It’s official: we’re crazy about grazings. Grazing tables are taking over wedding receptions, birthday shindigs, and even your classic corporate event in place of the usual roaming canapes or party buffet – and for good reason!
A family-style feast table is a visual treat as well as an edible one. For the uninitiated, a grazing is an elevated version of a charcuterie platter or antipasto board. Usually laid out on a large table, your standard graze most often features artisan meats and cheeses, a variety of gourmet crackers or breads, dips, spreads, fresh or dried fruits, and greenery to garnish.
A grazing can be themed (e.g. a tropical graze, breakfast grazing, or dessert table) but in essence, it’s a big, beautiful spread of amazing food ready to be snapped and shared. Few food ideas are as fun as a gorgeous graze, and the grazing table ideas are honestly endless!
We’ve styled hundreds of grazings all around Australia and for every occasion imaginable, including grazing boxes! If you’d rather leave it to the pros, that’s what we’re here for – but if you’re keen to DIY, here are our tips to help you style your graze like Gathar.
Start by knowing how much to put on your grazing platter boards
Forget the charcuterie and cheese board: all aboard the grazing train!
Hen’s parties, baby showers… even corporate catering is cottoning onto the idea of swapping sandwich platters for grazing platters! But how do you know how much to buy to style your spread and feed your guests?
Gathar grazing tables are designed by the metre, with one metre feeding up to 25 guests as nibbles. It can be easy to go overboard – when we’re talking meats, cheeses and more, suddenly your simple DIY grazing ends up costing you a small fortune.
Here’s a rough guide for quantities based on six adults:
- 2x speciality cheeses
- 1x pack artisan crackers
- 1x quality dip
- 100g cured meats
- 1x block quality chocolate
- 1x statement fruit (e.g. a bunch of grapes or figs)
- 1x vegetable turned into crudites (e.g. carrot or cucumber)
- 1x bunch of herbs for styling (e.g. rosemary, sage, thyme)
- 1x punnet seasonal berries
- 1x packet nuts or seeds (e.g. walnuts, pepitas)
- 1x freshly baked bread, sliced (e.g. cobb or focaccia)
Add tasty splashes of colour to your grazing board
The best food tables taste as good as they look, and vice versa. To create an epic grazing feast, pops of colour are essential. After all, we eat with our eyes first.
When it comes to colour, nature’s bounty provides. Think: halved dragon fruit, blushing stone fruit, vibrant veggie dips, mixed snacking tomatoes, radiant radishes, multi-colour carrots… not your standard party foods, am I right?
If you have gaps on your table to fill, add extra colour and texture with pockets of dried fruits, bright, tangy pickles, mixed olives, or sweet treats like brownie bites. Now your party food platters are ready to party!
Gorgeous spreads often follow a theme, too, whether it’s a breakfast grazing table or tropical grazing table; tied into a specific colour for a gender reveal or matching the table decor at a wedding.
Brulee that brie to make a simple grazing platter pop
If you have a flair for creative food ideas, this one will be right up your alley. Gone are the days of cheese boards with cubes of tasty and *shudder* cabanossi.
Level up your cheese platter game with the addition of a bruleed brie: a soft, salty cheese with a sweet toffee crust caramelised to perfection.
Brie or camembert is the perfect cheese to brulee with its white mould rind and mild, oozy middle. Did somebody say food porn?
To make the brulee top for your brie, use a superfine sugar such as caster, so the crystals quickly caramelise. If the crystal is too big, you’ll burn the rind (although a little toasty rind is normal during this process) or may end up with chunks of sugar crystals instead of a glazed crust.
Sprinkle an even layer of sugar over the top of the cheese, grab yourself a brulee torch, gently toast the sugar until it’s bubbly and golden, et voila: the perfect sweet, savoury star for your cheese table!
Give your small grazing platter more substance with tiers
An easy way to level up party platters is by taking away the platter and styling your party snacks on a shared table. Make sure you lay down some food-safe paper first to keep things hygienic.
If shared style isn’t an option right now, keep things COVID-friendly by setting up individual grazing servings on a shared table for guests to collect themselves.
The second way to elevate your grazing experience is by adding contrasting heights using wooden boards, cake stands, or marble platters balanced on overturned ceramic bowls. A tiered grazing table adds another level (get it?) of interest, and extra substance to your spread.
While we’re talking about substance, it’s a good time to mention quality. You’ll never find home-brand hummus on a Gathar grazing table; we encourage our grazing stylists to source the highest quality local produce from gourmet delis and farmer’s markets. Trust us: it pays to skip the supermarket.
Use greenery to make a simple grazing table superb
Our final styling tip when it comes to grazing platter ideas is going green. Even the simplest charcuterie boards can be transformed with long sprigs of rosemary, fronds of eucalyptus, or olive branches.
Greenery is perfect to fill any unused space and add a touch of contrast. This is also what makes grazing tables one of the best wedding ideas in place of a boring old food buffet: grazing can be styled to match your wedding decorations with fresh flowers or edible flowers to garnish.
Heck, the wedding cake could even take pride of place in the centre of the grazing! In other words, your wedding catering should most definitely include a grazing, if it doesn’t already.
The key to any amazing grazing is ensuring a good spread of flavours and textures. If you’re looking for a grazing stylist to do the hard work for you, Gathar can create beautiful grazing tables whenever you are from Brisbane to Melbourne, and all around Australia.