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What You Missed During NRA: Innovative Ideas: Page 3 of 7

Top it off 

Like an unwrapped gift, a meal without a garnish will no doubt be accepted gladly, but it’s the effort to dress it up with a flourish that elevates just about anything.

Plating a dish beautifully is akin to art. The colors, textures, placement, and flavors work together to create something truly masterful when set in front of a guest. Beyond eye-appeal, clever and beautiful garnishes often contribute to the overall flavor. 

You can charge more for a garnished plate also, and your clients will appreciate the added touches. 

During the National Restaurant Show, garnishes made quite the impact throughout the week with two noticable standouts: finger limes and edible flowers. 

Finger limes

Finger limes (also known as caviar limes) are approximately the size and shape of a human thumb (hence the name). There are several varieties of this fruit, with skins in varying shades of green, red, yellow, and purple, each with slight variance in flavor. But here’s the really special part: Instead of the juicy wedges found in a standard Persian lime, a finger lime’s juices are stored in tiny globules known colloquially as lime caviar that can be used as flavor pops on anything from ceviche dishes to guacamole. 

Finger lime caviar pearls provide a functional garnish that is bold, crisp and adds flavor to your dish. It stimulates the senses with it's stunning visual appearance, tantalizing texture and aromatic citrusy elements for your taste buds. Native to Australia, this ready-to-serve gourmet product has a myriad of culinary and mixology uses. Garnish seafood, sushi, salads, cheeses, desserts, cocktails - or any dish that could use a pop of citrus. Chefs love them for their textural and visual interests. The finger limes come in four different varieties (yellow, green, red, and pink) all with a slightly different taste.

These tiny citrus pearls were spotted throughout the National Restaurant Show as Australiacompany Mad Honey made its debut at the show. Finger limes add visual and textural interest to any dish. 

Red caviar limes were added to prosecoo during the grand opening event for Flashpoint Innovation Kitchen. 

Finger limes topped off coconut gelato. 

Chef Ian Ramirez (who delivered a demonstration in the Avocados from Mexico booth) used caviar limes to top his Avocado tartare (layered using a ring mold) featuring salt roasted beets, beet puree, avocado foam, compressed watermelon, guacamole, and cucumber.

Edible flowers

Edible flowers aren't really anything new, but the Flashpoint Innovation Kitchen grand opening took it a step further by utilizing its in-house garnishes fresh from its greenhouse to top their cocktails. 

Gorgeous greenhouse garnishes on display at the bar. 

Lavender G&T (Drumshambo Gunpowder  Irish Gin, Monin Lavender, lemon, and tonic water). Photo courtesy Miter Box Media/Emma Rimsa/Nathaniel

Another eye catching idea we spotted was to elevate your plating by adding a pop color with the help of condiments. 

By spreading this avocado and beet mousse around the bowl, Chef Ian Ramirez added a beautiful aesthetic to his plating.