Presenting dishes for the exams NEA2

What is my recipe for outstanding presentation? – by Carly Anderson Notre Dame School

As we all know, in light of the new GCSE, advanced presentation skills are essential for achieving the higher levels.  The NEA 2 focuses on presentation and awards marks for this skill (OCR).  This year I have been working hard with my pupils to develop a greater understanding of how crucial presentation is when creating dishes; after all, we eat with our eyes first.

‘’ A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.’’ – Salvador Dali

So how do I do this?

  • Firstly, I try to instil in pupils from an early stage (KS3) the importance of presentation and encourage them to research dishes to aid in developing this. I build this into the KS3 curriculum when assessing and evaluating a dish during the sensory analysis process.
  • At KS4/5 pupils are required to plan the presentation of the majority of the dishes they produce. A great way to do this is to give them a template planning sheet for presentation.  I use this tool as homework or as additional work for challenging higher level students.  This is usually in the planning stage, preparing timed plans before practical lessons.
  • Thirdly, plenty of resources based on presentation. There are many good books that pupils can use as references in aiding the creation of stunning dishes.  Pinterest is also an invaluable source for food presentation and fresh ideas.
  • Finally, it is essential to dedicate lessons to the understanding of presentation of food and when demonstrating such dishes, show pupils a variety of different ways to present them.

“Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.” -Marcel Boulestin

When it comes to presentation I think encouragement and independent creative experimentation is key.  The pupils need to feel comfortable in making mistakes and evaluating how to improve the dish the next time around.

“I know that when I present my dishes, if I don’t like the way they look I have the confidence to just start again, to make it look perfect.” Georgia Year 11

Written by Carly Anderson Notre Dame School 

My thanks to Carly for this interesting Blog page – useful ideas – like Pinterest!

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