Let me clarify one thing here: buffet has nothing to do with Phoebe Buffet from TV show called Friends although the character is also a vegetarian. Having said that, a buffet is actually a system of serving meals. You, as the host, prepare the food and place it on your dining table and your guests serve themselves. I personally prefer buffet-style dinner parties because they give the guests freedom to choose what they want to eat. If you have an outdoor area, they can even take their food and drink outside and turn this experience into an alfresco one too. Talk about “movable feast.”
As simple as it sounds, putting together a buffet-style party still requires careful organisation and consideration. Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered.
Things to Consider When Preparing the Menu for a Vegetarian Buffet-Style Party
• Having a theme is good. However, do not exaggerate. For example; you do not want to serve 20 dishes featuring the same ingredient. Certain themes like Middle Eastern or Mediterranean are good as they would still give you the opportunity to create many dishes using a huge variety of ingredients. On top of that, I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t like Mediterranean style of food.
• You need to make sure that each item you have on your menu goes well with the others. Remember, your guests will be having combinations of food from your buffet. So, they need to be cohesive in flavour department.
• Make sure that the portions are bite-size; easy to pick up from the dinner table and drop onto the plate. Your guests will be carrying a plate with just a fork. When possible, use toothpick for certain foods like a cube of cheese, a cherry tomato and an olive threaded on a toothpick. You could do the same thing with grapes, too.
• Quiches, galettes, tarts, cakes and bread need to be pre-sliced before the guests arrive.
• Make it colourful. Colours are incredibly inviting when it comes to food. Variety is the key here however make sure that everything you put out on the table has great flavour combinations, colour and they should complement each other.
• Always provide a few different types of bread and crackers without forgetting gluten-free options.
• Serve dessert and fruit platters at the end. Cut fruit into bite-sized pieces if necessary.
• Streamline drink options. People tend to go crazy in the presence of free alcohol and things get out of hand. So, keep it simple by limiting drink options to red wine, white wine, beer and water. Open all the wine bottles and provide ice buckets for white wine. You might like to serve water in jugs.
• Don’t forget the condiments, salt and pepper.
• Make sure you have enough plates, tableware, glasses and napkins. It’s OK to use disposable ones. Just make sure they can be recycled.
In my next post, I’ll talk about food ideas for a vegetarian Buffet-style party. So, stay tuned, Peoples.