Browsing Tag

buffet table


Spring Garden Sweet and Savory Table

Garden table flowers

Garden table flowers

This wonderful garden themed table was designed by Kreavie for a Sweet 16 birthday party. You could recycle the concept for a baby shower or a toddler birthday. The mix of sweet and savory food provides an occasion to be more creative with the food presentation.

spring garden buffet table food

Details that are worth stealing are the chocolate cupcake in a terra-cotta flower pot, the vegetable chips (turnips, carrots, green beans) and a roll of kraft paper became a tablecloth. O.xide Design used seasonal flowers in garden containers to set the mood. The cones are made of bamboo.

+ Sweet 16 Sweet and Savory Table from Kreavie
+ Floral Design: O.xide Design
+ Photos: Julia C.Vona


DIY Buffet and Food Presentation Ideas

flatware display

flatware display

With the wedding season that will soon reach its height, I thought it would be a great ideas to share amazing details for the DIY brides-to-be. But these are so simple to make that you could use them for a stylish picnic or a baby shower.

Flatware Sleeves

Get inspired by how this flatware is served. This look is perfect for an outdoor event. I suggest that you put everything on a clear cellophane bag closed with a custom made sticker. Design the sleeve to fit your bag.  At best, make select a bag that is tall enough so that you do not have to fold the napkin.

Stylish Cookie Kebab Presentation

lemon-meringue cookie kebabs by martha stewart

It is easy to reproduce this superb presentation. The people at Martha Stewart Weddings did it by first lining a deep-enough serving tray with a sheet of Styrofoam. Then, poke the skewers through so they stand upright, and cover with a layer of candy. Depending on your party theme, you could use sesame seeds or colored glass beads to  cover the Styrofoam.

Citrus Sugar

citrus sugar fruit salad

A sure way to enhance a simple recipe is to bring to the next level the finishing touch. Here a citrus sugar adds panache to a fruit salad. Making your own citrus sugar is easy. All you have to do is to mix in a food processor (using a small bowl) zest of 1 orange, the zest of 1 lime and one mint sprig to 5 or 6 tablespoons of superfine sugar. You can also add a teaspoon of grapefruit zest. Decorate the fruit salad with a few mint leaves. Double or triple the recipe so you can display a jar or two of citrus sugar next to your serving plate.

+ Tendence 2010 Exhibition – photo by  Jean-Luc Valentin
Lemon-meringue cookie kebabs by Martha Stewart Weddings – Spring 2011 edition
+ Zeste Dec. 2010-Feb. 2011 edition


Food Presentation Ideas for Easter

food presentation for an easter or a housewarming party

food presentation for an easter or a housewarming party

I came across the wonderful housewarming party planned by Jessica of Modern Moments in collaboration with photographer Courtney Jade. The style of the buffet table was developed around the nest, which is a theme all appropriate for Easter. Look at how a lemon gained interest when it rested on a nest.

food presentation of savory appetizers

They opted for a mix of sweet and savory food. See how original is the way they serve a Caesar salad. Paying attention to food presentation brings its rewards. If you use your imagination, you can keep the food simple and impress without passing too much time in the kitchen. And what I like about this concept is that you can do a lot in advance: shopping for your props and designing the table.

tulip centerpieces

Finally, look at how easy it is to create a wonderful centerpiece with seasonal flowers. Tall wine glasses are a good option if the flower stems are kept short.

I wish that looking at these pictures have inspired you to to adapt the theme to your style of entertaining.

+ Welcome to our little nest housewarming party from Modern Moments – photos by Courtney Jade Photography
+ Arbor Mist Brunch by Hostess with the Mostess – includes free printables


French-Inspired Breakfast Table

french-inspired buffet table

I am craving for some viennoiseries looking at this sight. After the sweet tables and the s’mores stations, I presented you a delightful French-inspired breakfast table. It has a rustic flair and everything looks so delicious.

jars of jam :: french-inspired buffet table

See how you can elevate the look of a jar of jam with a black satin ribbon and a spoon tied to the jar. For the finishing touch, they insert each jar inside a ramekin. Your guests can bring the whole thing to their table and use the ramekin to serve the jam.

The soothing color palette and the materials of the tableware play a major role in making this table feels out of the ordinary. Remarkable wood trays mix with Emily Henry’s Urban Colors Ovenware and Tableware in sand and slate.  Les Touilleurs supplied the trays and the Emily Henry ceramic dishes and bowls. This beautiful breakfast table was styled by the Kreavie team with the collaboration of Vanessa of Damask & Dentelle.

They inspired me. I can’t wait to make my own version. It might be a good idea for the Easter brunch.

+ Sweet table : Petit déjeuner à la française from Kreavie
+ photography by Julia C. Vona


Ready-to-fill Tartlet Shells, Cones, and Cone Stands

ready-to-fill tartlet shells and cones :: la roise noire collection

ready-to-fill tartlet shells and cones :: la roise noire collection

Cool & Simple is a fabulous boutique in Montreal that will answer many of your entertaining dreams. They sell upscale frozen food that are perfect for entertaining at home. I served several times their products at my parties. I like the fact that you can buy it in advance.

Ready-to-fill Cones and Tartlet Shells

I am sure that many of you will welcome a little help with the basics. Take for instance, these ready-to-fill tartlet shells and cones. You simply reheat the shells, if necessary, and prepare your own fillings to create awesome canapes.

Introduced in Hong Kong by avant-garde pastry chef Gérard Dubois, the cones from La Rose Noire collection come in 7 flavors: black sesame, spinach black sesame, green tea, tomato, curry, chocolate, and plain white. You can fill them with hot, cold, salty or sweet fillings.

cone stands for entertaining

You are probably wondering how you will serve the cones at your buffet table. Do not worry since Cool & Simple carries several cone stands. You will find one that fits your party size.

The tartlet shells are shaped as a square, a circle, a triangle and a rectangle. The tartlet shells are available in several dimensions. Some are savory while the sweet shells are made with a vanilla or a chocolate shell.

With those, you do not need to hire a caterer to get a professional look that your guests will remember. Beware that these more fancy products are not available online. In that case, you must shop at the Cool & Simple boutique or get it through one of Gastronomia’s distributors.

+ La Rose Noire Collection at Gastronomia
+ Black sesame cones $42.95 CAD for 83 cones at Cool & Simple
+ Mini-triangle savory tartlet shells $13.95 CAD for 35 shells

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Fruit and Vegetable Carvings for Foodies

carved and sculpted watermelon by mia bureau of ephemere

This is post by my friend Nathalie, who is a true foodie and the blogger behind Foodies Emporium. Check out her post about the cutest Bento boxes in Montreal. You can follow her on Twitter as Indigonat.

carved and sculpted watermelon by mia bureau of ephemere

I visited “Saveurs & Tentations” trade-show recently in Montreal and I was mesmerized by Mia Bureau’s food carving creations. She really brings table decoration to a brand new level. Mia’s business, Éphémère is specialized in food carving installations for events, but she also gives workshops at her studio and at other venues.

I was so enthralled by what I saw that I started gathering information about this traditional Asian skill. Did you know that fruit and vegetable carving originated in Thailand during the floating lantern festival about 700 years ago? During that festival which happens every year during the full moon of December they thank the soul of water by decorating floating lanterns. The fruits and vegetable carved lanterns were so popular that it started a trend in the country.

fruit carving and sculpting at CTV programming launch

We now find stunning fruits and vegetable carvings at high end hotels throughout Asia. You can even hire a fruit carver, like Mia, to create unique table ornaments for special events or weddings, even in North America, but be prepared to splurge because carving takes a lot of time. For example, to carve a watermelon, it can take up to 80 hours of work. You can see Mia in action by watching a few videos (the CTV interview is in English and the other ones are in French). Mia’s skills are recognized around the world as she won some international awards.

If you are into craft and would like to learn fruit carving, some cooking schools and some carving artists are giving classes. You can also learn by watching videos on You Tube or by buying books specialized in Fruit and vegetables carvings starting with these two books:

+ Food carving books for beginners: The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving: Elegant Garnishes for All Occasions $16.47 USD at [affiliate link]
Complete Step by Step Vegetable and Fruit Carving $39.95 USD

+ Food carving lessons UK
+ Éphémère, Mia Bureau’s school and food carving business
+ first photo: @indigonat
+ CTV programming launch photo: Éphémère


Halloween Finds at Horchow

halloween photo frames and cake stand at horchow

halloween photo frames and cake stand at horchow

You can set the tone of a dessert table with a few selected items that stand out. Take, for example, the Halloween picture frames. It’s definitely for a grown up party with a Victorian vibe. They would make a great addition to your dessert table decorated with those carved pumpkins.

The cake stands would mix well with silver and glittery Halloween accessories that you already have. You can use it for a mystery island with a Mad scientist party theme.

+ Halloween Picture Frames $50 USD for a set of 2
+ Skull Halloween Cake Stand $98


Britain Buffet Servers for an Elegant Buffet Table

britain buffet servers in pewter

britain buffet servers in pewter

Elegant buffet servers enhance the look of your table. Holders and caddies are handy to bring the plates and flatware from your kitchen to the table. The pattern of the Britain Buffet Servers is neither truly traditional nor modern. And the beauty of pewter means that this set will never go out of style. I like it to bring a formal sense to your buffet table.

britain buffet servers with glass dishes

Made of pewter, the Britain Buffet Servers are handcrafted in Italy. The baker and flatware caddies come with dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe, and oven-safe glass inserts. They are available at Horchow.

+ Pewter Flatware Caddy $340 USD
+ Pewter Dinner Plate Holder $240
+ Pewter Salad Plate Holder $200
+ Pewter Single Baker $230
+ Pewter Double Baker $230


Delicious Canapes at my Birthday Party

buffet table at my birthday

buffet table at my birthday

It has been two months since my birthday party. My husband Jerome did a fantastic job organizing my birthday party without my help. He did it all in one week, just after our return from our trip to Japan. Our friend Nathalie of Foodies Emporium was in charge of the menu. Nat also suggested the welcoming drink, a glass of Champagne with Wild Hibiscus Confit.

Chef Louis Roy-Potvin at Avocado and KIm Vallee

She ordered 10 different canapés – 8 savory bites and 2 sweet  treats – from Avocado, a Montreal caterer. The Chef Louis Roy-Potvin came to my house, just before the party begins, to present me the food. This was a nice touch. They planned it to give me a few minutes with the chef before the guests arrive.

scallop tartar with meat pie spices on mirin crispy rice cake

My husband was to integrate a hint of Japan in my party. Japanese element mixed with local ingredients in the food and the floral arrangements. We had a special sushi called Langue de Dragon (Dragon tongue), and pictured above, scallop tartar canapes with meat pie spices on mirin crispy rice cake.

meat canapes at my birthday by avocado

Bison gravlax marinated in Chartreuse, served with quince jam and fried shallots.

asparagus wrapped in melted Fjord du Saguenay cheese with dried cranberries

I enjoyed the asparagus wrapped in melted Fjord du Saguenay cheese with dried cranberries. After the canapes, it was time for the local cheese platters. Artisanal cheese makers in Quebec have raised the bar over the years. You should try some. My birthday cake was one of my favorite cakes, a refreshing fraisier. He ordered it at Patisserie Belge.

oxyde design flower

It’s O.xyde Design, the same florist that I used for his birthday, that did mine. They knew how we arrange the buffet table, since he reused the same setting. We found that this is the setting that works the best for our house.

We had plenty of fun. The food was excellent. He carried the theme beautifully by infusing the color green throughout the decor. I was impressed by what my husband did. Thanks, my love, for a wonderful party.


Party Decor Tips from Real-Life Parties

decorate your stands for the dessert table

decorate your stands for the dessert table

Many readers got in touch lately about the party they did. You can feel Amy Atlas inspirations in every one of their dessert table. I decided to illustrate event design tips that are worth stealing from their party photos. I selected two kids birthdays and one bridal shower.

Pool Party for a  5 years old

Maureen of Anders Ruff Custom Designs did a pool party for the 5th birthday of her son. Make it easy to coordinate everything by selecting a palette widely available in store. Green and blue are hot this summer. And both represent the hues of ocean water. This was a great choice. Maureen uses the blue for boys and the green for girls.

dessert table and lunch served in a sand pail

She used toys as lunch containers. She put the lunch bag into a sand pail personalized with the name of each kid. This is a good idea also if some of your lunch bags are for kids with dietary constraints. A pail made it easy for the kids to carry their lunch and after they have a toy to play with.

make it easy to coordinate everything by selecting a palette widely available in store

She designed the banner, the party circles and all the labels. She sells those on Etsy. One thing that elevates her dessert table is the fact that she wrapped the boxes / stands. A mix of gift wrapping papers and ribbons is all you need to make an impact. You can read of the details and see more photos on her blog.

More Ideas

be original with how you serve your food

Be original with how you serve the food. For a green and white bridal shower, Mandy of Everyday Obsession tied the spoon to the tumbler glass. It feels special and it is practical.

one favor tag design per popcorn flavor

Add variety with your labels. Kristina at Modern Frills has one favor tag design done for each flavor of her popcorn take-home bags. It’s Kim from TomKat Studio who designed the party invitations, cupcake toppers, and labels.

+ Custom Matching Party Logos for cupcake toppers, address labels, favor tags, stickers by Anders Ruff $7.50 USD
+ Custom Happy Birthday Banner Design by  Anders Ruff $15


Milk Glass and Porcelain Cake Stands

decor bon bon by rosanna cake and friandises stands

Any beautiful sweet tooth table starts with cake stands. You need a few stands to make a statement. You aim to get 2 or 3 sizes that you can stack. The ones on the Miette’s candy table (previous post) are superb. I do not think that they sell them. A milk glass or glossyfinish porcelain adds sparkles in a classy way. Here are some suggestions, if you are on the market for cake stands.

What I like about the Decor Bon Bon series at Rosanna is the diversity of the container. It mixes bowls on pedestal with rimmed plates and the standard cake stands. That mix already created interest on your table. It also teach you that you assemble your own set using flea market finds and store bought stands. The key for a cohesive look is to restrict your options to the same color or shape. The Decor Bon Bon series was inspired by Victorian era tableware.

It’s OK to be Square

cake stands by martha stewart collection at macy\'s

The square plates can hold more food. It is something to consider since you lose space when you stack them. Martha Stewart carries a line of affordable square cake stands in three dimensions.

+ Decor Bon Bon Cake Stand by Rosanna $35 USD
+ Martha Stewart Collection Whiteware Cake Stands on sale $14.99 to $29.99 at Macy’s