The buffet style of presenting food still reigns for corporate, wedding, and social catering. However, as trends change, so does the style of catered buffets. In the past, buffet tables were typically heavily dressed and draped with linens. The current modern and minimalistic buffet catering trend is to utilize bare rustic tables, contemporary or sleek industrial tables in various shapes and sizes. As the motto, “less is more” pervades society, modern buffets mimic that thought. While one should always provide ample food for the guests, the presentation of the food is minimal in terms of size of serving dishes and platters and amount of serving dishes on the table. (Serving dishes can always be replenished). Rather than utilizing standard serving platters, a creative mix of wooden cutting boards, glass platters, and mirrors become interesting large serving pieces adding texture and interest to the table. A creative arrangement of small tasting vessels from shot glasses to cones are in vogue as are small one-bite serving containers made from bamboo and often recyclable materials. Beautiful floral arrangements should mimic the style of the buffet. In the past, large and full arrangements were the norm. Today, simple and minimal floral arrangements enhance the theme.
As food becomes more and more imaginative in taste and presentation, modern buffets are a great way to put the spotlight on the food at a wedding, corporate, or social event. And one of the newest trends is “food stations” which are akin to mini buffets. It’s quite impressive to see a buffet of 75 artistically and beautifully prepared appetizer bites displayed on a sleek, modern tray. Or perhaps a display tower of glass votives filled with a colorful cold soup garnished with micro greens? When it comes to food stations, creativity and one’s personal preference comes into play. Imaginative food stations include crostini stations, French Fry stations, Mac n’ Cheese stations, Sushi stations, and Donut stations. Today’s buffets and food stations allow the chef to display not only his culinary talents but his artistic talents as well!
Buffet style catering and food station catering is truly only limited by one’s imagination. The buffet or stations of course should coincide with the venue and theme of the event and always make sure to have ample food for guests. Access to the tables should be easy and the “flow” of the guests should be smooth so that long lines are eliminated. The catering staff will be sure to keep the buffet tables or stations tidy for the duration of the event.
Work closely with the catering company and chef to create a display that features today’s trends in food and décor and you will have created a memorable event!