How to Make Photo-Ready Proteins

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

CLEMENS_CapreseRoast4_Delivered (1) copy copy

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 entrées stand out with visually striking, mouthwatering presentations.

Topics: Flavor Trends