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How to create the perfect grazing table!

One of the biggest food trends of 2018 has been grazing tables, and the bigger the better. We have recently come across Queensland Grazing table expert Meghan who runs Your Platter Matters and she has given us all the inspiration you could ever need! Check her out for all your Gold Coast grazing table needs, her Instagram will have you drooling in seconds! 

Whether it’s a wedding, birthday, engagement party, baby shower or a casual night with pals, if you’re in charge of the grazing not only do your friends trust you with the most important job for the whole event (second to whoever’s job it is to bring the wine), but they have also put you under a great deal of pressure. Grazing tables are amazing because you create any combination of food you want, including antipasto, chocolate and sweets, hot and cold food, and so much more. The options are endless, but in the end it’s the presentation that will win the hearts of your guests.

The first thing you need to do is figure out who you are catering for, how big the group is, and what their dietary requirements are. Check for allergies, things like nuts are important to note because even having nuts touching other food can cause some people to have reactions. So, if you have allergies in your group, it’s sometimes safest to stay away from that food altogether. Next is your vegetarian and vegan friends, and making a platter to cater for them too is super easy, but know what numbers you are dealing with first.

The Base:

The base for a table can be anything you want, but we like the vintage bohemian look (you have Instagram’s tick of approval as well). Try layering your table with brown craft paper or a crisp white table cloth and then laying out a mixture of boards and boxes to be filled with all the tasty goodness.

If you don’t have a platter or cheese board, go get one! Not only are they a necessity in life (yes a necessity, like water), but they can be very affordable, or extra fancy, depending on what you’re after. . Kmart are the perfect place to start if you are strapped for cash, such as this option for only $15 If you are after something slightly more luxurious check out this marble serving board for a steady $185.  While more expensive, it’s something you’ll get plenty of use out of over the years. Besides, it’s a great addition to your ‘grown up’ collection (you know the one that your mum has, the nice wine glasses, special cutlery, and fancy plates that you weren’t allowed to touch until you were well into your 20s?).

If you have some cute vintage cake stands around, they are great for creating levels and adding depth to the table.

The thing about grazing tables is that they really look best when there is no empty space at all! So make sure your table size reflects how much food you want to put out and how many people you are serving.  

The Food

We have saved the best for last. Often, the perfect grazing table is a nice mix of sweet and savory. Using your boxes or stands (anything you’ve got to create levels!) pile them high with breadsticks and roll. Anything that won’t leave a mark on the table, and that wont need cutting, can be placed straight on the table; think nuts, crackers, pretzels, little blocks of chocolate, and air-popped popcorn. Use the platters and boards for things that can stay in place on their own but may need to be cut or may leave a mark, like cheese, sundried tomato, meats, pickles, skewers etc. Use small bowls or mason jars for things like olives, dips, round fruits (think grapes and cherries that can roll away) and condiments like old style mustard, honey, and relish. Finally, use any stands for fruit and sweet things such as cakes and chocolate, as these will stay in place on their own and look so nice stacked up together.  

Your Base Grocery List:                                                                                                       

  • Hard Cheese
  • Soft Cheese
  • Pretzels
  • Breadsticks
  • Crackers (try different types)
  • Dips
  • Olives
  • Meats (ham, prosciutto, salami) 
  • Marinated Vegetables
  • Chocolate
  • Seasonal fruit
  • Assorted candy to taste
  • Mini cakes and cookies (optional)

 

 

The Drinks

This is totally optional, but if you are hosting a large event it might make your job easier to have a separate “grazing table” for drinks. Have champagne on ice and a few bottles poured into glasses for quick access. Have an array of wine punches ready to go in a variety of different glasses like jars, flutes, and wine glasses – aiming for a different cup per drink. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can create a “make your own sangria” bar, where you’ll provide a variety of wines, fruit, mixers and decorations on the table and let people create their own combinations.

Once all this is done, grab yourself a glass of W4YL Rose and a plate of food and soak in all the compliments as the result of your immaculate grazing table.

Until next time xo