Playing Matchmaker: A Guide to Curated Food Stations

Forget about long buffet lines. One of my favorite options for a new and creative way to host your wedding reception is to have a series of curated food stations. This revolutionary idea pairs expertly crafted plates with the appropriate libations or wines.  

The idea behind this is to offer your guests a variety of gourmet food experiences versus a long buffet loaded with multiple dishes of all different varieties. This cuts down on the “more is more” mentality and offers your guests an edited and tasteful experience and presentation. It takes your guests on a gastronomic journey instead of a feeding frenzy! It also allows for the dining experience to last longer, as the guests can sample the different food stations throughout the night. As opposed to the the ‘mile high, all you can squeeze on a plate’ syndrome that we often spot at buffets.

This also offers another elegant option for hosting your reception if you choose not to do a sit down but want more than your standard buffet.

Some of my favorite pairings include:

  • Caviar with frozen vodka or Champagne
  • Seafood and raw bar with Milestone Chardonnay
  • Smoked salmon or gravad lax with frozen Aquavit or vodka
  • Tapas station with a Milestone Sangria
  • Vegetable crudité with dipping sauces and a light sauvignon blanc
  • Beef carving station with Milestone Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Wedding Cake with Demi-sec Champagne 

The essence of curated food stations is about creating a balance. Food and drink pairings create an incredible experience that can be greater then the sum of its parts.  For a wedding reception I like the idea of at least 3-4 food stations. Serve the wedding cake with Champagne and voilà! 

--Colin Cowie

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