Entertaining Ideas

Emile HenryDress up a buffet table for casual holiday entertaining!

When you have a large gathering, there's often not enough places at the table to seat all your guests, so a buffet provides a casual and comfortable alternative. The key to making your buffet a visual and culinary treat is to choose easy to serve and eat menus, and then presenting it with flare and creativity.

Consider the following tips for your next buffet event:

  • If possible, have the table set up in the middle of the room, so guests can access the food from both sides, which speeds up the flow of traffic and prevents congestion.
  • For strong visual impact, use a variety of different platters and bowls (we carry beautiful serving dishes from Emile Henry, Denby and ArtGlass); hoteliers and restaurateurs often create stunning buffets by setting dishes on different levels (an industry secret — the pedestals on which the dishes are presented may be nothing more than buckets, stacking crates, or any other sturdy item — they are then covered in elegant linens, on which the serving dish is placed, and no one is ever the wiser!)
  • Place dishes logically on the table: start with a stack of plates; then the entrée (pre-cut into serving portions); follow with starch dishes, vegetables, salads, bread/rolls; place appropriate serving forks and spoons beside bowls and platters; follow with relishes or sauces, salt and pepper and any other condiments; finish with cutlery and napkins.
  • Have a beverage station on a different table or in a different location, slightly removed from the heavy traffic area, if possible.
  • If space permits, have a special dessert table, or clear the main table once guests have finished eating, and set out dessert, coffee, tea & liqueurs, as desired. The Keurig Gourmet One-Cup Coffee/Tea maker is ideal for making a variety of hot beverages.