Over the last couple years of catering, and styling food for this site and others, I’ve collected quite the random collection of plates and platters. I only have one of everything and nothing matches, which makes stacking and storage in a small New York City studio apartment all the more interesting.
I’m lucky that my apartment has a quirky little ledge that runs above the kitchen. You need a ladder to get up there. But as the ledge has started to overflow with flower pots, punch bowls, cake stands and other things, my ladder has become the second setting of Phoebe’s hoarder’s delight. You might recognize stacks of old Food & Wines, cookie sheets, slate cheese boards, cast iron skillets, aprons, and many many cookbooks.
Today I want to talk about the right way to collect platters – in a more curated way – and what I look for now when I make my purchases. There are a couple categories I like to cover that make for great catering options and rustic home entertaining.
1. Cutting boards. I love the look of sturdy wooden cutting boards for serving cheese, chips and dip, or crostini. These painted Anthropologie ones are very cute and quirky. But you also can’t go wrong with something more classic. I love when they have a handle or resemble a vintage pizza peel.
2. Slate. You might have noticed I’ve been shooting a lot of my ingredient glamor shots on my slate cheese board. Depending on what color the vegetable is, the cool grey background can really make it pop. I also love writing on them with chalk. This is super helpful when serving cheese or obscure antipasti.
3. Wood rounds. Similar to the actual cutting boards, I love the look of slabs of wood on a coffee table. I use these for smaller bites (like polenta cakes) and follow the shape of the round when presenting them.
4. Skinny passing platters. Whenever I’m catering, I always use long rectangles for my passing platters. These resin ones from Martha Sturdy are a little on the pricey side, but they are really classy and functional. They are fairly light, and the resin has a nice texture so you don’t have to worry as much about things sliding around on there. I also have two all-purpose off white ones, and two light wooden ones for smaller parties.
5. Decorated ovals. While I try to keep my platters simple and rustic for finger food, when I’m presenting the main course family style, I love using elegant oval designs with a fun trim. Fish’s Eddy has some great ones. They are just the right size for a main course, and the simple pop of color really adds to the dinner party atmosphere, especially when paired with colorful napkins.
For more info on the items pictures here, visit my Pinterest page In Search of Perfect Platters.