Ever wonder how the chef made that perfect circle of tuna tartare, the towering tian of crabmeat and that majestic pyramid of flourless chocolate cake? You might think it’s the chef’s mojo and the years of culinary experience in a galaxy of Michelin starred restaurants. Let me fill you in on a little secret: You can make those perfectly geometric plates of food yourself! With molds!
Molds are probably one of the cheapest ways to pimp up your plate. They cost one or two dollars if you get them at the restaurant supply stores on Bowery near Chinatown in NYC or coincidentally at the restaurant supply stores on Temple Street in Chinatown if you are in Singapore. (With the exception of the pyramid molds, which for some reason are always expensive.)
Not all molds are made the same though. When buying them, make sure that their shape is as perfect as possible. Sometimes the circles are a little oval and the squares aren’t exactly squares. I once spent 30 minutes sorting though a bin of square molds to make sure that all the walls were exactly at right angles to each other. I guess you get what you pay for.
I’m always on the lookout for interesting and unusual molds. People really perk up and notice if it’s not your ordinary circle. “Look honey it’s a trapezoid! And there’s a parallelogram and a rhombus!” Use these cool molds to create thin layers of shapes on a plate, say maybe using some langoustine Carpaccio. Or stack up different ingredients on top of each other. You can see how stacking with molds is done in my Pimp My Plate section here.