Chef-catered or DIY, interactive food stations are a stylish take on the standard buffet.
Whether it’s a whimsical wedding dinner or an at-home party, gourmet loving guests will thrill to concoct their own creations, while more finicky eaters will appreciate being able to choose only the foods they love most. Go with a specific themed cuisine or mix and match your favorites; the presentation can be as formal, fun, cute, or casual as you fancy.
Make small crepes or blinis in advance and offer a variety of toppings for a hands-on experience, or hire a chef to make the delicate pancakes to order and let guests choose their fillings. Savory options include mushrooms, ham, chives, shredded or crumbled cheese, lox, capers, herbs, and tomatoes. For guests with a sweet tooth offer berries, Nutella, bananas, and whipped cream.
Mashed Potato Bar
What could be simpler or more pretty than these mashed potato martini glasses from Style Me Pretty? Crumbled bacon, sour cream, butter, and chives are classic toppings; consider offering some unexpected items like shelled peas, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and blue cheese.
Make Your Own Fruit Pizza
Perfect for spring and summer, a fruit pizza station, like the one pictured here from Jenna of Q.A. Designs, is easy to set up and requires very little space. Refrigerated sugar cookie dough makes a delicious base; for the frosting mix an 8-ounce package of softened cream cheese with one cup whipping cream and one cup powdered sugar. Top with berries, kiwi, and mandarin oranges.
They used to be the stuff of Super Bowl parties and sports bars, but somewhere along the way sliders became chic. No longer relegated to ground beef patties, sliders can be whatever you want, from tuna tartare to pulled pork. The offerings from this slider bar, featured on Cobblestone Rue, are 100% vegetarian. Try serving them on mini brioche or pretzel buns for an added twist.
Make the campfire favorite indoors by roasting marshmallows over a Sterno-type gel flame. It may seem counterintuitive, but ethanol-based cooking gels are actually non-toxic, odorless, and cleaner burning than a traditional wood or charcoal flame. The downside? They also burn cooler, so the s’mores will take a little longer to prepare.
Oh-so-casual food looks so oh-so-spectacular when it’s presented on a pedestal. Pinch Food Design, featured on Biz Bash, created these custom-made resin pedestal pieces for their display, inspired by handcrafted Mexican pottery. Combinations for fillings and toppings are nearly limitless – anything you can fit inside a shell.
Wok Station and Noodle Bar
Guaranteed to make an impression! Guests choose their own proteins, vegetables, and sauce ingredients to create a signature noodle dish. Serve the noodles in mini takeout containers with chopsticks for added flair.
A make-your-own-sundae station isn’t anything new, but a unique presentation can make it that much more special. In this pink and white confection, from Amy Moss of Eat Drink Chic, uses a wooden filing box that she painted white to hold some of the toppings. Other toppings are displayed in glass apothecary jars and candy dishes. The gorgeous printables are also available from Eat Drink Chic.