The other day I remarked to a long-time friend, as she lavished praise at the snack table: “the secret is to make the food a decorative feature”. It sounds complex, or even presumptuous or materialistic, but it’s quite the opposite. When we serve fresh food or snacks made simply, particularly using raw elements, they become central elements of the scene, capable of adding colour and life onto a table.
Dispensed Mise-en-Scene, but Necessary Mise-en-Place!
Organise the menu by food colour
Long but not completely filled platters, wooden boards, bowls and tasting plates are crucial! Cook and prepare the food items, ready to be tasted in a practical way, simplify with style, organise the cheeses with nuts and fruit, use kebabs to create one with a croquette or mini meatball, with cherry tomatoes and a basil leaf; pre-prepare the glasses and flutes with berries and a mint leaf inside, next to the ice bucket, near the sparkling wine. And with children, plan for mini chocolate scones, mini bottles of milk with paper straws on a table within their reach, away from the one of adults…!
Elegant but sober containers. We don’t want to distract attention from the food
Even if, on a festive day, you’re willing to show off all the sets available, restrain yourself is essential for a coherent table. Providing for more than you realise on a list of spare porcelain is important, especially for guests who insist on bringing their own delicacies, if that’s the case. Keep the focus, the tone and the accessories at hand, ready to be used, without excuses. Focus on the food item, yes, but with the epicentre that it deserves, through a good presentation and plating, which can be achieved by planning and taking stock of everything available, able to be used and combined at the event.
Plan for two moments
It’s not just a question of replenishing platters, it’s an assumed pause or interruption in food service, but as the duration of some events is not always predictable, a new “wave” of snacks may be required by guests.
We should therefore plan a second snack menu, as a back-up plan, which may require the use of unavailable porcelain, as well as a table layout to be taken into account. As time passes by, it’s to be expected that the decorative style might change into something more elegant and nocturnal.
And how important is it to have good ideas and good porcelain? It encourages partying and socialising! The rest is conviviality and good music, for every moment of the event, aiming to enjoy and savour the best side of life.
“Once upon a time there was a company made up of a passion for charming hotels, an obsession with hospitality and a focus on service. We form teams, launch projects, audit departments. T for Tourism. H for Hospitality and 2 to square projects, boost them and optimize them. This is the constant challenge of this company founded in 2007 by me, dreamer of its name Catarina Varão.” – TH2