If you’ve been following me through my emails and here at Earlytorise.com, you’re probably already cooking lots of delicious food. But how do you make it look as amazing as it tastes?

The truth is, we “eat with our eyes first.” Sure, food has to taste good. But it also has to look good.

I’ve been teaching awesome people like you how to cook for a long time, and one of the questions I’m asked most frequently came up again this week:

“What are easy ways to make food more visually appealing?”

Great question! Do you know how to make your food look like it’s coming out of a 5-star restaurant? If the answer is “no,” then let me share these 8 secrets that will impress your friends and make you look like a real pro.

SECRET #1 – Get inspired

Look at food magazines, watch the Food Network, browse the Web, and read cookbooks to draw inspiration. It’s OK to reproduce what chefs are doing, or imitate something you find attractive.

Cook inspiring, exciting food that makes you feel great.ThinkstockPhotos-57576138

SECRET #2 – Use the right technique

Your food won’t look good if your technique is sloppy. In fact, this is what differentiates a home cook and a chef. A chef has a precise understanding of techniques like sautéing, grilling, roasting, making a pan sauce, or even dicing an onion. These skills guarantee that food will look the way it’s supposed to look.

So your best bet is to “borrow” cooking techniques from the chefs and reproduce them faithfully if you want to get:

  • Beautiful grill marks on a steak.
  • Golden-brown crust on a roasted chicken.
  • Bright and colorful vegetables
  • Fluffy-looking mashed potatoes, etc…

SECRET #3 – Choose the right plate

The plate you choose to showcase your food is important. Imagine a fancy restaurant plating food on paper plates. Yikes!

As a rule of thumb, large, white, plates work best. Colored plates or worse, heavily patterned plates, only provide a distraction and take away from your gorgeous food.

SECRET #4- Use white space

Go to a museum and look at artful photographs. You’ll notice that they are all framed within a white matte board that provides a white space, with the photograph in the center. That white space is meant to draw your eye to what’s important: the photograph.

Same goes with food. Use your large, white plate as a canvas. Plate your food at the very center, and make sure you leave a wide area of “white space” around it, so that your guests’ eye is drawn to your food.

SECRET #5 – Create focus

We just talked about creating a focal point using white space. Next, find something interesting for your guests. Maybe that means using beautiful tomatoes from your own garden, unusual fruits like yellow raspberries, or cooking black rice. Whatever you choose, capture your guest’s attention with something that creates focus and interest.

ThinkstockPhotos-521374224

SECRET #6 – Add color

The number one mistake beginners make is overcooking things, so that food loses color, becomes brownish, and looks unappealing. Shorten cooking time when appropriate, so that your veggies remain bright, colorful, and exciting (you’ll also preserve their nutrients). Monitor cooking so that proteins — like chicken, fish, or meat — achieve a nice golden-brown crust rather than becoming a plain, boring failure or dark, overcooked mess.
Bonus chef tip: Add chopped fresh herbs at the very end, just before plating. Sprinkle bright green chopped herbs on the food, not on the plate.

SECRET #7 – Composition (variety)

This includes adding color, texture, and variety, choosing appropriate portion sizes, and deciding how to cut ingredients. These are all parts of the creative process that you’ll need to go through in order to compose your plate. Think about composition before you even start cooking.

SECRET #8- Be thematic and seasonal

Spring is here and Summer will be soon. Think fresh, light, exciting, bright colors, and try to reproduce that with your plate.
In the winter, think comfort casseroles and thick soups.
If you’re cooking Thai food, use Asian dinnerware, serve tea, and eat with chopsticks. Serving beautiful food is also about creating a mood.

More importantly, make sure your food is healthy, fresh, and ultimately, fat-burning. I help you do that every single day. Don’t miss any of my emails, where you’ll find tips and recipes to reach your most awesome cooking and fitness goals.

To your ultimate body,

gui

The post 8 Secrets to Great-Looking Food appeared first on Early To Rise.

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A Complete Guide To Building A Strong Web Presence For Your Startup

Now is a fascinating time to start your own business. While it is true that there has never been more competition around than there is now, there are also benefits of getting started in business today.

The good news about starting a business in 2016 is that there are more tools at your disposal now than there ever has been previously. The other good news is that many of those tools aren’t going to cost you very much, and sometimes they might even be free of charge.

Far and away the most important tool to develop in the last couple of decades is the world wide web. Nowadays, this has become so prevalent that we consider it a normal part of our everyday lives.

What this means for you as a business owner is that you can’t afford to ignore it. If you want your business to be a competitive force in the world today, then you need to put a considerable amount of effort into your web presence.

Building it, maintaining it – most of all, making it stand out. The world of business is competitive – and nowhere is this truer than online.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how to get started in building your business’ online presence. Here is everything you will need to know.

Choose your domain & host

The first step in building your web presence is one of the most important parts of the whole process. Yet, many people overlook its paramount importance. Such people end up rushing this stage, and they soon come to regret it.

We are talking about choosing your domain name. If you don’t already know, the domain name is the actual URL which people will type into their browser to reach your website. The reason this is important is because it sends an immediate message about your business.

People take away a lot of unconscious information from a domain name. If you already have a business name registered, then ideally you want your domain name to be exactly that. However, this is not always possible – and sob stories of domain names already being taken are rife everywhere.

One way that people often use to get around this is to find a good domain name first, and then name the business after it. Of course, it’s all up to you. The main thing to bear in mind is that it needs to be relevant to your business, short and snappy. Memorability is key here.

Once you have a good, solid domain name, it’s time to choose your web host. In an ideal world, your web hosting service will provide you with the ability to have a large amount of data stored on their servers.

This means that you can save money, as you won’t need the server space yourself. Many such hosting companies are included in WHSR choice of top hosting companies. Choosing a decent web hosting company can make all the difference when you are just starting to build your online presence.

Design & build your website

Once you have your domain and hosting sorted, the next step is to start designing your website. There are certain common features which a website needs to have to be successful. One of the most important things for your website is that it has a bold and original design.

Your website will be the first port of call for many of your potential clients and customers. As such, you want it to make a good first impression. Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that it is not so important.

But in reality, it is like the face of your business. So take your time and design a visually powerful site. You could even consider hiring a team of web designers if you wanted, to give it that professional edge.

Remember that a good website must be easy to navigate and access. Nobody likes having to deal with a difficult website! You should also try and keep your contact information on prominent display.

Ideally, this would be as a box on every page. That way, the information is always there to hand. The majority of your visitors will be looking for contact information, so this is vital.

Set up an email newsletter

Far and away one of the most effective means of getting your message into people’s homes is through their inbox. That’s why any strong web presence must include the possibility for clients to sign up to an email newsletter.

This can be a weekly newsletter highlighting some of the changes which have occurred within the company. Don’t underestimate the power of such a technique.

This has been known to be a powerful way of drawing in potential customers. You should consider this the first step in your web marketing. As such, it’s a vital aspect of your web presence.

Get social..fast

While we’re on the subject of marketing, remember that social media is just about your best friend. These days, marketing has been made extremely simple – and very cheap. Social media allows you the opportunity to engage with your customers and the general public in an open and friendly manner.

The trick with social media is to ensure that you are active and, what’s more, interactive. Don’t just set up an account and leave it there. Get involved with other users. Respond to queries or complaints.

Twitter, in particular, can be an effective tool for communicating with your customers. Social media is like a one-size-fits-all tool for marketing your business. And what’s more, it doesn’t even have to cost you a penny.

Or if you prefer, you can spend money on it, and promote your business even more effectively through the use of promoted posts and the like. You should consider social media an essential part of building your web presence.

Remember mobile

Finally, just a point to say that you should remember the importance of being mobile-accessible. Wherever your business appears on the internet, ensure that it is mobile-friendly. This is not just a matter of courtesy.

93% of small business websites are not mobile compatible – and this results in lost sales. Give your business the edge by taking mobile access into account every step of the way.

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