Weird food plating: you know it when you see it. It’s like someone told a bunch of up-and-coming chefs to “think outside the plate,” and so they all started dreaming up ridiculous alternatives. “I’ll serve all my drinks in a shoe!” thought one. “I’ll serve my sandwiches on tennis rackets, so it really feels like you’re at a country club!” thought another.
Except that, much like the saying, “’said’ is dead” (a fallacy of writing dialogue tags that middle school English teachers have been pushing for decades), when you take away the neutral delivery vehicle and replace it with something whacked-out, the focus turns to where it shouldn’t.
Ross McGinnes, an online content editor from England, took matters into his own hands, starting the website and Twitter account We Want Plates after a friend posted a picture of a steak on a cutting board with the caption, “That is a big meal!” As he told Vice earlier this year, “It wasn’t a big meal. He’d fallen for all this style-over-content nonsense. I searched Twitter for an account which would allow me to vent my spleen with like-minded people, but found nothing. We Want Plates was born.”
It definitely wasn’t the first time McGinnes’ eyes were opened to the trend of unique food plating. “I was served a piece of cake on a table tennis bat in Barcelona around 2008,” he said, “which still gives me sleepless nights. Ridiculous.”
If the table tennis bat was enough to give him nightmares, be forewarned: it gets worse. Much worse. Check out a selection of the most hilarious and cringeworthy examples of terrible food plating from user submissions to We Want Plates.