Become a rockstar host following these 5 easy grazing platter tips
This week’s post is from our guest, Marilyn Hew founder of Gather n Graze, Hong Kong. It is in response to our reader’s questions on how to perfect the grazing platter. Gather and Graze believe food should come from the heart. They are firm believers in sharing food, and the warmth, energy and benefits generated by such an experience. In parallel Field by Helen Kontouris and Made by Pen’s design aspiration was to develop a serving platter which would become centrepiece to a meal table surrounded by loved ones. The deliberate whirling ‘Lazy Susan’ tiers draw people in, and foster a tradition of food sharing and drawing people together. With similar ambitions we are pleased Field by Helen Kontouris can now help facilitate this as part of Gather n Graze’s catering occasions. Thanks to Marilyn for sharing with us her tips to master a grazing platter. Enjoy!
Guest post by Marilyn Hew
Four months ago, Gather n Graze went live. Hong Kong is a transient city known for shopping, partying and, of course, eating, and it’s the place where Jen and I decided to launch our idea of a grazing table. More than just a big charcuterie board, ours is a table of quality decadence styled to feast the eyes while filling the stomach. Our tables are tailor made for each event, with authentic cuisines by private chefs, designed to set the right mood using floral and props and food styled to impress everyone at the party.
People often concentrate so much on the food that they fail to see the silent hero beneath the sumptuous delicacies — the serving tray. Choosing the correct plate, board or platter is as important as deciding what food to serve.
When designing an ever-popular rustic spread, one of my favourite props is Field by Helen Kontouris, a modern-day take on the Lazy Susan and available at Made By Pen. Its versatility enables us to use it against a wall or as an island spread. With its 360 degrees movability, the Field lets me present food in multiple directions, and the three tiers give our work height and dimension, making our spread resemble art more than food.
How to prep a grazing plate?
Often I would use the Field to highlight important ingredients of a charcuterie board, like showcasing a Brilliant Savarin or 36 months Compte.
- Choose 3 to 4 quality cheeses, a soft cheese, semi hard cheese, a hard cheese and a blue cheese. As these are generally the big pieces, place these cheeses first on the Field. Be sure to keep the dainty cheeses on the top tier such as the carefully sliced up pieces of Compte or Mimolette.
- Carefully place a long bunch of grapes that will overhang from one tier to another.
- Next, on the board are crackers, we use our signature artisan Gather n Graze crackers. You can substitute this with any store bought cracker, but to keep the standard high, choose crackers that pair well with cheese and deli meats.
- Now select 3 to 4 types of deli meats such as parma ham, truffle salami and Serrano ham, and style them in the gaps between the cheeses.
- Add the final touches such as dried fruit, nuts fresh fruit or chocolates.
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Photo credits to FOODTRAVELBABE.