Last month I wrote about perfect summer meeting activities (Sizzling Summer Summits). In it, I gave food station ideas to go along with suggested activities. I received several emails asking me about other creative food station ideas, so I thought it fitting to dedicate an article to just that—food!
In a “foodie nation,” I constantly find myself working with chefs to create something new. I have learned, however, that some things are classic for a reason. The classics just work. But how you serve them can—and should—be inspired! Interactive food stations promise yumminess, and double as live entertainment for your attendees. With the food-craze sweeping the globe, something akin to The Beatles circa 1964, the only thing to do is throw on an apron and a smile. (By the way, aprons make great takeaway gifts, too!)
- Champagne Station – In addition to the bubbly, offer sweet liqueurs like St. Germain, fresh fruits, and fruit juices so that your guests can mix, match, and make signature bubbly cocktails.
- Beer Tasting – Have an array of local breweries fill flights and talk about their brew.
- Bloody Marys –They’re not just for brunch anymore! Now, everyone knows that a Bloody Mary is all about the garnishes. So choose an assortment of pickles, citrus slices, sausages, bacon, and cheese-stuffed peppers, and let guests design their own garnish-packed skewers.
- Grilled Cheese, Please! – Go beyond grandma’s grilled cheese by featuring an assortment of gourmet cheeses, plus plenty of fillers. Consider tomato, bacon, ham, apple slices, caramelized onions, figs, and spreads like pesto. Offer a selection of local bread choices, too.
- Pizza in the Making – Let guests create a masterpiece on rolled-out dough. Offer both traditional and non-traditional toppings. We did this at a venue that had an outdoor oven and it was a huge hit.
- Potatoes Two Ways – Create a tasty spuds station with a mix of potato-focused dishes, such as a baked and mashed versions. Serve mashed potatoes in martini glasses, and then provide a variety of toppings: bacon, sour cream, horseradish, chives, cheeses, and truffle oil.
- Sliders – These minis pack a big punch! Offer pulled pork, hamburger, chicken, and a veggie patty. Then stock all the fixings one could ever want: BBQ sauce, coleslaw, onion rings, aiolis, cheese, grilled onions and peppers, and avocado.
- Personalized Pie – Offer a variety of fresh local fruit so guests can create an individual pie of their dreams. Include a crumble topping and traditional piecrusts to further personalize the pies. Finally, have ice creams and whipped topping to complete this yummy treat.
- DIY Cupcakes – Set out unfrosted cupcakes and let your guests go to work on their own creamy creations. Be sure to include jars filled with candy, coconut, sprinkles—the sky’s the limit, plus multiple frosting flavors.
- You’re Never Too Old for S’mores – Create a campfire-free s’mores station for a fun, unexpected dessert. Step up the party factor by adding a variety of graham crackers, cookie, and chocolate options.
What yummy stations are you offering guests? We would love to hear!