Planning any sort of meal that is going to sharing amongst a large group of people will always have its unique challenges – if you’re planning a wedding, you’ll see that even more importantly than picking up the right wedding rings there is choosing the appropriate buffet format. You have to consider the multiple flavors and colors of your food and avoid anything that clashes as people will often pile a little bit of everything on their plates. One struggle that is extremely common is taking various dietary restrictions into account. If your event is of a smaller scale and you know everyone who will be attending, it is easier to know every individuals food allergies and preferences –who is a vegetarian, who is vegan, who can’t have shellfish, who eats gluten-free food, etc. However, any sort of event banquet is usually on the larger scale and so it is impossible to know everyone’s dietary restrictions. Therefore, it is important to provide a variety in what you are serving so that your guests are satisfied.
One of the problems with gluten-free cooking for any occasion is that, while there is an abundance of recipes out there, it can be a problem trying to separate the good from the less-than edible. Often, when one is attempting to substitute foods that do not contain gluten for those that normally would, the flavor and texture both leave something to be desired. You may need to try out a few different things before you find ones that you like or that you would be willing to serve to other people. I should also suggest the importance of providing both sweet and savory options to your guests –making sure you have something for everybody, although still make sure that the flavors don’t contrast too much.
While it would behoove you to provide options that contain meat for the more carnivorous of your guests, a great deal can be achieved through cooking vegetarian options beyond a simple veggie tray. Something like combining spinach with goat cheese can be a classic and killer combination –you can wrap it in pastry and bake it for a simple finger food or you can cook it in a skillet with some mushrooms and garlic for a delicious side dish. Of course, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of cooking hot food and keeping it warm while everyone picks away at it (which is especially tricky if you don’t have enough equipment or room to maintain such as setup), a simple cold fork buffet will be just as good at half the hassle. Using salads for a variety of color that will please the eye and contrasting them with a nice deli plate and an assortment of breads. Add a lovely centerpiece and you’ve got an instant buffet with as little stress possible.