Top serves - how to make your table and food look great

We eat with our eyes, then with our tastebuds so getting that first impression right is oh-so-important.

I'm often amazed and impressed by the simple, yet stylishly effective ideas I see in food and table presentation as I eat my way around the globe.

Here's five top ideas for making a simple, but impressive, serve of just about anything.

Low cost but definitely memorable,  The Velo Project at Mooloolaba couples their cutlery with a sprig of rosemary and ties it all together with twine and placed on a recycled paper napkin.

It captures the essence of this vintage-inspired eatery which focuses on real food sourced locally.  Easy to replicate at home.

A bit tricky, but well worth the effort for wow factor.  This tea cup sits on top of a wine glass stem.  It's filled with a delicious Hendrick's gin cocktail for their recent #seductionofsanity event.

A good way to reuse chipped wine glasses and old cups.

Four different small plates of food  - bit of a challenge unless you use a nori sheet to bring them all together. Stole this simple and inexpensive from Caxton Street Catering's work at Myer Centre's recent
Lunchgustation in their food court.

This event was the perfect example of how clever staging can make even dining in a food court a special experience.

You'll need a lot of patience to do this one and a garden full of blooming Allamanda flowers and perhaps Impatiens flowers as a table centrepiece.  The individual flowers from a Penta bloom also work well.

I saw this being created at Bintang Flores Hotel in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia where I when to see Komodo dragons. It took the young girl some time.

Use a large flattish bowl filled with water and float the flowers on top. It's a good centrepiece as it's low and will not obscure guest's vision across the table to their dining companions.

Here's dessert for a group sorted, easy peasy!  The skewers are loaded with fresh strawberries (with the green bits still on the ends for colour) and white and pink marshmallow.  Clever chocolate piping over the top adds flavour and texture.  Pipe each stick individually and wait until it dries before piling high on a plate.  I saw this at Regional Flavours at Brisbane's Southbank.  A great event held every July.

Keep following for more great ideas to make your table pop!

Please share your suggestions and best tips too in the comments below.

Kerry Heaney