Over the past several months, Royal Fig has had fun putting together some great “action stations.” It’s another unique twist on the traditional buffet. The idea is to create a small but visually appealing display of food, where guests can meander and munch, avoiding the long buffet lines and the ho-hum presentation of food chafers. The most popular station we’ve done lately is a salsa or queso station. Our staff has a knack for turning ordinary chips, salsa, and guacamole into an art form.
The benefit of an action station is, well, the action! At a recent corporate event, coordinated by our friends at Red Velvet Events, Royal Fig created a guacamole bar. The attendants cut, mashed, and custom-mixed guacamole servings for each guest. Mix-ins included things like fresh cilantro, roasted garlic cloves, and diced tomatoes. I snuck over to the guac bar half-way through the night to see how the station was going. In the name of research, I grabbed a plate full of tortilla chips and tried a bit of the custom guacamole (which by the way was served in perfectly portioned little bowls). I don’t have to tell you it tasted awesome. But what you may not know is it was also fun and interactive! It’s almost like having a behind-the-scenes look at the kitchen, and then getting to custom create your idea of the perfect guacamole.
But chip and dip stations are only one option, and may not be right for your event if you’re envisioning something a little more chic. In that case, how about a cheese and fruit display? Royal Fig has started working with Antonelli’s Cheese Shop to create displays tailored to the host’s or guests’ unique palate. Recently, Chef Dan and Sous Chef Jason crafted a magnificent display that consumed 3 tiers on an entire 60” round table.
At this event there were six choices of both hard and soft cheeses; various fruits and berries and nuts; bread and crackers; jellies and honey. No two plates were the same, and every guest walked away with exactly what they wanted. In fact, the party descended on the cheese table with such zeal that it was replenished within 10 minutes!
Some other fun things we’ve done recently are custom designed stations, specific to the event. At a recent wedding, we created a late-night snack station with sliders served on a skillet and troughs of Mexican bottled Coke. On many occasions we’ve also done carving stations, which are a big hit with most crowds. The meat is seared and cooked to perfection, and brought out to a table to be carved and served directly onto the plate. This preserves the freshness and juiciness of the meat, and again creates an action station. Guests are involved with the process rather than just absentmindedly milling about with a plate and fork.
But maybe even these unique options are too humdrum for you. Sure, you like chips and salsa, you enjoy cheese and crackers, but you need a little something more to convey your message. In that case, you may want to do something like our lovely couple, Kelly & Sean, did on their special day. A pig roast! That’s right, stations of endless pork. Dan got to go hog-wild, if you’ll pardon the pun, in preparing these pigs. From a charcuterie plate including Smoked Kielbasa and Country Pate to Boudin Blanc and Pig Ear Salad. But the real action was at the pig carving station. The crowd went crazy over this display. I walked my way through the party on this night in order to hear the conversations surrounding the food. I heard lots of chuckling, lots of “Oh, wow” and more than a few “Mmm, this is delicious!”
So, the action station. It’s something fun and different to consider for your event. And it may event leave then with a lasting impression!