Grazing The Greatness
The dining experience might be one of the most important aspects of planning your wedding, as you’ll want all your guests to be well-fed and energised to continue the happy celebrations throughout your reception and long into the night. However, it may also be one of the most stressful aspects as well – especially for a big wedding. Your Uncle Tony might have a peanut allergy, your cousins from overseas are on strict vegan diets, and Grandma Ethel won’t touch anything that’s not Kosher – and those are just the ones you know about! While your wedding day should really be all about you, often you may find yourself bending over backwards to please everyone else in attendance. If you’re looking for a personal touch to catering that goes against the traditional sit-down dining experience for your wedding, you’ve come to the right place. Editor for Melbourne Wedding + Bride, Robin Harper, sits down with the owner of Grazing With Stella, Stella Katrakazas, to discuss why a grazing table is a great choice for catering for your upcoming wedding.
Image Credit: Allie Claire Creative
Boasting an outstanding five-star Food & Safety Rating from the City of Glen Eira, Grazing With Stella is a Melbourne-based catering company that was established in 2018. Specialising in Greek-inspired platters spread out in picturesque assortments upon grazing tables, Grazing With Stella has been recognised for its unique, elevated food styling techniques, which is all fresh, homemade and most importantly – delicious! Katrakazas and her team are constantly looking for ways to push, challenge and improve their food styling techniques, and love creating new and exciting recipes for clients. Its grazing tables are delicious in terms of both taste and presentation, and by the end of this article, you’ll be hungry to learn about them!
Ditching The Dining
Katrakazas’s Greek heritage and love for Middle Eastern cuisine were catalysts for making Grazing With Stella a successful reality. A retired town planner, Katrakazas has always loved bringing family, friends and colleagues together to entertain and dine on mouth-watering food. “Presenting food in an aesthetic way has always been important for me,” she says. “Our homemade Greek food is delicious and free of preservatives. Food is special and we love showcasing its beauty,” she continues.
You may not have even considered a grazing table for your wedding. But if you’re wondering how a grazing table may compare to traditional sit-down catering for your wedding, then Katrakazas has some great advice for you. According to her, a grazing table “enables a freedom of food choice and movement for all guests. The grazing option, and particularly our ‘wow’ factor grazing table, is a talking point and is accessible throughout the event.” The encouragement of movement and invitation to an allocated area means that there are more opportunities for your guests to interact with each other over a scrumptious plate of food. You certainly won’t have to worry about your socially awkward father sitting in the corner refusing to engage in conversation with the other guests. “Your guests are not confined to sitting at the one table around the same eight to ten people and there is no setting time for entree, main and desserts,” she adds.
The traditional sit-down dining experience for most weddings will often consist of entrees, mains and desserts, with a few extras in between if you’re attending weddings on the fancier side. However, grazing tables offer many benefits to your wedding that can be a gamechanger when it comes to planning. “Guests are not confined to the choice of two types of entrees, mains and desserts offered by the venue, nor are they required to share the one antipasto and salad bowl in the centre of the table,” says Katrakazas. This means that a grazing table can add a diversity of choices to your catering experience while still being delicious and affordable.
And if you’re worried about the dietary requirements of your guests, Katrakazas has you covered. “We cater for most dietary requirements. Our menu accommodates for vegetarians and for people who are gluten free and vegan. Although we do not provide Halal, we can style for food that is Halal and work with customers who require Kosher foods,” she reassures. Your guests certainly won’t be starved for choice, as the customisability of the grazing table means you can have a say in what platters will be served for your guests.
Options! Options Out The Wazoo!
If you’re sold on having a grazing table at your wedding, then you might want to know the preparation that’s involved when creating such decadent masterpieces. “Understanding the setting of the venue, and the size and location of the table/s ready to be food styled are important prior to the date of the event,” Katrakazas says. “This enables us to bring all the necessary and best-suited props for the event. Once we arrive at the venue, we spend time creating the elevated styling of the table with our custom props,” she says.
In terms of packages, Grazing With Stella gives you several options to consider that may work within your budget. “We have three service options, which include our Greek-inspired ‘wow’ factor grazing tables, the elevated Greek-inspired grazing platter/s, and grazing boxes,” she explains. Grazing With Stella also offers a deluxe package of sweet and savoury menu options as well.
According to Katrakazas, the best kind of weddings that nicely complement the Grazing With Stella experience are casual-style weddings that are more bespoke and free-flowing. She also offers services for more traditional weddings where guests can congregate in the foyer, and also breakfast grazing tables that fuel the bridal party, family and friends prior to the ceremony. As Grazing With Stella brings the food to you, you won’t need to stress about the details on the day. So why not consider grazing tables for your upcoming wedding? It may just be the most delicious choice you ever make.