Posted in Book

Review: Food Art – Garnishing Made Easy

By John Gargone

2004, Schiffer Publishing Ltd.  ISBN-13: 978-0764319600

I own quite a number of books dealing with the related topics of plating, garnishing and carving foods. This little volume touches on all three aspects of food presentation but, while it is fairly interesting to look through, it is definitely not one of the best in my collection… 

The promised content of the book looks quite impressive and interesting but, unfortunately, it is lacking in any real, and usefully instructional substance. The first few pages introduces some of the tools used to produce the various garnish designs but, other than a few rudimentary cutting techniques, there is very little systematic effort taken to really demonstrate the use of the different implements.

The general organization of the book is rather poor in that it jumps from technique to technique without any sort of logical progression in terms of difficulty. There are some simple garnish designs juxtaposed with incredibly ornate pieces and none of them is especially well explained. A few illustrations are more or less self-explanatory in terms of the techniques involved but the remainder, particularly the melon sculptures, don’t have much value other than looking pretty to look at. There are a few recipes included but ultimately the reader is left to wonder what purpose they serve other than to pad out a book that really doesn’t offer a whole lot else.


Sadly, I cannot find much about this book to recommend it to anyone. It will be all but useless to beginners looking to get started with some basic techniques and I cannot honestly see many professionals finding much value in it either.

Available Here…


I am a lawyer by profession and my practice is Criminal... I mean, I specialize in Criminal law. My work involves travelling on Court circuits to remote Arctic communities. In between my travels I write a Food blog at

11 thoughts on “Review: Food Art – Garnishing Made Easy

  1. Let’s see….

    ‘Chinese Appetizers and Garnishes’ by Huang Su-Huei is quite nice. It is limited to Chinese garnishes, of course, but I like this one quite a bit.

    ‘Working the Plate’ by Christopher Styler is alright but not as good as I hoped. It is ‘Nouvelle Cuisine’ style plating and has some nice pictures and instructions but too few examples.

    ‘The Fine Art of Japanese Food Arrangement’ by Yoshio Tsuchiya. Not bad, but again not as good as I was hoping. It goes into the philosophy of Japanese food arrangement, which is interesting, but the book expends far too many pages on pictures of Japanese Tableware when more illustrations of plated foods would have been better.

    I will probably review them more fully at some point but likely only the first will get a recommendation…

    1. I would add the greatest culinary school in the world holds Food Art Garnishing Made Easy in the highest esteem. Cmon people anyone can write words based on the research of others. This does not make them an authority. It only means thry have way too much time on their hands.

  2. I have always believed in constructive criticism. however you do not give me that input. This book has been a great success with customer reviews and is being utilized in many culinary institutions as a guideline to food garnishing. These techniques of been taught to thousands of food service personnel and home chefs. The basic methods outlined in detail can be utilized on a daily basis even at home. They are all simple quick and the presentations have astounded guests in many casino hotels and country clubs across the nation visit my many edible art galleries at to see the many many variations of the displays in my book Food Art, Garnishing Made Easy
    note; I wrote this book because most other food Garnishing books I have read and it’s been in the thousands have all been about garnishes that either took too much time but did not equal impact or two silly to present. My book also entails how to display food which is something I personally have not seen in any other book.

    1. Mr. Gargone … in addition to replying by way of follow-up comment, I have dedicated a blog post to your original comment so that more of my readers will get to see it. I have added a brief response that I hope you will find a little more fair than my review.

      John Thompson

  3. Do you only read the books? All those professionals who practice the art strongly disagree with you. Please visit the site and you will see ovet 3.5 million diagree with you including many certified Master Chefs. With over 6 million visitors and 70 million page views, they cant all be wrong. Who are you that qualifies you to make such a definitive opinion. I have been a professional Chef Garde Manager for pvrr 40 years. Your threats are cheep shots. Give us 1 example of your statements if you can.

    1. And do you bother to read only the comments you post? Clearly not … if you had, you will see I posted a follow up review after a comment by the author (see above).

      As to my ‘qualifications’ to post a review, I have precisely the same entitlement as any other person to give my opinion. If you don’t like it, I am not much concerned. I am not going to justify it further than I did in my follow up post, and I am also not going to challenge you to identify any supposed ‘threat’ I made as I do not feel your comments are worth any more of my time … I would also suggest you avoid any further insulting comments about my profession as contained in the comment of yours I deleted (speaking of ‘cheap shots!)

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