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06 July 2022

How to Create the Perfect Party Platter

Hosting friends, family or colleagues for a special occasion can be stressful, to say the least. If you’re looking to create the wow factor at your next gathering without exhausting yourself in the kitchen, you should consider going for the grazing approach with one or two knock-out party platters.

Sometimes, you just have to do yourself a favour and ditch the sprawling buffet spread, complete with all of the hot and cold trimmings, and opt for something a little more laid back. With a stellar, well-put-together party platter, you can up the ante at your next gathering without upping your stress levels, too. So, step away from the stove, and listen up, because we’re here to give you the low-down on creating the perfect party platters.

Party platter

Are there any cardinal rules for creating the perfect party platter?

Erm, well…no. Not really.

The sheer joy of party platters is that the options are truly limitless, and you can really go to town with your creativity, have fun and enjoy the process of putting it together.

Your main concern when creating your grazing board is to make it vibrant and varied. You want to aim to create a heartily stocked platter with pops of colour and a variety of shapes and textures. On second thoughts, perhaps there is one rule: don’t hold back!

Your platters should cater for the potential needs, wants and whims of all of your guests. Therefore, you want to aim for real variation when you’re choosing what yummy treats to include. And, of course, you want there to be enough of everything so that your party-goers can really go for it and fill their boots. So, make the contents of your boards diverse, and pile them high! In doing so, your platter will look enticing, delicious and totally picture-worthy.

What types of food should you include?

When choosing what sorts of foods to include in your party platter, the most important thing is variation, as we mentioned above.

Your grazing boards should cater for the preferences and dietary requirements of all of your guests, as well. It’s up to you to consider how best you might like to do this. Perhaps, if you have a mix of both carnivores, veggies and vegans attending your get-together, you might like to create a couple of different platters, designing one that features a variety of meats and cheeses, and one that celebrates all things plant-based.

The perfect party platters will represent food from a diverse range of categories – think cheeses, cured meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, crackers, breads and spreads.

The best part about a platter with a variety of items is that it can easily be refilled as the gathering goes on. So, don’t forget to prepare extra for each item and store your provisions at hand, so that they are at the ready should any empty spots on the board need refilling as your guests tuck in.

Some basics, to begin with, might include:

  • Cheeses. Opt for a variety, and include softies, hard cheeses and spreadables
  • Cured meats always go down a storm. Think prosciutto, chorizo and salami, among others
  • Fish and seafood never go amiss. Favourites such as smoked salmon, cured trout and king prawns will bring the wow factor
  • Bring a touch of sweetness with a selection of fruits. You can’t go wrong with staples such as grapes, strawberries, figs and sliced apples
  • Fresh veggies never disappoint. No platter is complete without humble additions such as carrots, cucumbers and celery
  • Throw in some salt and a touch of crunch. Consider stalwart grazing board veterans such as olives, pretzels, pickled gherkins and nuts
  • Don’t skip out on basics such as crackers and sliced breads. They hold the whole thing together!
  • Never underestimate the power of dips and spreads. Think guacamole, hummus, tzatziki and coleslaw
Party platter

It’s all about the presentation

Underpinning the whole thing is the presentation.

In order to make your party platter as visually appealing as possible, you need to make sure you do your spread justice by arranging it creatively on a tasteful serving board or plate. Large wooden cutting boards, slate platters and decorative ceramic plates will help you elevate your display.

Layer the foods carefully and avoid leaving any gaps or blank spots. You want to put together a platter that looks abundant and inviting. Create visual interest by working with contrast and colour.

For a show-stopping finishing touch, you can also consider scattering fresh herbs such as rosemary, basil or parsley atop your platter. For an even more “extra” touch, you can throw in some edible flowers, such as nasturtiums, chive flowers, marigolds or pansies. Small details such as these will really elevate your display.

All sounding a little overwhelming?

Whilst grazing boards are a more manageable option when you are looking to put together a show-stopper of a spread for your party, gathering or event, they can still be a little overwhelming if you aren’t particularly confident in the kitchen. Perhaps, also, you just simply don’t have the time.

If this is the case, you can always outsource the catering for your event to a team of professionals, perhaps even to ourselves here at Olivia’s Kitchen. Professional caterers will have all the know-how necessary to put together a range of party platters that will surely bring the wow factor to your get-together, with zero stress or hassle on your part.

Putting on an event in the North East and looking for a little help? Get in touch today to find out how Olivia’s Kitchen can help you wow your guests with an array of astounding platters and buffet foods.

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