5 Tips to Avoid a Messy Grazing Table

Grazing Tables are the new style of catering that has taken off in the past couple of years, mountains of delicious food piled on top of each other giving that ‘never ending buffet’ feel that we all dreamed of as kids.

However, Grazing tables take time,  ALOT  of time, and require a special eye to see what does and doesn’t work, SO, to avoid you to spending hours building your beautiful grazing table, only to step back and see a chaotic mess as opposed to an elegant and unique delicious piece of  art  you had originally imagined. Here are our top tips to avoid a messy Grazing Table:   1.     Organised Chaos is the Key.   It’s easy to use your ‘space-fillers’, i.e: your pretzels, dried fruit or crackers to fill the spaces on your table with zero organisation. Avoid sprinkling your space fillers through gaps. Take a spoonful of your chosen space filler and place it carefully in piles, remove any broken crackers or pretzels and then pile a few more on top of the original spoonful to create a soft pyramid of food. Remember, you need to create gaps in your grazing table with purpose, when placing the food, remember to be purposeful with the spaces left for later.  Think of your table as a delicious game of Tetris.    2.     Colour and Texture.   The most important thing on a table is the taste, obviously. The second you ask? The  colours  and  textures ! It is so easy to overcrowd your table with bland colours, once you’ve got all your breads, crackers, breadsticks, cheeses, olives, pretzels, chocolate, nuts, humous and so forth, you’ve got one very brown, yellow and white bland looking table. Think about this when buying your food! Get bright fruits and vegetables, both fresh and dried, coloured crackers, the brightest dips you can find, lollies (if it suits your table style). Get inventive! Use the bright colours to break up the bland colours. Without the bright colours, all your guests see is a table full of the same food, it all blends in to one, mouth don’t water and nothing  pops .   3.     Height and Platters.   Height! Can I just say this again, as  loudly  as possible? USE HEIGHT! Grazing tables were originally inspired to be a modern version of a medieval feasting table. Essentially, back then, the food would be layered on beautiful platters and stands, in bowls, and on unique plates with gorgeous goblets scattered around. These feasts were to show off incredible richness. They used food to fill the gaps on the table, but there were layers upon layers of height. Be aware, there is such a thing as too much height, use your discretion, as soon as everything is elevated it stops being a Grazing table, but there is nothing worse than a flat layer of food with minimal character and nothing to draw the eye.   4.     Sweet and Salty   Sweet and Salty, taste amazing together but look messy mixed. If you are having a bit of everything with a desert and savoury table (our favourite), be wary of your placement and how you blend the two. Sure, bring some of your sweet treats to the salty side, or some of your salty tastes to the sweet, but remember, they are two different sections on your table! blend the two halves of your table with some sweet & salty treats, for example, pretzels, dried fruit or sweet cheeses.   5.     There is such a thing as too much.   Sorry, but it’s true. Don’t use  everything  your heart desires! Be purposeful with your food choices and make sure they compliment each other. It’s easy to go crazy and get 10 different space-fillers and every lolly, fruit, dip and cracker your heart can find, but remember, the flavours need to compliment each other and the colours need to pop. Too much colour is as bad as not enough colour. Food that doesn’t compliment each other, becomes wasted.  In a country where we can afford to create extravagant feasts let’s not waste it!    6.     Bonus Grazing tip:   On the topic of wasted food, there’s often lots left over from a Grazing table! If it’s not going to get eaten, try blessing your local foodbank, homeless shelter or create a little hamper and gift it to the Salvation Army. End your event by being a blessing to others!  We hope that our 5 tips have been helpful for you! These simple tips are what have kept GrazeHouse creating beautiful edible art, and we are so glad we could give you some pointers too! Have fun creating your table and enjoy your event! We know your guests will!

However, Grazing tables take time, ALOT of time, and require a special eye to see what does and doesn’t work, SO, to avoid you to spending hours building your beautiful grazing table, only to step back and see a chaotic mess as opposed to an elegant and unique delicious piece of art you had originally imagined. Here are our top tips to avoid a messy Grazing Table:

1.     Organised Chaos is the Key.

It’s easy to use your ‘space-fillers’, i.e: your pretzels, dried fruit or crackers to fill the spaces on your table with zero organisation. Avoid sprinkling your space fillers through gaps. Take a spoonful of your chosen space filler and place it carefully in piles, remove any broken crackers or pretzels and then pile a few more on top of the original spoonful to create a soft pyramid of food. Remember, you need to create gaps in your grazing table with purpose, when placing the food, remember to be purposeful with the spaces left for later. Think of your table as a delicious game of Tetris.

2.     Colour and Texture.

The most important thing on a table is the taste, obviously. The second you ask? The colours and textures! It is so easy to overcrowd your table with bland colours, once you’ve got all your breads, crackers, breadsticks, cheeses, olives, pretzels, chocolate, nuts, humous and so forth, you’ve got one very brown, yellow and white bland looking table. Think about this when buying your food! Get bright fruits and vegetables, both fresh and dried, coloured crackers, the brightest dips you can find, lollies (if it suits your table style). Get inventive! Use the bright colours to break up the bland colours. Without the bright colours, all your guests see is a table full of the same food, it all blends in to one, mouth don’t water and nothing pops.

3.     Height and Platters.

Height! Can I just say this again, as loudly as possible? USE HEIGHT! Grazing tables were originally inspired to be a modern version of a medieval feasting table. Essentially, back then, the food would be layered on beautiful platters and stands, in bowls, and on unique plates with gorgeous goblets scattered around. These feasts were to show off incredible richness. They used food to fill the gaps on the table, but there were layers upon layers of height. Be aware, there is such a thing as too much height, use your discretion, as soon as everything is elevated it stops being a Grazing table, but there is nothing worse than a flat layer of food with minimal character and nothing to draw the eye.

4.     Sweet and Salty

Sweet and Salty, taste amazing together but look messy mixed. If you are having a bit of everything with a desert and savoury table (our favourite), be wary of your placement and how you blend the two. Sure, bring some of your sweet treats to the salty side, or some of your salty tastes to the sweet, but remember, they are two different sections on your table! blend the two halves of your table with some sweet & salty treats, for example, pretzels, dried fruit or sweet cheeses.

5.     There is such a thing as too much.

Sorry, but it’s true. Don’t use everything your heart desires! Be purposeful with your food choices and make sure they compliment each other. It’s easy to go crazy and get 10 different space-fillers and every lolly, fruit, dip and cracker your heart can find, but remember, the flavours need to compliment each other and the colours need to pop. Too much colour is as bad as not enough colour. Food that doesn’t compliment each other, becomes wasted. In a country where we can afford to create extravagant feasts let’s not waste it!

6.     Bonus Grazing tip:

On the topic of wasted food, there’s often lots left over from a Grazing table! If it’s not going to get eaten, try blessing your local foodbank, homeless shelter or create a little hamper and gift it to the Salvation Army. End your event by being a blessing to others!

We hope that our 5 tips have been helpful for you! These simple tips are what have kept GrazeHouse creating beautiful edible art, and we are so glad we could give you some pointers too! Have fun creating your table and enjoy your event! We know your guests will!

Gemma SchembriGrazeHouse