The Pandemic has given a new meaning to ‘Experiential’ Dining; we no longer depend on restaurants to host fancy dinners but do it ourselves in the comfort of our own homes. We are always looking for ways to make our dinners delicious and celebratory while keeping the wow factor of a restaurant alive. The beauty of the grazing table is not only in its appearance but also in its please-all assortment. The various gourmet treats are laid out—craftily, mind you—for guests to nibble on as the event progresses. No waiters, no enquiries, no clearing necessary or a host anxious about making sure each guest has a plate. Grazing tables have become trendy thanks to today's world of Instagram. Preeti Rathod, the founder of The Theatric Platter, a home-grown eco-conscious grazing brand, tells us why.
What Is A Grazing Table?
Grazing tables have become very popular at parties because people can eat as they please and choose the food items that most appeal to them. They can be very elaborate and over the top, but at its core, grazing tables are quite simple. Creating grazing tables can be both fun and easy. It allows you to prepare food in advance, gives the host more time to socialise at the party, and simply impresses your guests. It's a table filled with small bites of food for people to 'graze' on. It is a new age concept and replacement of elaborate buffets. It’s all about boards, platters or spreads laden with cheese, crackers, fruits, nuts, olives, meats the choice is unlimited. It's aesthetically placed and a feast for the eyes. The key is making the food into bite-sized, small pieces.
What’s The Difference Between A Grazing Table And A Buffet?
Grazing tables are a more decadent alternative to a buffet, using high-quality ingredients and stunning styling. In a buffet one still has to have multiple chafing dishes, waiters, and cutlery and a whole set of an army to help you. On the other hand with a grazing table, we just have to lay the table without worrying about anything. Traditionally food displayed in buffets is normally wasted and the thought of hosting in a manner where food was not wasted and also an easy yet elegant style of dining was the main idea.
What are the Fundamental Basics to Build a Grazing Platter?
Choosing the perfect ingredients for a grazing table is key. You can also create a table that tailors to your guests’ dietary needs and likes. That's part of the fun in creating a grazing table—there are no hard and fast rules. The fundamental basic is to have bite-sized food and nothing heavy and gravy based. One should have hard, soft, semi-soft types of cheese for all. It should be easy to nibble and graze around.
• Pick a theme, the options are endless
• Pick the right table size, makes sure it is proportionate to the amount of food to be served.
• Use neutral-coloured plates, bowls and serving trays.
• Use seasonal, local produce to ensure a balance of ingredients, colour and texture.
• Choose baskets to keep your bread. For crackers, use flat plates and line them properly.
• Add herbs and greenery for freshness and visual interest. Plus, it makes it look good enough to eat.
• Cut cheese in bite-sized pieces so your guests don't struggle with cutting.
• Place larger pieces of cheese on footed stands and breadsticks and baguettes in glasses for height.
• Keep a mix of hard, semi-hard, soft and creamy cheeses. Pair them with fruits and honey.
• If adding sweet treats to the grazing table, make sure you present it on a cake stand to highlight it, so guests can catch sight of it amidst the jumble.
• Don’t use food that is too big or too messy. Bite-sized food sans gravy is best.
• Keep small disposable plates for your guests to nibble and move away.
• Lastly, have fun and let your creative juices flow!
What Is The Theatric Platter?
Putting together a spread that is filling yet so beautiful pulled me towards grazing tables. The Theatric Platter delivers beautiful eco-friendly platters of exquisite cheese, crackers, fruits, spreads, and meat to elevate cocktail hour. This eco-conscious grazing brand has a unique take on the traditional buffet with an attention to detail. We use 100 per cent local ingredients rather than the imported ones. We believe in quality over quantity so what seraphim us apart is we don't take the cheese off the shelf and label it ours also we are big believers of sustainable food practices. We always tell our customers how to use the leftovers as well. We have zero usage of plastic, all our packaging is biodegradable and made of palm leaf, and even our boards are made out of wood that has not been cut but eventually fallen off.
What Does The Future Hold?
We are currently in Delhi and Mumbai, so we want to expand to other cities and built an all sustainable/ eco-friendly cafe. The other recent development that we are working on is mid-range boxes/platters, for intimate dinners. Since our platters start from a certain range we know that a lot of people don't want to spend so much so we made sure that everyone can experience it.