With holiday parties right around the corner, now is a great time to start thinking about how to make your event sophisticated and memorable!
While things like music and decorations are important, the food can truly set your event apart. You want to feed your guests something delightful that will appeal to all their senses and make them talk about your party for years to come.
But where should you even start to create a great menu?
One great place to start is with your appetizers, because appetizers set the stage for your entire event. Whether you’re hosting an appetizers-only party or serving a few light appetizers before a larger dinner, an artful presentation can make all the difference.
In this article we’ll discuss seven tips for attractive presentation of your appetizers. But before we dive into the presentation tips, let’s briefly discuss what an appetizer is.
What Are Appetizers?
Appetizers, also called hors d'oeuvres or starters, are small finger foods traditionally served before a meal to whet the appetite.
Today, it’s quite common to host appetizer-only parties such as receptions or cocktail parties, where only hors d’oeuvres are served. This allows guests to eat while freely mingling. It also helps keep things simple, since you don’t need cumbersome tableware to serve appetizers—just some toothpicks and cocktail napkins.
But remember it’s important to present your appetizers in a way that comes across as “sophistication” not “Super Bowl party” (Although we aren't saying "Super Bowl party" is all bad! If you are hosting a Super Bowl party, you'll want to read our blog post about unique game day appetizers).
With that in mind, here are methods for presenting your hors d’oeuvres.
Make It Uniform
When all elements of your event appear to go together, the event emits a more sophisticated and polished look.
This applies to your appetizer presentation as well. Consider keeping all of your skewers, picks, plates, tasting utensils and serving trays in the same color scheme and style.
Another way to make a uniform impression with your sophisticated appetizers is to use the same material throughout the presentation. For example, use bamboo skewers alongside bamboo plates for a natural and organic feeling.
Show your guests that you have paid attention to every detail by including those special custom pieces that set your event apart.
One way to do this is to add your logo, event name, or other custom detail to specialty picks.
You can also use customized picks or skewers to offer helpful information, like whether different items are vegan or gluten free. This is helpful for your guests and adds an organized feel to your presentation.
Infusing your presentation with some color gives real life and pizazz! For example, add pineapple or dragon fruit to a beef kabob to liven up the color. Garnish plates with a slice of fresh fruit or drizzle them with a provocative color glaze.
Fresh basil or parsley is also a favorite option to add a bit of color to the plate. Other produce options can add a zest of color, such as carrots, oranges, raspberries, bell peppers or spinach. This trick is especially effective if you use white or neutral serving dishes because they really make the colors pop out.
Roll Them Up
Many food presentation ideas are actually quite simple. Give your appetizers an impressive flair by rolling them up instead of just sticking them on the skewer.
This can take the shape of pin rolls, lettuce-wrapped appetizers, cut wraps or cucumber feta rolls. Stick a decorative pick into the center of each roll-up to keep them in place.
Place each appetizer on its own plate for an elegant look. Arrange all of the little dishes on a large serving platter in a circular pattern or a uniform pattern in which all of the plates are spaced the same amount of distance from each other.
This technique is excellent for enhancing the visual appeal of your party or event.
Using skewers allows you to create a visually inviting setting without having to take up much table space. Skewers can hold meats, but they can also present a beautiful display of fruit or veggies. For example, add olives, banana peppers, sandwich meat, and cheese together as a creative alternative to a sandwich.
You can get incredibly creative with skewer combos, and the options are limitless!
Use small cups or shot glasses as the base for your appetizer. Swirl purple onion, spinach and peppers together at the bottom of a shot glass topped with a cracker or mini bite for an artistic look. Cups can also be wonderful for holding dips for appetizers.
Worried about using all that plastic? Try bamboo tasting cups as an eco-friendly alternative.
Final Tips for Choosing and Presenting Appetizers
As you prepare appetizers for your event, here are some final things to keep in mind while choosing and presenting them!
- Sustainablity: Appetizers can create a lot of plastic waste, so be sure to use eco-friendly picks and dishes! Read more about the benefits of eco-friendly dishes on our blog.
- Food restrictions: You want your event to be fun for everyone, so be sure to ask guests about their dietary restrictions and prepare hors d’oeuvres accordingly. Make and effort to include vegan and gluten free options.
- Variety: If you’re hosting an appetizers-only party, make sure to include a fun variety of appetizer types. You should have sweet options, savory options, protein, starches, and vegetables, as well as spreads and dips. If you need some ideas, here are some tips and recipes for an effortless holiday party buffet.
- Stay safe: If your hors d'oeuvres contain meat, dairy, or eggs, don’t leave them at room temperature for more than two hours. Keep fresh trays in the refrigerator and periodically swap them out.
Remember, you do not have to be a professional chef to focus on attractive food presentation at your event. However, by paying close attention to detail, you can elevate your party to an event to remember.
Are you ready for the perfect custom toothpick or skewer product?
At Pick On Us, we know you want your restaurant, catering business, or other event to be memorable. That's why we offer a variety of custom products:
- Bamboo Toothpicks
- Bamboo Skewers
- Cocktail Toothpicks
- Custom Branded Toothpicks
- Custom Branded Skewers
Also, for more ideas on how to increase your brand and sales with custom toothpicks and skewers, read our blog post on 21 Creative Ways To Use Fancy & Custom Toothpicks.
See what is possible for your food business with the products and customer service from Pick On Us, LLC!