor (not too high up or windy). I think generallly I’ll get smaller flowers too – so they don’t dwarf my cakes! 🙂 Thanks again! x

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