Summer has arrived! It’s the season of holidays, celebrating the year’s achievements with family and friends, and of course, lots of yummy food! What better way to celebrate than treating your guests to a beautiful grazing platter. Your summer entertaining sorted!
Platters are so on trend right now, and why wouldn’t they be?! They’re a fantastic way to offer guests a variety of nibbly food options without breaking the bank. Put your food styling and creativity to the test by making a all-fruit platters for balmy Summer days, cheese and cracker-based platters for snacking on with a cheeky glass of wine, plant-based platters, the possibilities are (almost) limitless!
We thought we’d ask an expert on how to craft that perfect platter.
Sarah John is the founder of The Botanist Wholefoods, an eco-conscious, wholefoods catering company based in Melbourne. Complete with a stunning Insta feed (seriously, check out @thebotanist_, but expect some mouth-watering!), The Botanist Wholefoods creates a range of platters that are laid out beautifully, including those that accommodate various diets, such as gluten-free, vegan, or low-fructose.
We asked Sarah her favourite inclusions for a platter, and she shared some of her recommendations:
“High quality, decadent-yet-healthy, raw dark chocolate (or even your own homemade chocolate bark), along with beautiful, high-end fruits – figs, passionfruit, cherries if they’re in season, blackberries, even stone fruits,” she says.
“These choices really elevate the aesthetic and feeling of quality about the platter you create. And don’t hold back with your selection of cheeses – local, organic dairy and goat’s cheese (in both soft and hard varieties), as well as a vegan nut cheese option ensures there is something for everyone.”
When it comes to hints and tips for arranging your own platters at home, Sarah says balance and structure is important to consider.
“Think about balance of colours and creating structure when you’re arranging the platter,” she says.
“I tend to favour placing the cheese down first, then bowls for dips, and then arranging crackers. Those three elements give a great base to then fill in and around with berries, sulphate-free dried fruits, Sicilian olives, salted or maple nuts, etc.”
For those looking to go the extra mile with their platter arrangements, flowers can also be added. Floral arrangements can help to tie the whole look together, and an extra level to the platter. But which should you choose?
“If you’re creating a platter for a casual kid’s party, daisies or sunflowers work well,” Sarah says.
“But if you’re celebrating a hen’s weekend or an engagement party, why not look for roses or orchids? The vibe of the same platter can be completely transformed by the flowers and foliage you choose.”
Creating a platter can be super fun, and it can be satisfying to see the reactions from friends and family as they admire (and chow down on!) your hard work.
Sarah shares the things she finds most satisfying about platter arranging:
“I think for me, it’s the opportunity to share the message that ‘healthy is beautiful’. The chance to ‘get in the zone’ and be creative,” she says.
“And, of course, taking a moment to get that all-important Insta shot!”
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