Dress Up Your Food with Designer Garnishing Tips

You wouldn’t head out for a fabulous event without accessorizing a little black dress with a sparkling necklace or a suit with a snazzy tie, so why would you throw a cocktail party without dressing up your hors d’oeuvres and drinks just a bit?

Adding a few garnishes is a simple way to enhance your tablescape as well as the dining experience that you provide for your guests. They also instantly take dishes from bland and boring to beautiful and mouth-watering. Here are a few designer garnishing tips that are sure to make a statement the next time you play host.

The catering and event-design team from Boston-based Chive suggest incorporating an herbal theme throughout your party. For example, if you use herbs like rosemary or thyme to marinate your meat, use the herb in its fresh form to garnish your serving dishes. They also recommend placing a sprig on every plate.

Designer garnishing tips from Hickory Farms

Photo via Paula Deen

Celebrity event planner David Tutera says the little details are part of the makings of a memorable party. He shares that you shouldn’t “skimp on presentation with your cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Use a butter curler to create ribbons to dress up bread and a chocolate shaver to create fancy shavings to garnish desserts and specialty drinks.”

Designer dessert garnishing tips from Hickory Farms

Photo via Home Style with a Side of Gourmet

If you prefer a simpler approach, heed the advice of California wedding planners Nick and Aleah Valley of Valley & Co. They shared this suggestion with the wedding blog Style Me Pretty – “… don’t forget the simple things like tray passed ice water. Dress it up by infusing with lemon or cucumber or garnish with frozen grape skewers.” Colorful fruit and veggies not only add color to water, but a refreshing hint of flavor.

Designer garnishing tips from Hickory Farms

Photo via My Spa Water Book

We love the idea of using some “surprise” garnishes. Devine Dinner Party actually suggests bending the rules just a little bit. For example – they suggest adding some color to a tray of shrimp with deep purple grapes. In other words, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.

Designer garnishing tips for a seafood display from Hickory Farms

Photo via Divine Dinner Party

We can’t forget to mix in a few ideas from one of our favorite places for party ideas, Hostess With the Mostess. We love this vintage table setting where each plate is garnished with a small bundle of refreshing lavender.

Garnishing tips from Hickory Farms

Photo via Hostess with the Mostess

In addition to place settings and drinks, don’t forget to add a garnish to your edible centerpieces. Here, Hostess With the Mostess created a melon basket, filled with skewered veggies and garnished with thyme. For an extra pop of color and flavor, consider including some skewers with cubed gourmet cheese.

Designer garnishing tips from Hickory Farms

Photo via Hostess with the Mostess

How do you accessorize your spread with garnishes? Share your favorite tips with us in the comments below, on the Hickory Farms Facebook page, or send it to us on Twitter @HickoryFarms.


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