The Goods

Instagram sensation Chef Jacques La Merde shares her tips for creating beautiful plates

Instagram sensation Chef Jacques La Merde shares her tips for plating junk food so it looks like it came from a 4-star restaurant.
(Via Instagram, courtesy of Chef Jacques La Merde )

Chef Christine Flynn started her junk food journey at a gas station. She thought it would be cool to see if she could apply haute cuisine plating to snacks found in the aisles of a 7/11. The result was over 137,000 Instagram followers under the pseudonym Chef Jacques La Merde — and a guest judging appearance on Top Chef.

Here are Christine's tips for creating plates that are truly works of art:



Don't be afraid of colour on your plate! Using a white plate as your canvas really helps the colour of the food stand out. When creating a dish, think of foods that taste great together and also happen to look beautiful when paired side by side. Remember, you eat with your eyes first!



Use a variety of textures on your plate. Whether it's bread crumbs, a dollop of cream or a cookie turned into a powder, textural variation adds a ton of visual interest to your plate.

Negative space


Resist the urge to fill your whole plate with food. Negative space is beautiful if used properly. Play with the white areas on your plate and create an asymmetrical design. Note: the centre of your plate does not have to be the focus!

Sense of movement


Once you've mastered negative space, you have room to play around with movement! Use sauces or gravies to create direction on your plate. Whether it's a swirl, a smear or a squiggle, make the eye travel to the main attraction on your plate.



Using edible flowers and micro greens can turn a good plate into a great plate. When choosing garnishes, odd numbers are always best. Your garnishes should not overpower the plate, but enhance what's on it.