The traditional cheese board has come a long way in recent years, with gigantic grazing boards becoming a huge trend that isn’t going anywhere fast. The ideal starter for events of all types, a grazing board combines delicious cheeses and fresh charcuterie with lots of little bites that look as good as they taste. For event planning of almost any kind, grazing boards continue to feature prominently so read on for a few tips to create an amazing platter that will wow your guests.
Start with the Largest Board You Can Find
Size matters when it comes to making an impression (and also for feeding lots of hungry guests). Long wooden boards or large ceramic platters are ideal however they can be expensive to purchase. For a fraction of the price you can rent an amazing board from your local party hire supplier which will provide you with the perfect base on which to arrange all your delectable delicacies. For party hire, Goulburn locals can rely on Barlens for a huge range of high-quality serving ware, dinnerware, glassware and all the wedding supplies you need to create a show-stopping event.
Add Cute Little Bowls and the Right Utensils
You may want to lay everything out on a board like it just came out of a foodie photoshoot, but it’s just not practical. There are some foods that need bowls, think dips, marinated olives, stuffed peppers – all of these antipasto items should be dotted around the board in bowls, ramekins or even shot glasses. For an eclectic look, use a mixture of containers or for a more sleek and contemporary aesthetic, matching crisp white bowls are the ideal choice. Don’t forget to include enough cheese knives and serving tongs, these will ensure guests don’t use their hands which keeps everything hygienic.
Preparation is Key
A grazing platter requires an abundance of little ingredients, so it can be easy to lose track of what you need when you are shopping, and it can also be hard to determine just how much of everything you should buy. You want to make sure you have enough to feed the crowd but not so much that you end up wasting perfectly good produce. Ask yourself the below questions:
- How many guests are you feeding?
- Is the platter a starter before a main meal or is it the entire source of food for the event?
- How big is your board/platter?
- Dietary requirements – you may need to make a separate smaller platter to cater for gluten free guests.
- What’s in season?
Fresh is Best
The freshness of the ingredients can make or break a great grazing platter. Buy in-season produce, fresh from a market, deli or a fruit store on the day or morning of your party. Ask for deli meats to be sliced as thinly as possible. Homemade dips and relishes are easy and cost-effective, cut fresh fruit into bite sizes pieces and slice veggies into sticks that can make for easy dipping. The options are endless when it comes to what to include on your board – a selection of cheeses, different crackers, sliced baguettes, olives, dried fruits, nuts, and veggies, you can be as traditional or as creative as you like, just make sure everything is fresh.
Fill the Gaps
Once you have positioned the larger items on your board, it’s important to thoughtfully fill up the blank spots to make the platter look full and inviting. Fresh herbs, edible flowers, berries, and leafy greens are all great space fillers, not only do they look great they can enhance the flavour of the surrounding produce and even emit a delicious aroma.
Don’t Forget the Little Details
You have the best produce on the best platter with cheese knives to boot, but it’s the little touches that really make a difference to the comfort of your guests. Toothpicks or disposable forks to pick up little things that may be oily or slippery, napkins for guests to wipe their hands and a little bowl nearby the grazing board for guests to put their rubbish in.
Play Around with Positioning
Once you have everything ready, place your goods around the board (wrapped and packaged) to see where everything works best. This gives you the flexibility to move things around so the board will look its best and be completely functional. Take a photo and then store your produce until it’s time to plate up, once ready unwrap and place everything as per your photo.
Grazing boards are a great way to feed a crowd and provide a perfect place for guests to mingle and enjoy each other’s company. Whether your event is in a marquee, a backyard or a fine dining establishment, an impressive grazing platter will always be a hit.
Choose Barlens for Party Hire and Wedding Supplies
No matter what you need for your next event, a folding bar table, chairs, catering equipment and more, we are here to help with a carefully curated collection of high-quality furniture and supplies at affordable rates. Browse our range online now or get in touch with us for a free quote by calling 02 6206 2020 / 02 6043 0605 today.