Grazing Tables have taken our instagram feeds by storm! Tables of heavenly fare, piled high and spread wide! Platters of delicious charcuterie (pronounced shahr-koo-tuh-ree) the art of preparing cured or smoked meats. Cheese boards featuring giant super-sized cheese wheels. Creating a simple and effective grazing table or grazing board is easy, let me show you how!
Are the trendy way to feed your hungry guests. Grazing tables are emerging as the happiest thing in entertaining! The Grazing Table is however, hardly new...way back in the 1st century, the Romans were renowned for their frivolous feasting. Medieval feasts were equally elaborate and featured heavy laden tables.
Grazing tables encourage guests to mingle, try a variety of tastes and are often a great conversation starter!
Here are my tips for A GREAT GRAZING TABLE!
* Use high quality ingredients
* Offer a wide variety of textures and flavours
*Work with a theme if it rustic use containers, risers and foliage that fit the style
*Play with props, use risers for height, look at your flow of food and if you need additional props that will give that 'wow factor'
* Use fresh herbs, greenery and flowers to compliment your food
Grazing Tables must do's
Choose a theme and stick to it. If you are doing a Mediterranean theme then try source foods with a Mediterranean flavour. Props and colour scheme should tie in with your chosen theme.
Unless you are creating a platter always make sure your table size isn't too small. Your guests wont enjoy jostling for space around your spread. Allow for space so your guests can move around and get too all the dishes and nibbles you have prepared.
Height and Risers
I guess you are wondering what the heck is a riser? A riser is just as the word states a prop that rises up whatever is placed ontop of it. You could use a crate, upside box, tin or anything that elevates your dishes. Make sure it fits with the look and feel otherwise it all be an eye soar!
Like a buffet, your grazing table must flow, fill in with greenery, fruit likes grapes and figs make the perfect filler. Simple and inexpensive things like lettuce leaves, bunches of herbs and vegetables add touches and colour to a grazing table.
Shopping list - what do you need to create the perfect Grazing Table
- Fresh breads, baguettes, sourdough cut into chunks. I also use http://www.iggysbread.com for a larger crowd the round wagon wheel bread is sublime
- Fresh dips, anything from hummus, tzatziki... you could try your hand at making your own dips however brands like http://www.pilpelfinefoods.com have an amazing selection of dips you could purchase.
- Olives, my favourite food! As I am an obsessed olive lover I always have dishes of green olives, Kalamata olives remember to make sure you have a few small dishes for pips.
- Cheeses... invest in a good quality cheeses I love the richness of The Meredith goats cheese in herb and olive oil. https://www.bluecow.com.au/product/meredith-320g-feta-in-herbolive-oil/. A good camembert or blue cheese is always popular.
- Other accompaniments to your grazing table are nuts, fruit, pickles, fresh herbs, dried fruits, sun-dried tomatoes and pickled vegetables.
- Bread sticks, crackers, cheese sticks, flavoured biscuits...scatter bowsl and props filled with your favourite dipping cracker.
- I use 'Golden Top" Greek Pita bread available from Harris farm https://www.harrisfarm.com.au/products/golden-top-pita-bread. If you pop these in a pan till golden brown they are the ultimate delicious, dipping pita
The grazing platter is finger food on steroids! I am talking a 'Marie Antoinette' style board overflowing with decadent and delicious fare! This ever popular trend filling our instagram feeds has us drooling with excitement.
To make life simple I am going to get down to the best part of any meal...dessert!
Hold onto your waistlines its about to get sweet!
Dessert Platters (oh yum!)
Top tips for styling dessert platters
1. Group your treats into sections. Keep the same elements touching
2. Combine seasonal fruits and use shapes cutters for fruit like watermelon or pineapple to create a bit of magic. Cut up kiwi fruit in zig zag shapes
3. Fill meringues and mini tartlet shells with chocolate mousse, lemon curd or creme. Top with berries or fresh edible flowers
4. Use candy and chocolates to fill in spaces in-between our larger items
5. Use seasonal flowers to add colour and flair
6. Add in nuts, dried fruits, bliss balls...anything goes with your dessert platter as long as its not too big and cumbersome.
7. Serve your platter on a round or long rustic board
All images styled by Sydney Food Stylist
Sydney Food Stylist offers full service Grazing tables and Platters. For further enquiries contact Sydney Food Stylist firstname.lastname@example.org