Plate Up The Perfect Christmas Dinner

How to make your Christmas dinner look as good as it tastes, with culinary artist Charles Michel for M&S

When it comes to Christmas dinner, nothing quite beats a festive spread at home with the family. the smell of succulent roast turkey wafting through the house, piping hot potatoes, honey glazed carrots and parsnips and the rich smell of gravy all laid out waiting to be devoured.

But in a world where we're insta-obsessed, how do your make your dish picture-perfect? Well thanks to food experts M&S who have teamed up with culinary artist and scientist Charles Michel, they have identified exactly what makes up the perfect Christmas feast.

Browse the Plate Up The Perfect Christmas Dinner gallery below...

Through extensive research on multi-sensory perception applied to food at the experimental psychology department of Oxford University, Charles’ shares his expert tips on plating up the perfect Christmas dish in this short video.

But don't worry, you don't need to take notes as we give you a run-down of Charles’ top tips with M&S to keep on hand on Christmas Day:

Contrasting Colours

Charles Michel's Expert Tips to Plating Up the Perfect Christmas Dinner

  • The plate is the Canvas: First things first. Choose your canvas wisely. Round plates are often preferred to angular ones. The more space you have on the plate, the more neat and less messy your plating will be. The colour matters too: plate colour has been proven to affect food taste, but also, change the colour contrast balance.

  • Colour complexity: There’s nothing more exciting than a plate filled with highly contrasted colours. From an evolutionary perspective, colour diversity indicates to our brains the presence of a richness in nutrients, which our body needs for a healthy diet. Add colourful berries, or a few leaves of one of the recipes’ ingredients (think rosemary or thyme tops, or edible flowers!). Be careful of not using unnecessary or flavourless elements (the parsley leaf on top is out of fashion!)

  • Neatness and skill: Every element of the plate has to be skill fully placed. A “messy” arrangement simply kills the beauty of the dish. Better to place a circular dot of the gravy by pouring in one spot only, rather than drizzling all over and make the plating look as if shaken by an earthquake.

  • Proportions: do not put too much food on the plate! This will make it look messy, and also sometimes we tend to have one's eyes are bigger than one's stomach! Better to serve less in a beautiful way, than too much.

  • Height and movement: A beautiful plate of food has to have height, and “grace”. For instance, a sprig of rosemary on the stuffing should be reaching heights. The different slices of turkey should be arranged in a way that is not too linear, in order to reach “movement” which quite literally makes the plate feel more alive.

For more ideas and inspiration on creating the perfect Christmas at home this year, take a look at TheEdit, or search for our top pick of th every best vendors that can help you bring your special day to life in our Little Black Book

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