Creative presentations can enhance tray-passed appetizers. Always make sure the trays are dressed to look more attractive- with a dolly, greens, or flowers, depending on the style of your party. Any flat surface can become an eye-catching tray.
1. Use serving pieces that you’ve found at estate sales; they don’t all have to match.
2. Use bamboo dim sum steamers lined with flat green leaves.
3. Fill flat trays with rinsed drained white or black beans or clean polished black stones, then place the appetizers on top.
4. Use a piece of slate.
5. Pairing miniature passed appetizers with complimenting cocktails makes for a chic combination guests will love.
6. Press leaves between two sheets of glass and arrange the appetizers on the glass.
7. Limit the number of appetizers on each tray so that they stay neat. Instead of thirty appetizers, place fifteen on the trays and have the waiters refill them more frequently.
8. Serve only one kind of appetizer on each tray. It looks better; it’s easier for guests to decide whether or not to take one; and it’s easier for waiters to remember who’s been served which appetizer.
9. Be sure the appetizers can be eaten in one bite. It’s more elegant and less messy for guests who may be juggling a cocktail and a purse.
10. Skewered appetizers are popular but problematic- what to do with the skewer when the guest has eaten the appetizer? Make sure the waiters stay near after serving guests to accept used skewers. Guests can poke used skewers into a half lemon, apple, or cantaloupe turned upside down on a tray.
11. If you are serving caviar of exceptional quality, have waiters pass a silver tray with the caviar tin showcased in the center, surrounded with a circle of mother of pear or demitasse spoons filled with individual portion sof the caviar.