Creating a grazing table can be both fun and easy. It lets you prepare food in advance for your guests, more time to socialize during the party, and with just a little creativity, it will simply impress your guests. Best of all, easy on the budget and clean-up is a breeze. It’s a perfect party food set up whether hosting for a small group of friends, bonding for a family get together, or arranging a corporate catering event. If you want to know how to create a grazing table, then read on.
Why do I love creating a grazing table? First, I didn’t spend so much time in the kitchen preparing the food. It is merely spreading the ready-made food on the table. Second, you can create a very classy and chic look on your grazing table without breaking the bank, which is very practical if you are on a tight budget. As for me, I didn’t spend so much money as I would compare to if I were to hire a caterer. Making your grazing table as expensive or inexpensive is up to you. You can choose whatever food you want to include in your grazing table it can be from pricey deli meats or high-quality cheeses to affordable seasonal fruits and veggies, potato chips, popcorn, and candies. You can incorporate any foods you want. Third, the presentation of a grazing table is a show stopper. It creates a great impression that will leave your guests in awe on your creative skills when in reality, you just threw some fine, ready-made food on the table- now that’s clever!
Stay tuned, we will show you step by step how to create this beautiful grazing box, or you can even create a bigger grazing table for a large group of people, but basically, the technique is exactly the same, we promise!
Why should you create a catering table over something else?
While exploring this table grazing concept, I found out that this is very popular in Australia. Almost every post I saw from Instagram and Pinterest about the grazing table are from Australia. Aussies have very good taste and style in coming up with great ideas for entertaining.
Low cost to set up
You can spend more time mingling with your guests instead of stressing about the food.
It provides a wide-range of eating experiences.
It offers your visitors the chance to taste just about everything.
Permits you to be inventive and creative with your grazing table.
What Is A Crazing Table?
As the name implies, it is a table for grazing or eating. Unlike in a buffet-style wherein guests serve themselves, the grazing table is a set-up that is designed to be pleasant to look at where guests are encouraged to walk by and help themselves to nibble easily on the food. This set up can also be done in a large platter, wooden board or to any large and clean flat surface and food doesn’t necessarily place in a bowl or plates, but it can be artfully displayed in piles that overflow, twist together or intersect with each other so that it will not only taste delicious but looks good also.
Grazing table works great for a wide array of corporate events, guests, themes, and budgets as it is always sure to impress.
A shopping list for a beautiful crazing table
A good table will require a good preparation in advance, make sure you print or save this inforgraphic list while shopping, basically there are 6 groups you need to keep in mind: cheeses, fruits, crackers and bread (any bread but I prefer the crunchy and organic slices such as sourdough, ciabatta, or baguette), meat, dip veggies, sweets and nuts
What’s the difference between a grazing table and a buffet?
You won’t see any chafing dish on a grazing table. It is usually comprised of finger foods that are easy for guests to nibble and carry around so they can mingle at the same time. The foods in the grazing table are kept well at room temperature instead of foods that are kept warm on a buffet style. The food choices presented in a grazing table are also endless. You can have a variety of finger foods depending on your budget as you can go for cured meats, cheeses or fruits, bread, dips, nuts, sweet goodies, crackers or biscuits, bite-sized sandwiches, sushi, fruits and nuts and just about all finger foods that you can think of.
Step by step how to put your grazing table together
Pick a theme - As with any party, having a theme will set the pace on the direction on how your grazing table would look like. For example, if it is a Halloween themed party, select foods, utensils, serving platters, and accessories that will reflect on this theme or if you are thinking of a Christmas theme, you can arrange Christmas colors red, gold and green. Whatever theme you decide on choosing the best foods, decors and every utensils and platters that would fit with your theme.
The table or a serving container - The table should be proportionate to the amount of food to be served– Make sure that your table or any flat surface can cover the entire food you will be serving. It should not be too big nor small but just the right size to make your table look fuller and overflowing with foods. It will also allow your guests to easily grab the food with ease and comfort.
Create height - Height can give you a three-dimensional look and gives the illusion that there is plenty of food on the table. It creates a fuller visual effect rather than a flat and lifeless surface. So be creative in using cake stands, wooden boards, boxes, woven baskets, tiered stands, and crates to display your foods.
Fresh flowers and greenery - Nothing more satisfying than the look of fresh flowers, herbs and some greenery put on your table. It adds color and character to your grazing table, which makes it more interesting and visually appetizing.
Foods, the primary star of your table– The food that you choose should be in line with the party or event theme. It can be for a summer, Halloween, thanksgiving, Melbourne cup, Administration day, office birthday or to a wedding theme. Make a variety of food choices that your guests can appreciate. Avoid foods with gooey sauces that can make a mess. As much as possible, keep your food in a finger food portion so that guests will no longer cut the food.
Now time to Assemble a Grazing Table/Box with images
Now we start with a list, all ingredients I believe it is easy to find at any local supermarket, groceries store
Line the bottom with your choice of salads
Varieties of cheeses, make a ham rose in the middle
Add sweets such as dried fruits, snacks, pickles (optional)
Add sauce, condiments, some fruits
Finish the grazing box/table with the rest of meats, crackers
Now you have a beautiful grazing box/table, served with crunchy dip veggies
To make more beautiful grazing platters, here are 7 practical tips you can follow.
Advance preparation - What’s good about the grazing table is that you can prepare it ahead of time. Consider the size of the board or table that you are going to fill with foods so that you can buy the right ingredients and products to add on. Write down the foods, utensils, and other materials that you would buy so you won’t miss a thing. Cut all veggies and keep them in containers with water to stay fresh.
Freshness and tastiness do matter – The concept of grazing tables provide guests with foods that are fresh and new. It is important that you buy from farmer’s market the vegetables and fruits that are in season. Go to a deli to cut meat in as thinly as possible and you can also purchase with them delicious prosciutto, salami and other cold cuts that are reliably fresh and clean.
Where to place the table – Depending on your theme, you can set it up in a garden that is bright and windy or inside your house or office that will allow a more relaxed space. Either way, just make sure that there is plenty of room that your guests can move around and mingle with each other. Make sure that the table is not against the walls so that guests can access it on both sides.
Level up your cutlery and utensils - Out with the plastic forks, spoons, and paper cups. It’s time to bring out those fancy cutlery, utensils, plates, and glasses. A grazing table is a feast, and grandeur is its thing, so make sure that you have something to show off or better yet head on to a dollar store to buy some to fit the theme.
Fill out white spaces – The table should be covered properly covered with rainbow colors. Fill in any gaps with some greenery, twigs of herbs, or flowers with less scent so as not to overpower the smell of the foods.
Always keep the food in small bite-sized – Foods should be kept in the bite-sized portion so that guests can have a little bit of taste of everything. Avoid foods that are messy and hard to bite. Make your food soft, crunchy, and easily eaten in one or two bites maximum.
Consider the season and time–Most foods are season and time-sensitive. If it’s a hot summer day, you may want to go more for fruits and vegetables that will freshen up the palette and cut back on foods that are easily spoiled in warm days like cheeses, meats, and seafood. If seafood and meats are the features in the grazing table, it may not stand out in the open all day.
A grazing table is an array of flavors, texture, and taste that features the high quality of ingredients that compliments one dish to another. It’s an extensive work of art.
Fully Updated In June - 2020 by Mr T's Bakery team