Breakfast Buffet Garnishes

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Joined Feb 19, 2018
I work for a catering company that does all three meals, buffet style. I cook breakfast. On a typical day we will have some potato item, two types if eggs, a meat, a bread item, oatmeal and pastries. Examples would be loose shred hashbrowns, cubed potatoes, hashbrown patties, and even tots. There are always regular scrambled eggs but I'll do poached eggs, fried eggs, cheesy scramble, hard boiled, Denver scrambled, breakfast sanwiches and burritos, etc.. For the meats we have kielbasa, sausage links or patties, bacon and sliced ham. The bread items are French Toast and "French Toast Waffles", pre-made "French Toast Sticks", pancakes (plain, blueberry, chocolate chip and more recently strawberry), or biscuits.

I always make a point of decorating my line with cloths of the schools colors but now I wish to make the food stand out. I would love to hear some simple garnish ideas for the items I've listed.
 
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Joined Sep 26, 2017
From what I have experienced, it's usually how the food is presented that makes it stand out the most. Not so much about the garnishes on the food itself, but the way the buffet table is set up.

Breakfast 1.jpg Breakfast 2.jpg Breakfast 3.JPG
 
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Joined Feb 19, 2018
Those are nice set ups! However, I'm restricted to using hot wells with the hotel pans so I can't necessarily set up like that.

Also, I agree with what you said about the way the food is presented. The company I work for wants us to garnish our food(even though they never told us what to use).
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
There isn't much you could do with the hot entrees. Chafing dishes and hot wells don't give a lot of options. The only thing I did with some items was to put a garnish in the corners of the pan. If you garnish the top of the food it will be mixed in and lost after the first few servings. I always did all my garnishing with the pastries and fruits on the cold side. The hot food I just wanted to make sure it was fresh, hot and looked good......Good luck!.......ChefBillyB
 
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Joined Oct 1, 2006
Greetings C Cortez,

Glad I saw that you are in a school environment. I envision a four well steam line with sneeze guard, of course...

Plastic Stencils comes to mind. The school initials or mascot silhouette, in different sizes can be used over and over. Not really good for the menu items listed but since you just need anything that is finely chopped maybe you could find a way to use the concept... (Resist the siren song of Spanish Paprika or dried herbs!)

Baked Apple Faces, if that is acceptable to you. Carve face in Apple, cut flat spot on bottom so face looks up from a hot line pan, toss in oven until dried and shrunk. Some will think cool! Some will think Creepy!

If you have Alphabet cutters, you could use Apple face technique with school initials?

Aluminum foil Mascot/animals holding a piece of Bacon?

A hot dry pan just isn't a great place for garnish.

Good luck!
 
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Joined May 5, 2010
This from my past in college food service.....a piece of kale with an orange crown placed in the top left corner of the pan of food, laid directly on the food. Can be washed and used again. Canned crabapples, apple rings, a bird-of-paradise carved from an apple.
 
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Joined Oct 1, 2006
Hey C.Cortez,

Another idea...

Pancake batter in a squeeze bottle.

Squeeze out the most important letter/letters on griddle, ladle remainder of batter portion on top.

Subtle difference in cooking time displays the letter in a darker shade. If there is more than one letter, do an overlap.

You could shade/flavor the squeeze batter with cocoa, thinned nutella, Cinnamon, Apple butter/Pancake batter blend,etc.

Is there an image that is well known in your town? In my town, an 1800s penny farthing/ high wheel bike is a city emblem.

Use the back of a sheet pan to diagonally cover a full insert of french toast, dust exposed area with Powder sugar, remove sheet pan, nice diagonal line.

Do the same technique in increments, a series of diagonal lines...
 
10
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Joined Feb 19, 2018
This from my past in college food service.....a piece of kale with an orange crown placed in the top left corner of the pan of food, laid directly on the food. Can be washed and used again. Canned crabapples, apple rings, a bird-of-paradise carved from an apple.

I like the kale and orange idea, I'm probably going to try that tomorrow.
 
10
0
Joined Feb 19, 2018
Hey C.Cortez,

Another idea...

Pancake batter in a squeeze bottle.

Squeeze out the most important letter/letters on griddle, ladle remainder of batter portion on top.

Subtle difference in cooking time displays the letter in a darker shade. If there is more than one letter, do an overlap.

You could shade/flavor the squeeze batter with cocoa, thinned nutella, Cinnamon, Apple butter/Pancake batter blend,etc.

Is there an image that is well known in your town? In my town, an 1800s penny farthing/ high wheel bike is a city emblem.

Use the back of a sheet pan to diagonally cover a full insert of french toast, dust exposed area with Powder sugar, remove sheet pan, nice diagonal line.

Do the same technique in increments, a series of diagonal lines...


Here in Fresno, the mostrecognizale things are pot leaves and pregnancy tests. However, I have recently considered using the squeeze bottle and writing out "FPU" in the pancakes. Ive been a bit hesitant but ill give it a try ASAP. I even mixed blueberries into the batter this week, but of course it turned the batter blue and they just looked kinda funky. I won't be doing that again.

I love the powdered sugar idea! I may use two pans to create the lines so that they're even finer.

Thank you for the great ideas!
 
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
I even mixed blueberries into the batter this week, but of course it turned the batter blue and they just looked kinda funky. I won't be doing that again.

Your blueberry problem has an easy fix.
After washing and draining place berries in layers on paper towel lined sheet pans and park in the freezer for an hour or so then dump in ziplocks and place in crush proof container before returning to freezer.
Added last to prevent crushing,they will defrost and taste great without the unsightly staining of batter.
Works great for muffins but don't see why you cannot place a bowl full (nestled in an ice bath) and use ala minute for pancakes and waffles or even smoothies.

mimi
 

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