We love to see texture in our photographs—so why do so many food photographs have the food sitting on shiny white plates? Because that's what restaurants use? Because that's what we have at home?
I've been doing the photographs for Michael's next book and when we started the art director, Vanessa, pretty much told me where to go to buy plates. She did not want to see shiny white or patterned plates and now I understand why.
A white or patterned glossy plate is going to draw the viewer's eye away from the food because it is so bright. Non-glazed ceramic in earth tones work well and use the salad plate size so you don't end up with a big collar around your subject. Also using things that are not plates at all—like old metal sheet trays, weathered cooling racks, and anything made of wood will add texture and warmth to your photos.