Grazing tables are taking over our Instagram feeds, but Melbourne event and catering company, Ed Dixon Food Design have been creating grazing magic for over ten years. We asked the team to share some of their ideas and methods to create the most beautiful table with the tastiest combos to keep your friends in awe and (most importantly) well–fed.
1. Select A Hero Element
A good starting point is deciding upon the hero elements of your table, this could be a stunning array of cheeses, a whole glazed leg of ham, or even a salmon gravlax. These items should take a place of pride on the table, preferably a higher position, then surrounded with accompaniments. A grazing table should also be accommodating to all of your guests – be sure to consider some vegetarian, gluten free and vegan inclusions.
2. Choose Quality Ingredients
Choose high quality produce and ingredients, this ensures the best flavour, texture and appearance of your offering. We recommend chatting to your greengrocer or deli assistant to see what is in season and what are their recommendations – it never hurts to get expert advice.
Some of our favourite grazing table additions are baby stuffed peppers with queso fresco, lemon & dill as well as a decadent picnic spread including fennel seed salami, crunchy crudité with house-made tzatziki, a variety of artisan breads and crackers and a rustic pea, ricotta & mint tarte.
3. Allow For Breathing Room
The size of your grazing table is also important, be sure to choose something that is large enough. The trend we are seeing is a table packed full of food, with every surface covered.
But in our experience a bit of breathing room between each bowl/platter allows for guests to easily select what they’d like and experience flavours that haven’t run into each other. And overall, we find this aesthetic to be much more elegant.
4. Create Food Pairings
Another important tip is considering the flow of food. Place items together that would be consumed together. For example – make sure the range of ham condiments are close to the leg of ham, consider having some fresh fruit amongst the cheeses for a lovely combination. You don’t want your guests scrambling around the table to find the crackers to go with the cheese!
Classic flavours: hard and soft cheeses with fresh and dried fruits, quince paste and parmesan crustinis.