June 01, 2001
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts June 2001 Current Issue
June 2001
Short Cuts:Beyond basic buffets


It now takes only about 15 minutes and $54.95 to learn a whole lot about designing creative buffets. The secret is a new CD-ROM, Buffet Blueprint: A Visual Buffet Experience, by Ginger Kramer, owner of Coast Special Event Architects in San Jose, Calif.

Volume 1 in a forthcoming 10-disc series, the instructional CD-ROM outlines 10 themes, illustrating how the buffet is created in stages. Topics include Breakfast in the Outback, Afternoon Tea in Japan and Dinner at the Russian Palace.

Other useful tidbits:
• Guidelines for passed hors d’oeuvres, such as a list of simple no-nos: “No picks, no sticks, no bones, no tails, no stems, no drips, no pits, no shells, no mess.”
• Creative ways to present hors d’oeuvres by using silver teaspoons, Chinese soup spoons, shot glasses, scallop shells and petite sushi plates.
• Serving tray ideas, such as bamboo steamer baskets or picture frames with the client’s logo placed inside.
• Suggested “tray liners,” ranging from colorful aquarium rocks to corn husks or even crumbled Oreo cookies, so that when the food is finished, there’s still something decorative on the platter.
• Box lunches served in anything but boxes: Try Frisbees, beach pails, knapsacks or children’s lunch boxes.
• Alternatives to traditional tables, like baker’s racks, carts and wagons, art pedestals or wooden credenzas.

Volume 2, The Great American Buffet, will be released July 15, featuring themes from regions across the United States. For information, call (408) 244-9700.

• L.G.E.

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