Helpful Hints for Creating a Showstopping Buffet

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December 18, 2012

It’s all about the vessel!
December 18, 2012

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when the word “buffet” brought to mind steam table death. Caterers are clever and changed the wording to Tablescape, which we discussed in the last issue. Ornate tablescapes can be implemented wherever guests will gather, from the tabletop to what used to be called the buffet. With the right décor, the tablescape will have clients hot with excitement over your designs.

Designing a buffet as a work of art is similar to an architect designing a building. It starts with a vision. Long gone are the milk crates or glass racks covered in fabric. The contemporary buffet creates visual interest by using the same vessel or variations of the vessel, which will produce harmony. It allows your eyes to flow evenly and elevates it to an objet d’art.

Helpful Hints to Creating a Showstopping Buffet
•  Use similar elements that complement each other.
•  Use the same type of floral; this creates visual flow. Added bonus: you don’t need to be a florist to incorporate florals.
•  Step back, look at the table and then edit.
•  Textured linens add depth and are visually intriguing.
•  Don’t forget the elegance of candle light, no matter what time of day.
•  Keep it simple; after all, your culinary creations are really the star.

Look at a vessel differently and ask yourself, What can I place in this?

These color bud vases simply scream for Tuna Sashimi Spring Roll Cones or even a frozen concoction.

Inspiration is a neverending process. It is something that reflects what you are feeling and evokes emotion in you. Take what you see, and imagine it differently, but don’t dismiss an idea just because it seems strange at first. Good design style is everywhere these days. Great design style—the objects and ideas that fuse function and aesthetics and push the boundaries a step further to capture the imagination—is a bit more elusive.


Want Meryl to give your buffet her approval? Enter the Catersource Instagram contest. From now until January 3, 2013, tag your Instagram photos from your holiday events with #catersource and be entered to win Meryl's new DVD, Style Me... Again. Finalists will be judged by Meryl herself! For more details, click here.

More from Meryl
How Do You Make the Most Enchanting Tablescape?
Décor Tips with Orbs, Spheres and Balls

by Meryl Snow
Catersource magazine
January 2013

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