“Platters are my go-to lazy food,” admits Sarah Jones, the founder of The Platter Collective . “Some people have takeaways, or pasta, but when it’s been one of those days and I want to unwind with my partner and relax, I will whip up a platter from the all sorts in the fridge for us to devour.
It's her passion for a great grazing platter that led Sarah to offering platters to others, and in turn launching her business.
“Platters are the perfect social companion; there’s nothing like grazing the day away with friends. Everyone should experience a sensational platter, and it’s so much better when someone else can take care of it and ensure there’s no dishes at the end!”
The New Zealand Weddings team were lucky enough to enjoy one of Sarah’s stunning (and yummy) platters for a recent squad get-together – we highly recommend her food and service. It got us thinking, how good would a platter be on your wedding day! Here’s the rest of the conversation:
What type of set-ups could you do for a wedding?
We can provide brunch platters for the bridal parties to graze on while getting ready for the big event.
If you are having a longer photo shoot, we can even pack you a picnic to take along. While you are away from guests, a grazing table can great them while they get to know one another.
A Platter can even be you main event, with a larger or several grazing tables or a seated style grazing table, a spread of food running up the middle of the table, a feast of flavours for you to enjoy.
Or perhaps end the night with a dessert platter, something to nibble at in between the dances. From start to finish - big or small we have got you covered.Sarah setting up the grazing platter for the New Zealand Weddings team get-together!
Why has share-food seen such a surge in the past few years?
I love to share food and always have. I think the dinner table is such an important part of the day for everyone – to share food, thoughts and our news from the day.
After living in Europe for three years my love of food really developed. I learned to taste and taste again before judging and in nought to six months my horizons had boomed. But everywhere I went and everyone I met invited me to eat, talk and share thoughts, recipes and stories. I loved it, that dinner table feeling. I think we all need a bit of that dinner table feeling in our lives, we are social creatures after all.
What is your favourite type of platter to create?
To be honest, I love making all of them. There is no two the same, each one is a reflection of the products that are available that week, the event the platter is a part of and what I am inspired by that day.
I am really enjoying making platters this month with the change of season, having to think outside the box about losing some amazing products, but gaining some stunning produce and cheeses in turn. I really do love making the bigger platters, making sure that no matter where you stand on the table you can try everything on that table.
I made a pirate themed platter last week for a fifth birthday party, it was so much fun: seaweed kebabs, cannon balls, peg legs and gold coins!
Can people tailor a platter to their requirements?
Of course! we can cater to GF, DF , vegetarian, vegan and most allergies. But we can also tailor platters to any theme you might have for your event. I love a challenge and am a sucker for dress-up parties.
How do you set it out so beautifully, what are the tricks to perfect presentation?
I always start with my cheeses, they are the star after all! From there I place things about and start filling in the negative space with my other selections (fruit, bread, crackers, chocolate and nuts). I always think it looks like a bit of a mess until the very end. It’s all about balancing out the flavours, incorporating colour and tempting your senses.
Aside from weddings, what other celebrations are your platters ideal for?
Platters work for every event, girls-night, birthday parties - for the young and old, workday lunches, bridal/baby showers and weddings. If you are having an event where you want people to mingle, then sharing food is the oldest trick in the book.
Does it work out cost effective per person?
Definitely, I sell the platters by the square metre, so one square metre will feed 20 or provide grazing for 35, and works out between $10 - $15 a head depending on feeding or grazing for guests.
If you could live only on a platter for the rest of your life, what items would you have on there?
I ask people this question, haha! Straight away fresh bread and olive oil! But closely followed by stuffed bell peppers, fresh figs and a slice of Tunui Blue cheese, a sheep’s milk cheese - the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Also, I can’t go past some fresh hummus and dark chocolate.