Pret a manger

The humble egg, rice,  tomatoes and simple blacked eyed peas don’t conjure images of grand meals or exotic recipes. But used creatively, they could very well constitute an elegant plate.

There’s a saying in culinary circles that states that “people eat with their eyes first” and this is not entirely far from the truth except of course you are starving in the Kalahari desert and are more concerned with swallowing the food whole without any concern over how it has been presented.

If, on the other hand,  you are having a home cooked meal, there are many ways to plate it up in a “fashionable” way that would make ingredients like caviar, couscous, artichokes and scallops jealous.

The process is quite simple and just requires some creativity; a table-spoon can be used to make a quinelle, a small tin opened at both ends could become a mould, the strategic placement of food on a plate makes all the difference in the final presentation.

So the next time you are preparing a meal, before you present it, add a personal touch, tidy up the plate and you would be amazed at the results.

With these tips, even though you are not a cordon bleu, you could make beautiful meals pret a manger (ready to eat).

By popular demand, I am updating the photo gallery of this post with recent pictures of my meals. Bon appetit!

Two Cheese Sandwich with a side of Yoghurt and Pink grape fruit juice

Jollof rice and tuna salad

Chicken and Chips

Chicken curry, Plaintain Batonettes, herbs and tomato

Beef olives, roast veges and potatoes

Sauteed potatoes, vege and stuffed beef loin

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44 thoughts on “Pret a manger

  1. Darling, the food looks gorgeous. What was the last dish? It looked like rice, egg and some sauce.
    Definitely makes rethink how i present my food.

  2. Beautiful! I use to think of us apple thot we were sistrs, We must be related. i see the family resemblance now. lol.., well cooked abd well executed. Beautiful really

  3. There is no how u made all those mouth watering dishes. But then again, I remember the meals u treated me to in ibadan & it’s easy to see that it’s all you. Nice presentation Nkem & I am sure, very tasty.

    • Dear Tas, trust me I made each and every one. It’s how I prefer to serve Femi his meals. I remember cooking for you. I hope we can do that again soon. Hugs xxxx

  4. Wow! this is lovely and I am definitely going to try it for my king. Thanks for this wonderful tips Nkem. I never knew you were such a good cook no wonder Femi is always smiling and looking good ha ha!

    Mrs McCormack

  5. Thanks Nkem. You know the best part of enjoying your lovely looking and (hopefully) tasting food? I don’t have to pay for it! 😀

  6. Pretty….My hubby on the other could care less about the presentation…LOL. Just bring it on. I prefer nice and simple presentation but go all out with the crockery and napkins

    • Bless him. yes Crockery, flatware and napkins go a long way too I agree. You have inadvertently hinted at what my next post was going to be about. 🙂

  7. hmmmmm, nkem, i need a visit to the locus in quo…… i have not forgotten your last birthday in maitama abuja 2005 or so? i still feel the food on my tongue….. keep it going, i need to come for lessons cos, this my man here likes what you have showcased o…lol

  8. Madame je ne savais pas que tu avais des talent de chef.
    The presentation is perfect. U are absolutely right we eat first with our eyes. There is a need to make african food fashionable. This is a great job u must have a cooking show my dear

  9. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT ABOUT FOOD BEING CONSUMED BY OUR VISION AND THEN SMELL, THAT’S A BIG FORCE THAT DRIVES PEOPLE LIKE MYSELF IN THIS INDUSTRY, PRESENTATION IS WHAT SELLS ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING AND YOU’VE DONE A WONDERFUL JOB ON PRESENTING SOME BEAUTIFUL DISHES..I’M WORKING ON INTRODUCING SOME MORE AFRICAN CUISINE INFUSED WITH EUROPEAN FLAIR AND ALSO SOME ITALIAN AND ASIAN FUSION…KEEP IT FLOWING CUZ AND AWESOME WORK TOO 🙂

  10. Wow! This sure beats dumping a truckload of stew on top of a mountain of rice (like I am accustomed to). You get an A+ for presentation. There are a couple of ideas here I could borrow. Thanks for sharing!

    • Great stuff!! I am pleased that you’ve taken something away from this post. It’s always wonderful if we can involve all our senses at meal times 🙂

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    • Thanks for stopping by! Am glad that you found the posts useful. I enjoyed your piece about Australia 🙂

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