Grazing Tables … The WOW Factor
Grazing tables are the latest food trend that is here to stay. Their popularity has gone through the roof! And the reason why? Not only are these tables fabulous, they also create the “WOW!” factor you don’t get with a sit-down meal. In fact, most grazing tables are masterpieces that look almost too good to eat.
Grazing tables are fun, informal, colourful and flavoursome. Bring your event to the next level by creating the ambience that keeps attendees networking and guests mingling and feasting around a central spread filled with delicious, fresh food. Grazing tables really come into their own at weddings for the time between the wedding and the reception and for late night nibbles when everyone one has worked up an appetite from the dance floor.
If you’ve got heaps of creative family and friends, you can try creating your own grazing table. But let’s face it – the last thing you want is another thing to stress about on the day. You want the time better spent on looking after your guests.
Before you jump in and google for grazing table caterers, here’s something you need to know 2 things:
- Is your caterer is legitimate registered business and has gone through the proper food-safe handling course? Are they operating from an appropriately licensed commercial kitchen and do they have the proper insurance cover and food licences from the appropriate authorities? This is the first common sense step to take in selecting a caterer. You want to make sure you’re taking care of your guests!
- Keep your Google search local – So, if you’re living in Perth, google “Grazing tables Perth”.
Before you contact any caterer, it’s helpful if you know the following:
1. What Is Your Budget?
You may want to splash out and that’s fine. But what if you’re on a budget – as most of us are? Well, a grazing table does not have to be expensive. Just remember it’s a GRAZING table. Having said that, we at The Long Table Perth can cater for your event – whether it be for a substantial tapas style meal or just a light graze. Let us know your budget and we will work our magic – we promise, your table will look no less “Wow!” than a $10,000 table – well, maybe just a little.
We offer the same price whether the grazing table is booked for a baby shower, a wake, a birthday party, a corporate event, a hen’s party, an engagement party or a wedding. We hate the caterers and bakers that jack up the price by 300% as soon as they hear the word “wedding”? So, on principle, we will not do that.
2. How Many People Do You Expect?
We are flexible. We can either cater per person or based on your budget. And if you’re on a REALLY tight budget, go for our Grazing Boxes which will save you our styling fee, but you have to provide the boards – buy or hire – and do the styling of the table yourself. You don’t HAVE to know the exact number but you do need to know a rough number.
3. What Kind Of Set-Up Do You Want?
Grazing table styles are as varied as there are personal likes and dislikes. Make sure you discuss with us the look that you are after. Styling is the key that makes or breaks a grazing table. Some people prefer to have their food only on plates or serving boards. However, the most popular style is the “scatter table” look – we call it “structured messiness” . It may get a little messy once the guests have been picking for a while, but don’t worry! In this type of setting, the guests are too busy mingling and having fun and no one will notice the mess. Just make sure you take your selfies with the food BEFORE you let anyone at it!
4. Are There Any Allergies?
We also need to know if you have allergies such as hay fever – can you imagine the disaster for the guests to go near a table styled with pollen-reeking flowers? Armed with the right information, our experienced stylists can create a show-stopper for your event, no matter what your allergy.
5. What Have We Got To Work With?
Depending on how big your graze is, and where it is held (at home, in a rented venue, indoors or outdoors) and the season, we would generally need to know the size of the table or counter on which to lay the food; whether you want a rustic look or a formal look; or whether you have special items that you want to incorporate into the table e.g. a wedding or birthday cake.
However, grazing tables do not necessarily need to be on tables. They can be on wine barrels, window ledges – we’re limited only by our imagination. We once set up a grazing table for 200 people on a really small space. By the time everything was set up, you would never know that all we had to work with was a coffee table and 2 small lamp tables – unique, but we don’t really recommend it.
6. Make Your Food Selection
Food on a grazing table is typically finger food – bite-sized and served with napkins and toothpicks. There is little mess and almost everything is edible – think “No washing up”! It is best to choose food that can be eaten either cold or at room temperature and won’t perish easily as the food items will be sitting out for some time. BUT! Whatever you choose, an abundance of local and seasonal produce is the key to an epic luscious spread.
Is your table STRICTLY a grazing table? In this case, you can choose from a delightful selection of delectable cold meats (unless you require a vegetarian table), cheeses, olives, assorted breads, crackers, veggie sticks and fruit platters as well as accompaniments such as dips and sauces.
Do you want to include savouries? Here, you have a huge selection to choose from – mini quiches with a variety of toppings, prosciutto and date wraps, gourmet sausage rolls and assorted gourmet tarts such as Mexican, Moroccan and Mushroom. There’s also bocconcini bites, meat and veggie balls, assorted tasty bites with blinis, crostini, etc, as well as Asian delights such as mini spring rolls, mini samosas, mini curry puffs, Malaysian rendang tarts, satay sticks, rice paper rolls and sushi.
Or you could think, “Hang the calories!” and go for a decadent grazing table of glorious desserts. You can choose from mini mouth-watering selections such as brownies, English trifles, lemon tarts, cheese cakes, a variety of donuts, petit fours, rum balls, churros filled with chocolate sauce and macarons as well as chocolate and pavlova or meringue boards.
It is very important to let us know about your guests’ dietary requirements and food preferences. Do you need options such as gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan? Do you have guests who are severely allergic to certain foods? Do you have guests who are celiac? We need to know all these as it affects the way we prepare, pack the food for transport to the venue and display the food. And yes, we can come up with some tasty alternatives for them.
The other thing to consider is, are you going have kids’ options? Most of the time, kids will just eat from the same table but we’ve had requests for a smaller, separate grazing spread for the kids. After it was set up, all the adults wanted to pinch from the kids’ table.
The hardest thing is making a choice – so many selections!! If you can’t make up your mind, you can just leave it to us as some of our customers have done. If you enjoy the selection process, then head to our Home Page and download the latest menu. Whatever you choose for your final list, The Long Table Perth can assure you of a table full of flavours and textures to ensure that your guests remember and talk about your event or wedding day for a long, long time.