Welcome to the wonderful world of buffets but only more colourful and more beautiful. By now, it would be impossible if you haven't come across a grazing table. They are across social media and their delectable goodness, as well as the good mix of colour, will definitely make you turn your head if not drool a little.
If there's a group that can pull off a good grazing table, it's no doubt the team behind Al Marsa Gourmet. Working hand in hand behind the scene are Nico Durin, who owns the company, Chef Thony Renard, the creative mind behind the constantly evolving offerings, Amina Marais, the fun and vibrant customer experience and marketing expert supported by Larisa Renard who puts the warmth and capital H in hospitality.
Hosting a media event in the boho-chic flat of the Durins, the last cool breeze of winter trying desperately to hold on, we sat down with this group to explain a little what this grazing table phenomenon is all about.
Can you explain what a grazing table is? And when is the best time to have it?
A grazing table is a new type of entertainment! When we hosted parties and dinners at home, we were crafting big boards of cheeses and charcuterie as always, but more and more often found ourselves adding the dips, spreads, and crudites into the plating and display versus separate and alongside.
Our vision grew from there as we realized that the more we added into the display, the more fun it became and an idea began to take shape. In addition to the striking visual impact of a full feasting table, we realized that we could simply sit back and enjoy the evening, the food, and our company that much more than having to run courses and constantly be up and down from the table.
I think you can make a grazing table at any time of the day or season. It could be a breakfast grazing table with croissants and various fillings or dinner with more charcuterie and cheese. The choice is yours!
What do you think of themed (tropical, breakfast, vegan, dessert table) grazing tables? Which one do you think is perfect in Oman this summer?
I strongly suggest that if you do decide on a grazing table that it be under shade in a cool spot. If the grazing table has direct heat on it, cheeses and cured meats will start to melt and create moisture. This doesn't always look the best especially considering summer in Oman. Regarding the theme, for me, it is the beauty of the grazing table experience, you can add as many items as you want and please all guests with different diets.
What are the must-haves for the perfect grazing table? Why are these good inclusions to such a fancy event?
So many options here. People love cheese, fresh bread, and speciality meats. Anything else you add is icing on the cake. But you can literally do anything!
Here are some of my favourite things to include on a grazing table are:
Dippers: Assorted crackers & fresh bread. (we have a delicious variety of French bread at Al Marsa Gourmet, that only need to be heated in the oven before serving)
Veggies: Mini bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, carrot chips, cucumber, broccoli spears, cauliflower (You can get our signature Large Veggie box all ingredients are there)
Cheese: Brie, Gouda, sharp cheddar, goat cheese, Comanche, blue Stilton, Brie
Meat: Halal Salami, Halal sopressata, or cold cut platter from our website
Nuts: Spiced nuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews
Briny: Marinated olives, mixed veggie platter from Al Marsa Gourmet
Dips: Hummus, tzatziki, jam
Fruit: Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, citrus, dried fruit, candied oranges
Make sure you remember to add the greens. Honestly, Eucalyptus leaves are my favourite because it is a pretty shade of green and they smell lovely! Spread out the flowers around the staples already laid on the table and get creative with it. Have FUN, there is no way you can mess up flowers and food.
What can you recommend for those whose first time arranging for a grazing table start with? What is the best budget to work around and get a presentable variety of food?
Before shopping, make the list of products that you are planning to use keeping in mind the number of guests, who you are planning to impress with your grazing table.
The budget depends on the table and the number of people, of course! Making a grazing table yourself will actually save you money instead of going with catering companies. Here is all about the quality of products that you displaying. The quality of cheese and the quality of halal cold cuts is a must!