How to create the perfect entertaining platter
10 tips for creating the perfect platter
When it comes to preparing food for a weekend gathering, it’s hard to beat a platter. The very nature of the dish means the preparation is all taken care of before your guests arrive, meaning you can all sit back and relax while you enjoy a variety of tasty morsels.
So, the next time you’re hosting family or friends, follow these tips to bring a little extra wow factor to your party platter.
1 – Choose your serving board. Obviously, a good place to start is choosing the right platter to display your mini feast. If you’re after a more rustic look, the Momento Studio range has several different-shaped boards to choose from, while the large Momento Olive Wood serving dish is also beautiful with its golden honey tones. But if you prefer classic white serving ware, the Davis & Waddell Loft range has several stunning options.
2 – Choose the serving ware support acts. Once you have your platter board sorted, it’s time to think about what else you might need to serve your food up to guests. Depending on what’s on the menu, it will pay to have a few small bowls on hand to hold those slightly messier morsels. You’ll also need a few cheese and pate knives. The unique Momento Casa range will beautifully complement a platter, or you could opt for the modern Momento Studio Cheese Knife Set or classic Momento Coast Cheese & Pate Knife Set.
3 – Consider other utensils. Again, depending on what you’re planning to serve on your platter, make your guests’ grazing as simple as possible by providing toothpicks and serviettes to keep the mess at bay. It might also pay to have a nice, small bowl on hand for guests to discard of these items once they’re done.
4 – Choose your cheese. Let’s face it, all good platters begin with the cheese. A good rule of thumb is to choose three different cheeses (soft, semi-firm and aged) to serve up. If you’re worried about overcrowding your platter, remember you can always put half of each cheese out first and simply replenish the stocks – especially if you’ve got a few cheese fiends on your guest list.
5 – Decide on the rest of the feast. The possibilities for platters are endless, but here are a few ideas to get you started: A variety of crackers to go with your cheeses (again, a good rule of thumb here is three different types of cracker); folded cured meats like prosciutto or salami; relishes, fruit pastes or dips; sliced baguettes; cut up vegetables; dried or fresh fruits; olives and marinated artichokes; nuts; or berries (if they’re in season).
6 – Think about presentation. There are no real rules to how to place each item on your platter, but it can help to put your larger items, like the cheeses, out first and work from there. (And be sure to take the cheeses out at least an hour before your guests arrive!)
7 – Create a variety of colour. Dips are an easy way to add some appealing colour to your platter. If you’re choosing to serve pre-made dips, decant them into a few small bowls for presentation purposes. Like the cheese, dips don’t need to be served up in full – keep the lids handy for easy storage in the fridge until you’re ready to replenish. Fruit is also great for adding colour and texture to your platter.
8 – Fill in the gaps. To make your platter look beautifully abundant, be sure to add a few fillers (like nuts or dried fruit) to any gaps between the cheese, crackers, meats, and other little bowls of goodies.
9 – Remember the refills. Of course, you don’t need to pack absolutely everything on to your platter at once. It’s easy enough to restock items on the platter as your afternoon or evening goes on, which will also help in keeping items like crackers and bread fresh.
10 – Don’t forget the beverages! Be sure to have a few different drinks on hand to serve guests as they graze on your platter and serve them up in something a little special, too - the Momento Crystalline or Luigi Bormioli ranges will each have the perfect glass for what you need.