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How to Craft a Beautiful Mini Graze Board

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How to Craft a Beautiful Mini Graze Board
Have you ever wondered how to make your own mini graze board, but you weren't sure where to start? This February we had the pleasure of hosting our very first Graze Class in Birmingham, Alabama. This event is perfect for groups small or large and can be customized based on your audience's needs! On a larger scaled, this recent trend is often referred to as a grazing table or charcuterie table. We prefer grazing table and board vs. charcuterie board (because it's just easier to say and it explains the meaning behind its purpose - grazing!) 
Here are a few tips and tricks to creating an epic grazing plate. table and thyme graze board class
table and thyme graze board class
table and thyme graze board class
The night was complete with food, wine, and exceptional vendors, and a short teaching segment. We were able to share a few do's and don'ts with our guests, and give them direction on when they should "do it themselves" or "hire help" for their next graze board gathering! 
table and thyme graze board class
We were so lucky to have the perfect, intimate space in collaboration with our friends at The Asthetik Birmingham. Jamie and her team are AMAZING to work with and we would highly recommend this venue for a variety of events. 
table and thyme graze board class
The takeaways from the night included more than just information, and a great time spent with friends :) Our friends at Shop Hammett showcased a few of their tabletop and kitchen ware items for our guests to take home as party favors. The items were stylish, classic, elegant, and added the perfect touch to our graze board creations. 
table and thyme graze board class
Throughout the night we shared information with our guests on how to create their own board, by using a display of food at each table. A few things we highlighted included: 
  • What is a grazing table and how did they become so widely popular?
  • How a grazing table can fit the needs of most all food preferences, including gluten free, vegetarians, and vegans.
  • The important elements of a board 
    • The board - size and style
    • Know your crowd
    • Know the event - the style and reason for the event can help create specific boards around a theme to keep them different and unique 
    • The qty to buy (based on your guest count)

 

table and thyme graze board class

 

When getting started, here are a few more points to consider: 

  • Always start with a blank slate.
  • Then, place your props out. Consider items like:
    • Bowls
    • Pedestals 
    • Risers 
    • Linens
    • A good mix of styles makes your board unique - textures, colors, etc. 

 

table and thyme graze board class

 

When starting to place the food on your board, we recommend these top steps.

  • Always start with the meats
  • Next, place the larger items that are for decorations, such as large fruits that might not get eaten but are beautiful for added pops of color.
  • Next, place the larger bites such as cookies, crackers, fruits, etc.
  • Lastly, place additional items for filler which include: nuts, pretzels, chocolates/sweet bites, etc.

 

table and thyme graze board class thomas cox

 

Then, we let everyone "shop" from the food that was available on the table to start creating their own board! We loved to see all of the different variations of boards, even though everyone picked from the same items.

table and thyme graze board class thomas cox

 

Lastly, what else would you do when you create a beautiful board that is perfect for sharing on Instagram? You take a few photos and tag all your favorite people! We took a few minutes to walk through a few points to get the best photos, with your phone! 

 

table and thyme graze board class

 

  • Use the exposure slider on your phone to adjust the exposure before taking a photo 
  • Know your angles - from close ups to overhead shots, make sure to get a variety of angles to pick from
  • Take advantage of natural lighting, when available. Try not to use a flash, because it can wash out an image, esp. that features food.
  • Play with negative space - let your food take up 1/3 of the frame, don't feel like it always has to capture the entire board

 

table and thyme graze board class

 

  • Play with props - this is the best way to add dimension and texture to your shots. Don't be afraid to use decorations, flowers, tea towels, utensils, etc. to add to your shot
  • Never zoom manually - if you want to get a detailed shot, move closer to the subject
  • Edit photos afterwards - there are so many ways to edit your photos, by using your phones editing app and by using third party apps. A few we like to use are VSCO, Snapseed, Lightroom, and Afterlight. We always say to be mindful of the editing tools you use on food specifically - you do not want a moody filter on your food (unless that's the style you're going for)
  • Post your photos to social and tag, tag, tag! Make sure to tag your friends, and any companies that you're working with. After you tag, most of the time everyone else will re-share, circulating your photo for more than just your audience to see! 

 

table and thyme graze board class

 

table and thyme graze board class thomas cox hopson rae

 

Needless to say, we had a great time hosting our first graze board class. We look forward to hosting more events like this in the future. If you're in the Birmingham area and are interested in this type of event, please feel free to contact us. The graze board class is great for private parties, baby showers, bridal showers, girls night out, corporate parities, women's retreats, and more! If you'd like to learn how to make your own epic charcuterie board or an amazing, WOW-ing grazing table, let us know! 

table and thyme asthetik birmingham graze board class thomas cox

 

table and thyme graze board class

 

table and thyme graze board class thomas cox

Photography: by the amazing Megan Hand

For more information, contact us. Follow us on out social media: InstagramFacebookLinkedIn, and Pinterest, to see the other amazing events we have created.

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