Just wanted to see what everyone does for standard dessert buffets where you work. My GM would like us to consider changing what we are doing to improve our displays. He even made the suggestion that maybe we don't even do whole cakes at all. We have certain things that are already on the menu. Being a hotel in the South, we have some standard things that people want, key lime pie, red velvet, strawberry shortcake, etc. We are curretntly adding things like chocolate cigarettes for height, chocolate spirals, fresh fruit etc. They are being propped up on metal stands or glass blocks or even plate covers wrapped in napkins. He is completely open to ideas, although with the current economy, I don't think we will be spending a lot. We currently have a smaller staff than we used to, which means we don't have a lot of labor to work with. Any suggestions? What do you do on a standard buffet for corporate groups?

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wow, fantastic display, lots of work.nice!!!
This is awesome. This is an amazing inspiration.
i worked at a hotel where we took all of the whole cakes off the buffet. we switched everything to individual portions. it wasnt that bad, and i think its a bit cleaner. we did everything in smaller portions....cheesecake, carrot cake, chocolate cake, mini pastires, sheet cakes, creme brulee (which can be baked in flexi pans, frozen, dipped half way in chocolate, and burned) etc. we also started using a lot of glass and marble in our buffet set-ups. we stopped putting lots of things on basic plates and opted for marble slabs or glass instead. it changes the look of a buffet right away. if you have small cookies (we use macaroons) we use the tall glass candle hurricanes, fill them with colored sugar or different things (chocolate curls, pearls, crystal sugar, etc) and fill them 3/4 of the way up, then top with the cookies. it brings a lot of height, color, and fun to the buffet. just keep some tongs by the glass vases and people can help themselves! we also currently do a lot of mini desserts in shot glasses. mini grasshopper creme, banana foster shooters, raspberry cheesecake, lemon meringue pie, chocolate "parfiat", etc. anyways, i've been re-reading what i wrote and i noticed tons of spelling "issues" but oh well....hope this helps! i have some pics as well...i'll see if i can get em loaded on here
Wanted to thank everyone for you ideas, I am trying to attach a pic of what we have been doing. Unfortunately, it's not a good pic, I usually only take pics of the showpieces and wedding cakes. Were kind of stuck with a set menu, but we may be able to make some changes. Thanks to Brianne for the hurricane idea, We do something like that for the restaurant candy display now, I didn't think of doing that for buffets. Also for the shooter ideas. And thanks also to Wendy for all the pics, lots of good ideas there. Hopefully some of this will go over well with the GM :o)
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i hope this works....i think this is either mothers day or easter.
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heres a few more
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John from that example, you guys are doing what everyone else is.......just like me. One thing I might suggest is varying your heights more dramatically and spacing things out just a little bit more (if you can, that is)

Wow Brianne, your job has a many nice serving pieces and glass ware! Lucky YOU!

Brianne's job has clear glass slabs to work with. Personally I like that look because it's so clean. I've had to buy plexi-glass sheets instead. They do sort of work better, because you can get larger pieces with less worry of breakage. No matter what, I have to hand wash and clean them each time before use.......and that can be a drag. But they are both cheap with a lot of possibilities.

We all seem to use vases or bowls as our supports under the glass or even platters. I've filled them with sand (for sea food dinners) and sea shells, brightly colored water looks cool in the clear vases. I've seen crunched up papers (nice papers, like metallic ones) inserted in the vases and floating flowers.........what else are you all doing??

Oh.......under the clear glass or plexi trays I used to buy fabric from the craft or fabric store to use instead of linens.........because it was way cheaper then rented linens. You can get some really nice fabric very cheaply. If you have a laundry service at your place they could wash and iron them for you. I wound up throwing most of it out because I didn't want to do that myself. BUT someone told me I could have donated that to groups that sew items for charities and been able to write off my costs.

I have tons more ideas and info. but it takes a lot of time to upload photos.....
Dessert buffet display is an interesting topic to discuss. It is always a challenge for us. Here are some of my thoughts:

1.) Display whole cakes but keep them smaller - con: they get messy as guests slice the cakes - I always tell my staff to keep it clean and tidy but if the buffet is busy it is almost impossible to do it.
2.) Use shot glasses - otherwise known as "verrines", I use a lot of these and they really add a new dimension. In the Westin, we adopted a contemporary theme in our buffet. Unfortunately, I can't post them here.
3.) As suggested below, make mini versions of cakes like Opera, Pecan Pie, Mousses, etc.
4.) Use funky stands and displays to hold your other items like spoons holding truffles stuck on an acrylic board (see the picture below)
Dessert buffet display is an interesting topic to discuss. It is always a challenge for us. Here are some of my thoughts:

1.) Display whole cakes but keep them smaller - con: they get messy as guests slice the cakes - I always tell my staff to keep it clean and tidy but if the buffet is busy it is almost impossible to do it.
2.) Use shot glasses - otherwise known as "verrines", I use a lot of these and they really add a new dimension. In the Westin, we adopted a contemporary theme in our buffet. Unfortunately, I can post only a few of them here.
3.) As suggested below, make mini versions of cakes like Opera, Pecan Pie, Mousses, etc.
4.) Use funky stands and displays to hold your other items like spoons holding truffles stuck on an acrylic board (see the picture below)
I forgot to post the pictures of my verrines.
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Your deserts are beautiful. What I see misssing in the displays is more variation heights. The completely balanced look is not as appealing as asymmetrical design.
Pics finally added to my Photos...Sorry for the delay.

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