Today’s food stations are not the buffets of years ago. Gone are the days of long buffet tables where guests line up to get food, and not much else. Today, a food station helps tie together the event’s theme, let the celebrant’s personality shine through, and even let guests learn more about the cuisine being served.
If you’d like to design your own food station, try the following tricks:
1. Take your theme to the extremes.
The food station will be a huge part, if not the focal point, of your event, so it’s only fitting that you integrate the event theme into the station design, down to the menu.
Treat your food station like a piece of art – incorporate a stunning visual, curate and arrange the food well, and let it tell a story about you, or your chosen theme for the event. What you want to achieve is an aesthetically pleasing masterpiece that also delivers when it comes to taste.
2. Introduce local culture.
Food is a great way to introduce guests to local culture, especially if you have people coming from abroad. If it’s suited to your theme, choose a range of local dishes and use local produce for the food that you’ll serve. Complete the food station with sign cards, photos, or even an accompanying video, that can offer a quick explanation of their origin.
3. Make it interactive.
Speaking of local culture, one way to engage your guests is also to educate them about different means of food preparation. You can actually add theatre to your food station by preparing the food right in front of guests. For example, you can have an oyster shucking or sushi preparation station, where a Chef personally stands there in front of guests as they stand around, watching the entire process. This can even serve as your intermission in between event breaks. Another plus of on-the-spot preparation? Food tastes so much better when it’s prepared fresh!
4. Don’t forget the drinks!
Drinks are often the forsaken part of the event menu, as we often tend to go for pre-mixed drinks or even store bought beverages. However, a well-thought-of bar list, and a good display of little sips can actually help put together the food station, and create an impression. Tie in your drink list with the menu by coming up with a few alcoholic and non-alcoholic choices that will go well with your chosen dishes, then give them their deserved spot on the food station.
Photo credit: Grain Catering