Holiday Party Planning – Setting a Buffet Table

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,138
    Food and prop stylist Annette Joseph teaches you how to set a buffet table on a budget for your holiday party.

    Annette Joseph: Hi! I am Annette Joseph, a food and prop stylist. And I am going to show you how to create a holiday party on a budget. Now that we've put all the elements together, I am going to walk you through the buffet table and hopefully by the end of all this, your table will look just like this or even better. When I think about my buffet table, I always think about my table in terms of functionality. I think about it in terms of flavors. And I think about it in terms of heights and composition. And what I mean by heights and composition is, I like things to be on several heights and the way I did this on this buffet table in particular is I used boxes that were gift wrapped. Now to be really, really economical you could take your boxes from underneath your Christmas tree and you could put them on your table and use them as risers as I have here. For example, this small box has got a beautiful little container of hummus on it and it is a little bit above all the accoutrements that go with it, like the carrots and the broccoli and some cucumber slices. We've used wonderful texture by using these bushel baskets and tissue paper. It's also economical, because what I do is I collect bushel baskets from the grocery store and I store them and I use them on my buffet table all the time. It's one of my favorite tricks to do. I also like to use cake plates, cake stands to elevate everything and here we've done a beautiful plate of Bruschetta with some olives in the centers, a little bit of herbs and we've used actually wrapping paper to put everything on. Speaking of wrapping paper, I like to, instead of a table cloth, use wrapping paper. Yes, regular rolls of Christmas or holiday wrap on your table and if you use the kind that have a little bit of sheen to it, usually you can wipe it off, if it has any soil on it, and re-purpose it. In other words, use it to wrap your gifts, which I think is kind of fun and clever idea. I am all about those. As far as functionality goes, I like to put everything on one side of the table, all the napkins, all the forks, all the plates, salt and pepper, any condiments on one side of the table so people can easily pick up their plate, everything that goes along with it and move around the table with grace and ease while chatting with your friends. Then what I have done is I have dotted the entire landscape of my buffet table with these cute and very easy to do flower arrangements. Their vases, we've wrapped them again in wrapping paper and we've strung them with this wonderful baker's or butcher's string and tied little cute little bells on them to make them festive.

    We have here a fantastic stuffed debris that we have actually just wrapped in parchment paper exactly like Christmas gift. It's very easy to access and the coolest thing about it is your friends and your family will cut into it or your guest will make a big mess and you'll take this piece of paper and you'll toss it. And then I love to use things like jars and I have this jar here and it's filled with jar tapenade, so all of a sudden we've made it very special just by using a vessel, another stylist tip. It's great to use a jar on your table and this one actually is great vessel because it has a red top. So now that you know, how to make a deconstructed cannoli, we've put it in this wonderful little arrangement here on the back of the buffet. This is actually an ornament container, so I have put these cute little cannolis that we've made into our ornament tray. I have actually put a couple of little, cute little ornaments in there too, just to kind of a node to what it is and it's kind of whimsical and fun. And then we have our cute little cannoli that looks a lot like an ornament and your guest can help themselves and they can mingle and walk around the house and enjoy their cannoli. One final thought is if you put all these elements together on your table, no matter how you arrange your table, it's all going to look great together. I hope that these tips have helped you with your holiday celebration and I know that you are going to have a great time with your guest. So enjoy, and remember to relax and have fun and happy holidays.