Chocolate-covered bunnies and brightly dyed eggs come to mind once talk of Easter rolls around. Depending on what side of the American tradition you land, so do rack of lamb and spiraled ham. For many, the holidays offer a special time to gather friends and family around the table to share great food and stories, which means a time to create lasting memories.
At Blue Plate, we design events big or small around the complete experience, knowing that hospitality is in the details. Whether you are planning your Easter celebration as an intimate party of select friends and family or a large gathering, use our expert tips to create an elevated experience.
Pick a Theme
Outside of serving unforgettable food, one key element to a wonderful event is setting the stage for the type of experience you would like your guests to have. Are you going for a rustic setting with floral accents, wood platters, and mini mason jars with creative bites? Or do you want to go for a classic look with silver trays, tulip-style glasses, and a spectacular spread on an elegantly dressed dining room table? Deciding on a theme upfront will help you craft the right menu, which can then inspire your décor and tablescape to create a unified experience.
Think Like a Caterer
After you have your theme, it’s time to design your menu. Larson suggests starting with the 1-2-3 rule: one protein, two starch items and three vegetables. Then, think outside the egg…er, box. Instead of the usual leg of lamb or ham, he recommends trying a crown rack of pork or braised lamb shanks for a shift from the traditional. You can also get creative with plate pairings like our rack of lamb and pepper-crusted tuna (pictured) or bring in an ethnic twist like a Moroccan-style menu.
Side dishes also offer a wealth of opportunity to get creative and showcase different flavors. Instead of regular deviled eggs, Larson suggests trying a twist on the classic by adding smoked salmon or infusing them with Buffalo-style ingredients. Or, try adding a sophisticated note to your table with savory crème brûlées using corn, parsnip or butternut squash. If hummus is a favorite party staple, swap the traditional recipe with a fresh fava bean hummus. Tarts are also a great brunch addition, and Larson recommends a goat cheese, spring pea and radish tart or one that pairs asparagus with aged cheddar. Easter is also the first holiday to kick off spring, so think about weaving seasonal ingredients such as ramps, asparagus, leeks and rhubarb into your menu.
Drink and food pairings and signature cocktails are also a fun way to engage your guests. Take a tip with our spring mixology ideas. Serving mimosas? Our in-house mixologist Lov Carpenter suggests adding a spin to the classic brunch cocktail by replacing prosecco or champagne with a dry sparkling rosé or swapping the usual orange juice with mandarin, blood orange or clementine juice or purées.
Desserts are the big finale for every occasion, so take the opportunity of Easter to shine. Chef Larson suggests seasonal and lighter dishes like a strawberry pavlova or a strawberry chiboust with poached rhubarb.
Give Thought To Presentation
White plates and traditional serving platters serve their purpose, but unique plateware and presentation is trending in 2017. Think of different ways to present your food outside of traditional plateware like wood boards or chopping blocks. Then, give your table dimension by creating height with risers and stacking. If you want to bring more personality to your event, you can even custom paint serving trays and platters to add in additional color. Food stations are also a great way to get your guests involved. If your space lends itself to an interactive station, Bloody Mary bars or dessert stations are popular choices.
While getting creative invites the opportunity to offer something new, Senior Sales Consultant, Rachel Razowsky reminds us that tradition can still have its place this holiday season. “Don’t underestimate the power of tradition. The holidays are filled with nostalgia, so don’t overthink your menu. People do look forward to ham and scalloped potatoes but it’s okay to modernize your menu to include less traditional items like a twist on deviled eggs using buffalo sauce or a shrimp garnish.”