Help with Display Ideas

Joined Aug 19, 2003
Catering a VIP cocktail party at a large lumber yard that is changing image and launching upscale products. They are courting the high end realtor market to show them spruced up ideas, colors, products for improving home sales to high end clientele and looking to capture the upscale home buyer.

Okay so that's the client and guest audience. Short two hour cocktail party. Menu selected is

Tuna Tartare served in Crispy Wonton Cones presented on a triple tiered lucite tray

Smoked Salmon BonBons with Creme Fraiche & "Caviar"

Rare Roast Beef Roulades with Horseradish Cream & Arugula Chiffonade

Chicken Skewers (maybe panko crusted) with Coconut Curry "Fondue"

Mini Almond Cookies that are color matched (with sugar topping) to the 4 colors the decorator wanted

presented on quadruple tiered lucite "staircase" and surrounded by the color paint swatches (that customers select in the store)

What I need some creative brainstorming is the Coconut Curry Chicken display

I have a 1/2 sized chafer to hot hold the chicken skewers. Thinking of surrounding with glass block and (inside) uplighting with mini lights. Next to the chafer will be a SS fondue vessel hot holding the coconut curry sauce. Attached (cannot be disassembled) to the fondue vessel is a lazy susan with

6 SS round containers. What would you recommend that would tie into their theme (yes there's always flowers, chopped I'm not filling the vessels with nuts & bolts.

All ideas, creative suggestions welcome!
Joined Mar 9, 2010
Well catering for a lumber company .....I would emphasize lumber

Sushi in the traditional wooden Sushi boats

Cedar planked Salmon

All skewed items with over the top wooden skewers ....maybe a bouquet of carved vegetable flowers

Get some really cool exotic wood boards to display food on

Oh and your coconut chicken ...whole coconuts around display is cool as well as bamboo shoots leaves etc
Joined Aug 25, 2009
Since this is a lumber company your dealing with they can definetly get their hands on some hardwoods. You can ask for hardwoods in two-tone and multi wood styles. Certain woods you can ask for would be : Purple heart, White oak, Padauk (comes from Malaysia and South Africa and is brilliant red- just beautiful ) , Yellow heart (from Brazil), Other woods would be Black cherry , ash, Birch, Mahogany, Koa (from Hawaii).....

If you can get your hands on Koa (have them cut and router the size to your specs, they can do this for you as most lumber compaines can do it or know someone who can, nothing to do) - it would be perfect  for a sushi board...

You can also have the lumber company make wooden discs in varying sizes and height to display some of your dishes ( one inch, 2 inch, 3, 4 and 5 inch round discs). You can insert a dowel to make a platform for a two tier or three tier .....

Working for an established wood company that has been in the business for over a hundred years, anytime wood has been used in any of the food presentations and displays, they have always been grateful and impressed. 

Gypsy, you hit the nail on the head. (all ideas)

Cedar plank salmon

Maple plank - just about any fish

Bamboo for sure

If those containers .....well, I once did an aquatic theme (live fish & decor)....maybe because of working on the should not be all about wood but certain choice pieces of wood should be hightlighted.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
I'm with Gypsy and Petals on this. Your client's product line should be used to display the food.

It doesn't take long to construct display pieces using fancy woods. For instance, take the chicken skewers. For a simple but elegant presentation, take a base of a pretty wood---let's say purpleheart. Attach two 1 x 1 risers, with a 1 x 1 crosspiece mounted so it's in a diamont configuration. Drill a row of holes on either side of the top point, at a slight angle.

Before assembling, route out a shallow bowl in the base.

For service, put your fondue bowl in the routed bowl, and have the skewers inserted into the holes in the crossbar.

Similarly, for the tartare cones, use some very thin boards of a nice wood, and configure them like a sandwich board. Insert the cones into appropriate sized holes in the boards.

Wood is a wonderful medium, and with a little thought, you can highlight both your food and the client's products.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
I wouldn't worry about the chicken skewers cooling off....forget the ugly chafers and go with the nicer presentation.

what I'm picking up is that the "lumber yard" is moving into upscale interior design......I'd spend a couple of hours in the store looking @ different possibilities for use in what they are planning to promote.
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