How to set up a buffet!

For Friday night’s party, Parisa’s parents set up an absolutely gorgeous buffet table filled with Persian specialties. Did you know there’s a science to setting up a buffet table so that everything proceeds smoothly? There is!

Here’s what you do:

1. Stack plates at one end of the serving table, one stack per side (you want two lines to form). If the only place for the table is against the wall, have half of your guests go up at a time.

2. Organize items as follows: bread, salad, appetizers, entrees, side dishes (basically, in the order of how people actually eat their meals).

3. In front of each dish, have a plate where guests can rest their utensils so that things don’t get too messy.

4. The silverware goes at the very end of the buffet table (I like the idea of placing it in pretty, mismatched pitchers).


– Carefully consider where you place the buffet table; if it’s too near where your guests are seated, you’ll create a logjam. Also, set up the drinks table and dessert table in a different area.

– Make sure to set out the right serving implements for the dishes (sometimes, for example, a pair of tongs might be easier to work with than a slotted spoon, or vice versa).

– Try and pick a theme for the food that reflects the event (or something personal about the people being celebrated), and tie your decor into the theme. Colors, textures, flowers, different height arrangements – all this adds interest and makes your buffet a memorable one.

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