How to Make Pizza That Looks As Good As It Tastes

A few special touches can turn a good dish into a great pizza in the customers' eyes, says world champion pizzaiolo Mark Cosentino.



This braided-dough cross pizza looks amazing against the fiery background of a revolving brick oven.

Have you ever heard the saying, “People eat with their eyes”? Well, until a person actually tries a dish, the only reality he perceives about it is its appearance. Of course, nothing will compensate for a poorly executed dish as far as taste is concerned, but the art of the presentation can help an ordinarily good dish become great.

Masterful presentation adds a level of anticipation and excitement while heightening the dining experience. Plating alone can entice new customers to try a pizza or entrée or even help lure them in for that crucial first visit if your food items are tastefully displayed on your promotional materials, such as flyers, menus and the Internet.

Related: 5 tips for a more flavorful crust

Maybe you have looked at a dish on a table near you in a new restaurant and thought, “Boy, that looks good. I wonder what she is having?” Plating is an art, and it applies to pizza also, but anyone can learn it. The sky is the limit, but here are several ideas to work with:

  • Colors—A splash of vibrant color, such as reds, greens, yellows and oranges, looks great against a white cheese background.
  • Contrast—This applies not only to your pizza (i.e., the bright yellow and green of zucchini contrasts nicely with the red and white of cheese and sauce) but also to the background setting. The tablecloth, dishes, pepper mill or cheese wedge can also create an attractive and irresistible image in your customer’s mind.
  • Garnish—The right garnish adds a little special touch, visually speaking, to your pizza, and may also boost the taste. Flavorful possibilities include fresh basil leaves or freshly grated cheese.
  • Shapes and Sizes—Who says your pizza has to be round? You can make square, round, rectangle or tennis racket-shaped pies, as in Italy, then pinch the edges with your fingers, a fork or a spoon to form a unique crust.

There is no pizza rule book, so play around, take a lot of photos and present your pizza at its best!

Marc Cosentino, co-founder of New York Brick Ovens, is a three-time world champion pizza maker with 40 years’ experience cooking with brick ovens.

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

MOD Pizza Raises $400,000 in One Week to Feed Hungry Kids

The leading fast-casual chain is committed to providing 1 million meals in the next year.

Austin Restaurants Offer Latest in a Peck of Pickle Pizzas

Chefs at 40 North and La Barbecue have partnered to create the meat-free Spicy Pickle Pizza.

New Line of Eyeshadows Comes in 18 Shades of Pizza Toppings

Glamlite Cosmetics rolled out the Pizza Palette today, featuring shades like Pepperoni, Prosciutto and Meatballs.

New Pizza Tours Showcase the Best Pies in Des Moines

The Wow! Des Moines Pizza Tours will cover popular restaurants like Scornavacca's, Noah's Ark and RedRossa.

7 Ways to Prevent Employee Theft in Your Pizzeria

Expensive security cameras aren't the only solution. There are less intrusive ways to cure sticky fingers.

Pizza-Stuffed Burrata Isn't Just Weird for the Sake of Being Weird

Like many dishes at The Bedford, this inside-out pizza was designed with Instagram in mind.

Unknown Minnesota Songwriter Pens Hit Jingles for Little Caesars

Todd Millenacker was inspired to write his first song for the chain when he bombed out at a pizza-eating contest.

Survey Finds Italians Don't Limit Themselves to the Classic Margherita Pizza

More Italians like pizzas with multiple toppings.

Nashville Pizza Trio Planning to Expand Hip-Hop Concept to Atlanta

George R.R. Martin Lists His Favorite New York Pizza Joints

While the fantasy author's fans wait impatiently for his next book, the "Game of Thrones" creator dawdles over a cheese slice at Di Fara.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags