Elevate Your Buffet To New Heights
Fed-up of the same old platters of sausage rolls and salads? Here’s some tips to help you prepare a spread to remember, and dine in luxury, buffet style.
Sometimes you just want to do something different, and while a buffet provides an easier option for a special occasion, than say, a 5 course dinner, there’s still plenty to think about if you want to prepare a feast to feed your guests, and do it with a touch of luxury.
Luxury is a word that means different things to different people, but if we’re talking buffets, we’re sure you’d all be in agreement – this calls for something more than frozen chicken nuggets, a loaf of bread, and shop brought pizza platters. But how do you prepare a luxury buffet? Some of the same things will still apply – what you can make in advance, what needs to be done on the day, do you have to think about any dietary requirements? And there’s a few more things you can add to your list to make things extra special.
Where To Shop
If you’re looking for something a little different, then maybe you should veer off course, and swap some of your favourite supermarket aisles for alternatives, and perhaps support local/small businesses to boot.
Perhaps shop for cheeses and chutney at a good local deli, then visit a local butchers for some prime cuts of meat, and items less common in the high street. Perhaps you even have a local smokehouse that can provide you with some smoked salmon. There’s a really interesting variety of boutique food supplier out there that could add a special touch to your party menu, some of them could even be found online.
Buy caviar online, and it will sit alongside other speciality products, such as fresh truffles, to provide a real talking point during your party. You could present your chosen brand of caviar in a pretty bowl with bread or crackers as a side, or make up mini taster plates/cups for your guests to try.
The Buffet Table
The way you display can also make a big impact – think glasses stacked to form a champagne fountain, use skewers to make easy to pick up kebabs from fruit, vegetables, and maybe a few surprise items as well, and to add even more luxury, serve sauces in mini jugs, and make up small individual portions of appetisers and desserts to make a more appealing spread.
Other display ideas including using colourful baskets for bread and napkins/cutlery, skipping the tablecloth in favour of smaller cloths and napkins, and mismatching colours – choose carefully and the end result will be stunning.
And Most Importantly…
However you prepare your luxury buffet the food should always be the star of the show, and there are plenty of ways of adding a luxury touch to your menu. Other choices aside from caviar include lobster, oysters, truffle shavings on pasta dishes, and how about some boiled quails eggs?
Elevating buffet classics with different seasonings and extra ingredients can be a great way to do something different for your party, and trying new recipes can all be part of the fun. There are plenty of recipes out there to help you on your way. Celebrity Chefs often have party food sections on their website – take a look at Jamie Oliver’s site for some great ideas. His suggestions include Haggis Croquettes, Marmite Popcorn (love it or hate it!), and squash, sage, and chestnut rolls, and some very tasty sounding Christmas Honeycomb Cannelloni.
A great buffet needs a lot of preparation, and with so many creative ideas out there it’s sure to be the best part of the process! So why not start brainstorming for your next big celebration, and picture the faces of your guests as you go for the big reveal.
Rich White is the founder of Essex Guide, which provides information and advice for people living in and visiting Essex.