The definition ; something simple and low cost that gives added value to a dish, usually in the presentation.
This is all about a little extra while perhaps learning a new knife skill and presentation, presentation, presentation.
Ever heard the phrase that ‘you are only as good as your last meal’?
Score extra points with your Residents by taking a few moments to garnish correctly. Residents do notice – check your comments book. Some even take the trouble to search you out and say that ‘things are nicer’.

using up puff pastry trims It is a fresh tomato soup. But the croutons are cut from left over puff paste from another dish.
thinks shapes!

Do you always reach for an oblong tin for a pie?
Think about how it looks on the plate.
You will actually use less filling and service is likely to be easier. Work at 8, 10 or even 12 out from a dinner service plate.

And the bonus for you is that you get to practice rolling out pastry to a round!
don't be boring cheese

It’s just cheese and biscuits right! But you are going to cut the slice anyway, why not cut it into triangles rather than the usual rectangles?

And please never ever grated cheese for cheese and biscuits.
cheap colour

Parsley costs 95p for a 100g. Chopped, just a quarter of that bag goes along way as a garnish.

And it looks like a cream of tomato soup but it’s only a little milk partly stirred into the pot at the last moment.
fancy tomoatoes - no just some knife skills

Cutting a tomato is the easiest Van Dyke to do – and once you can do this then move onto grapefruit, oranges and round melons.

It’s just a knife skill but the effect on the plate is perceived as ‘value’ by our residents.

turned mushrooms

Turned mushrooms are a step onwards from cutting a Van Dyke and might take a bit longer at first. But like cutting a Chateau potato our residents do notice – and so do the Care Staff.

piped and garnished Cheese and potato pie. But individual, piped and with a tomato claw. Now compare this to the usual 20 cover Gastronorm tray I’ve seen used.
caramel sheet Can you make caramel? Then you can make a brittle. It’s just taken a little further and then poured onto silicon paper. Break it up with your hand into shards and use to decorate Angel Delight mousse or any other cold dessert.

Other things that cost only a few moments and no money - well almost.

Discover some extra bursts of flavour from the skins and add a few touches from the West End.

Courgette Twists. When you peel the courgette with a strip for better cooking and display deep fry the peelings in clean oil, drain, then salt. Makes an easy garnish for soup along with the croutons.

Pear and Apple peelings. Peel the apple in one (if you can) and sprinkle with sugar. Put in a low oven for a quick version of a crystallised fruit. Look nice on cold desserts. Same with the peelings from the pears if you have e.g. a poached pear dish on the dessert menu. Just sprinkle with sugar and dry in the oven. You can even grill them carefully for the same effect.

Fish skins. Might sound odd but clean 'nice looking' fish skins cut into wide strips and deep fried in clean oil make a nice garnish and give a crunchy taste-burst in the mouth.

Don't forget the deep fried parsley. It may be getting towards the end of it's life in your fridge but doesn't have to go into soup. Always better fresh but rinsed well and shaken dry deep fry to accompany fried starters such as whitebait, camembert or garlic mushrooms.



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