Buffet | Creating a Great Presentation

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March 26, 2009

Buffet products set off your catering in appropriate style.

You and your staff spend hours planning and preparing your food; it deserves to be shown off with flair and finesse.

Whether it’s a beautiful chafer, a multi-level stand, or an elegant tray, the right buffet item can make sure your food looks just as appealing as it tastes.

Keep the heat in with style
Keeping food at the right temperature on a buffet is essential. Candle Lamp Company not only makes chafing dish fuel, it offers a Heater frame that’s specially constructed with a fully enclosed shroud to keep in the heat from chafing fuel.

The frame and its matching cover accommodate standard 12x20-inch pans and they’re stackable for easy storage and transport. The Heater is windproof, making it ideal for both outdoor and indoor occasions.

Besides being eminently practical, the Heater frames have beautiful touches; the frames and dome covers can be purchased with a silver or copper vein through them.

For more information about Candle Lamp products, call 877.LAMPS4U or go to www.candlelamp.com.

Multi-level displays elevate your food
Front of the House has designed new tools for the trade that take food presentation to new heights—literally.

Unique, multi-level displays, streamlined stainless steel risers and baskets and tiered Sampler Holders create eye-catching buffet designs that highlight all culinary creations. Designed specifically for smaller quantities of food, Front of the House display items keep food fresher and provide a hip, modernized presentation.

All displays are made of epoxy-coated iron or stainless steel, making them extremely durable. Because they are designed to be used with any of Front of the House 8-inch to 12-inch bowls and plates, you can use them to create a different ambience for every occasion.

The dinnerware and servingware collections are made from a wide-range of materials including porcelain, glass glazed stoneware, palm wood, coconut, spun bamboo, capiz crushed shell, glass, “patina” and chromed wire and rattan. Whether a plate or a saucer, a bowl or a tray, each item in every collection reflects the Front of the House obsession with design that performs at the highest level.

For more information about Front of the House products, call 305.757.7940 or
go to www.frontofthehouse.com.

Buffet lamps designed for caterers’ needs
Hanson Brass has a line of beautiful heat lamps that not only keep your food warm, they provide a touch of elegance to your buffet stations.

The line includes dual heat lamps to keep temperatures up on large roasts, and free-standers to put the heat exactly where you need it.

The Fold and Store heat lamps are designed to make set-up and take-down easier. For catering, banquets and Sunday brunch, they solve storage problems.

Hanson has been creating buffet products since 1985. The Hanson Family has been in the restaurant business since 1958. Having that real-world experience has allowed the company to understand—and to meet—the needs of the most discriminating foodservice operations.

Today, Hanson’s test kitchens are not only a place to develop and improve its products, they are a spot where chefs, owners and cooks can learn something about the best way to cook and present their food.

For more information about Hanson Brass products, call 888.841.3773 or go to www.hansonbrass.com.

Eliminate drips and show off serving pieces
A new chafer collection from World Tableware, a Libbey Foodservice Company, virtually eliminates condensation and water stains on your buffets.

The DripFree chafers are made of 18/8 stainless steel and feature automatic roll-top covers and wind guards. The Baja DripFree chafers are solid chrome. The Mojave Dripfree chafers are chrome with brass accents. There are coordinating 3-gallon beverage urns and 2-gallon juice dispensers as well.

World Tableware also carries three complete collections of 18/8 stainless steel serving pieces: The Louvre Collection has a polished-mirror finish. Twelve beautiful items are available in either 18/8 stainless steel or elegant silverplate. The Windsor Collection has an unassuming, demure design suitable for any décor. Eleven pieces are also available in 18/8 stainless steel or silverplate. The value–priced, full-line Brandware Collection offers the operator a lower cost alternative to service their buffet.

Libbey Foodservice companies include Libbey Glassware, Royal Leerdam, Crisal, Syracuse China, World Tableware, and Traex. They are the leading providers of glass and other tableware products to the foodservice industry through their broad glassware, dinnerware, flatware, and plastic products offerings and extensive sales and distribution network—among the largest in the foodservice industry.

For more information about World Tableware and other Libbey products, call 800.824.1667 or go to www.new.libbey.com.

Raise the bar on creative food presentations
American Metalcraft’s new Elevation Station is a versatile buffet system that includes full-size and half-size display frames to accommodate a wide variety of hanging racks. All of the Elevation Station hanging racks fit either full- or half-size frames at any height and hold chafers, bowls, baskets and platters.

Perfect for elaborate buffets where table space is at a premium, the Elevation Station lifts platters, bowls, and baskets to varying heights. Because hanging racks can be moved anywhere on either frame, displays can be totally reconfigured from one buffet to the next. Three different sized round racks, four different sized rectangular racks, and a small rack to hold chafer fuel cans or spoon cups are available with the Elevation Station. All pieces are sold separately

New to American Metalcraft’s product line, the Elevation Station is featured in the company’s 2006 product catalog.

For more information about American Metalcraft products, call 800.333.9133 or go to www.amnow.com.

A new way to look at buffet service
The FoodFrames Modular Buffet System by Vollrath Company, L.L.C. is a revolutionary design consisting of a variety of shaped food pans on interlocking frames that can be arranged in literally thousands of different configurations. The result is a stunning and unique display every time, no matter what’s on the menu.

The buffet system has hot/cold units and works with fuel, electricity or ice. It’s available in eight kits and pans and frames are sold individually so you can create your own designs.

Judges at the 2005 International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show declared FoodFrames Modular Buffet System to be the most outstanding new product of the year in the restaurant category.

For more information about Vollrath products, call 866.Vollrath or go to www.vollrathco.com.

From transport to table
The ThermalCor RT Insulated Food Carrier, from Creative Industries, is a low-cost, sturdy and reusable food carrier that’s attractive enough for the buffet table.

Its unique proprietary moisture-resistant construction provides 82 percent greater insulation, 75 percent better bursting strength and 40 percent more stacking strength, allowing it to be reused over and over again. It also presents a far more cost-effective solution for many catering needs than costly, cumbersome food carriers.

“In addition to providing better protection, our boxes also have an upscale appearance that presents a very positive image,” says Jack Eisenberg, Creative Industries vice president. “Many of our catering customers actually use them as risers and make ThermalCor part of their overall presentation.”

ThermalCor RT is made from a combination of linerboard and a proprietary radiant barrier material that maintains heat inside the box. To keep food cold, the ThermalCor RT Insulated Food Carrier reflects up to 95 percent of radiant heat away from the box. One- and two-pan sizes are available.

For more information about Creative Industries products, call 708.546.2142 or go to www.creativenb.com.

Luxury on the buffet
Eastern Tabletop’s carving station lamp warmer, available in chrome or stainless steel, highlights the buffet at any event.

The heavy-duty construction of the lamp warmer doesn’t detract from its appearance; the elegant design has a lacquered finish to protect it from discoloration.

Eastern Tabletop has been in business since 1950, with a full line of luxurious chafers, coffee urns, trays and bowls for catering use. Eastern has a reputation for producing high-quality silverplate and stainless steel products designed to last a lifetime.

For more information about Eastern Tabletop products, call 888.422.4142 or go to www.easterntabletop.com.

Beyond squares and circles
Seltmann USA has taken the recent trend for square and triangular shapes one step further: Its unique serving shapes can fit together like puzzle pieces to create unusual presentations for your buffet.

“You can extend the buffet, not only to many different products, but to be larger,” says Guy Hamrin, president. “Caterers might want these because it won’t be something that everyone has seen at everyone else’s parties.”

Seltmann also has dramatic fork shapes for appetizers and desserts (see product photo on page 66), plus a full line of dinner plates and more.

Hamrin says Seltmann has been in operation for almost 100 years in Germany, but has been in the U.S. marketplace only for about the past six years, providing products for high-end hotels and restaurants. The products are new for the catering industry, but he expects them to be welcomed because they are truly new and interesting.

“We also know that customer service is very important,” Hamrin says. “We know that caterers sometimes need product overnight, and we can deal with that.”

For more information about Seltmann USA products, call 800.622.6234, ext. 103, or go to www.seltmann-usa.com.

Architectural displays you can create
It seems like a simple idea—a few pieces of tinted acrylic—but The Ultimate Spread’s hand-cut acrylic platters have become a hot item for catered buffets.

The platters combine brilliant color with beautiful craftsmanship culminating in modern and architectural forms as well as fun and whimsical designs. These versatile and sexy pieces will make a dramatic statement in food presentation.

The unattached blocks and legs allow you to create your own playful interactions. The colors are fun, exciting and inviting and the clarity of the acrylic says “luxury.”

Like all acrylic, the pieces can scratch, but because the color is solid through each piece, the color and look of the platter is not affected. Many scratches, in fact, can come out with a dab of toothpaste, a soft cloth and a little elbow grease. But, The Ultimate Spread reminds users, “topical scratches do not detract from the beauty of these platters.”

The Ultimate Spread’s Playful Luxury line is designed exclusively for the cutting-edge client who has an eye for beauty and innovation.

For more information about The Ultimate Spread products, call 866.417.0481 or go to www.theultimatespread.com.

Get the fruit out of the bowl
The Fruitpalm was an overnight success, starting with one party in the Chicago area and now a hit for caterers across the country.

And what is a Fruitpalm? Pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a palm-like tree that holds fruit.

The Fruitpalm “tree” base and rod (complete with palm leaves) lets you add your own fruit, displayed on picks that guests can easily pluck. Fruitpalm has made it easy to create and sell your own Fruitpalm creation. The easy-to-use kit includes the base, rod, leaves, pineapple corer, frill picks and even an ocean blue linen to finish off the “beach” presentation.

In addition, Fruitpalm provides an instructional manual that gives step by step instructions on exactly how to create your tree—from pineapple coring techniques to suggestions on how to make the best and most creative presentation.  Fruitpalm also has a cost justification formula on their web site, which details the bottom line costing and sale prices to maximize profitability.

For more information about Fruitpalm, call 630.299.7484 or go to www.fruitpalm.com.

Attractive tray also keeps food warm or cold
DynynStyl’s Hot/Cold Hors D’oeuvre Tray can be put in the oven or freezer for just 10 minutes, then filled with food and set on the buffet. Besides looking good, the tray will hold its temperature for up to an hour.

The Hot/Cold Tray is just one of DynynStyl’s extensive product options for catering. The company’s goal is to manufacture porcelain dinnerware, stainless and silver flatware, hollowware and buffetware to a higher specification of quality—and then to provide the maintenance systems to keep them in service, looking better, longer.

Besides the Hot/Cold Tray, other new DynynStyl products are the Fold Flat Chafer with built-in Windguard protection, the Chafer Island, the Fondue Grill and the EcoFuel Waterless Chafing Dish.

For more information about DynynStyl products, call 561.233.9900 or go to www.dynynstyl.com.

Party tree for cutting edge buffet presentation
Boss Manufacturing’s unique buffet pieces have become quite popular in the past few years, allowing interesting presentation of appetizers, individual desserts and other small-plate items.

For the newer Party Tree (see product photo on page 66), Boss has reengineered one of its best selling pieces with a new hand-forged leaf, branchlike rods and plate positioning so that it’s even more versatile.

The Party Tree comes in two sizes: 24 inches tall with six 8-inch round plates on branches, a 6-inch top plate and a 16-inch base, weighing 20 pounds; and the Large Party Tree, which is 28 inches tall with six 10-inch round plates, a 6-inch top plate and a 20-inch base.

The trees are handcrafted of metal with a powder-coated finish in verdi gris, rust or white.

Several of Boss Manufacturing’s stands are designed to mix and match, so you can create a complete look using varied heights, styles and colors. The trees come in both contemporary and traditional looks.

For more information about Boss Manufacturing products, call 800.832.4941 or go to www.bossmanufacturing.com.

The look of ceramics with great durability
Europaeus has found the solution to the problem of breakage and chipping of large bowls and platters used for buffets, catering and food display, without sacrificing the look and elegance of ceramics.

The Oca Bianca collection of heavy-duty serving pieces is the result of extensive research and experimentation. Each piece is dishwasher-safe, chip- and stain-resistant and able to handle both hot and cold foods. The white finish so resembles the glazing on the company’s line of European ceramics that it’s hard to tell the difference by sight alone.

The collection, still growing, includes a variety of sizes and shapes, including a 24-inch round coupe platter, a 24-inch YinYang platter, a three-piece large oval server and a 5-foot three-piece rectangular server. All items come in white, and many also are available in black. A new line of items in color is planned for next year.

For more information about Europaeus products, call 914.739.1900 or go to www.europaeus.com.

New beverage service
The new Gravity-Serv Beverage Serving Container by Service Ideas gives you function, safety—and style.

The function is provided by the ABS plastic exterior, which prevents body damage, and the Japanese high-quality glass vacuum liner, which can hold beverage temperatures for up to eight hours. The 270-degree viewable sight glass shows content levels.

Safety? You can brew directly into the container, draw contents off easily and take the container apart for thorough cleaning. The Gravity-Serv has earned NSF certification.

Style comes from the slim profile, optional stand and all-black exterior that can be customized with branded wraps and content identification labels.

The Gravity-Serve is an attractive alternative to the traditional airpot set-ups on the buffet.

For more information about Service Ideas products, call 800.328.4493 or go to www.serviceideas.com.

Innovative chafing system for hot and cold
RandWare Products has a new patented chafing system designed for safe indoor and outdoor catering. The Chafer Shield acts as a windshield for consistent heating, keeping food at the proper temperature. It can be used for both hot and cold catering service.

“Our product was designed with the highest standards of food and fire safety requirements and is manufactured with fire-retardant polymers,” says Neal Katz of RandWare.

Each Chafer Shield is accompanied by a heavy-duty Universal Wire Chafing Rack. The new design accommodates all water and steam table pans, as well as disposable foil pans—and is one of the safest chafing racks in the industry.

The Chafer Shield is stackable and can be customized with your company name, logo or graphics.

For more information about RandWare Products, call 888.301.9273 or go to www.randware.com.

Two-tone chafers and accessories
Caterer’s Warehouse has a complete collection of two-tone stainless steel chafers and buffet accessories for all catering needs.

Two of the top selling selections for buffet use are the 18/10 stainless 7-quart high-polish round chafer with brass handle and the 19/10 stainless 8-quart high-polish rectangular chafer with brass handle. Not only are they beautiful, they also are non-tarnish and easy maintenance.

For more information about Caterer’s Warehouse/Progressive Pro Enterprises products, call 800.858.4255 or go to www.catererswarehouse.com.

Break-resistant beauty
Gentle curves and deep valleys define elegant Geneva bowls, new from G.E.T. Enterprises. Bold and sleek, the trendy new pieces make a statement, whether in a buffet line or a deli display case.

But these bowls aren’t just elegant, they’re also completely functional. Made of melamine, they are break-resistant and dishwasher safe. They come in solid white, black
or ivory, and in two-tones of black with white interior or red with white interior.

For more information about G.E.T. Enterprises products, call 713.467.9394
or go to www.get-melamine.com.

Catering experience goes into products
As a caterer for 32 years in his prior business, principle Larry Green knows what it takes to make a great presentation. International Event Products vertical displays and large platters and bowls can make the most out of the tight space you often have to work with. Besides the essential shapes, IEP has many trendy unusual shapes, from canoe-style bowls to tear shaped dishes to sectional tapas platters.

For more information about IEP products, call 877.773.7707 or go to www.iepllc.com.

An artist’s touch for the buffet
The artists of Earthborn Studios, Inc. are skilled artisans who understand the philosophy and style of the chefs for whom they design: Both chef and potter take raw ingredients from the earth to be carefully rearranged and formulated, subjected to the right time and temperature in the ovens, then placed on the table to be enjoyed.

Earthborn pottery is safe for use with food and are specifically designed to withstand industrial dishwashers, microwaves and ovens (if preheated or placed in cool oven and brought
to temperature).

For more information about Earthborn Studios, Inc. products, call 205.956.5849 or go to www.earthbornpottery.net.

Versatile tiered trays
Tiered trays from Apex Fountains allow you to make a distinctive presentation of pastries, desserts, light entrees, hors d’oeuvre and appetizers. There are six collections of tiered trays available.

The trays are stainless steel with a heavy cast base and columns. They’re available in nickel or brass finish. The trays help you optimize serving space by adding another level to your buffet. Besides being an easy solution for crowded tables, they are an attractive feature even when displayed alone.

Apex Fountains has been the recognized leader in the manufacturing of high-quality banquet display and serving products.

For more information about Apex Fountains products, call 800.523.4586 or go to www.apexfountains.com.

Serving pieces that do double duty
LoTech’s high-quality plastic serving utensils are perfect for buffet use, not only because they are functional, but also because they can be imprinted with a logo and phone number—which means everyone going through the line will know who catered the event.

After the party, you can leave the serving utensils behind; your customers will keep
them and remember who to call for their next catering event.

One of the newest products for buffet service is a disposable cake knife.

For more information about LoTech Sales products, call 800.285.0199 or go to www.lotechinc.com.

Catersource magazine
July/August 2006

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