They may look jaw-droppingly difficult, but creating a memorable party platter is easier than it looks.
That is, according to professional Shane Pavan — from the delectable team at The Salted Pig Salumeria — who told Yahoo Lifestyle they follow four principles when building the most appetising of share boards.
Using these rules and a variety of different antipasto meats, heaps of different cheeses and the freshest and most seasonal fruit, they create their visual and tasty masterpieces.
Now you can create ‘Insta-worthy’ platters by following the four P’s these pro’s swear by, planning, produce, preparation and of course, presentation.
Best of all, these handy tips come just in time for the festive season.
First up, planning
Planning the layout and base elements of your platter is crucial, Shane says. Dig out those small bowls and ramekins from the back of your cupboards and use them to hold different dips and nibbles, such as olives.
Wine glasses can be used to bring a sprinkling of glamour to your platter as they add height and create layers.
Arrange them across your board, which should be made from a good quality wood and then you’re ready to move on.
Talking of produce, use the good stuff
Ensure you purchase high quality and flavourful produce by visiting local farmers markets to pick the freshest fruit and veggies, Shane advises.
He also suggests you try experimenting with things you might not normally eat. His fave addition to a board is dried kiwi, which can bring a burst of flavour to your spread and also a lovely texture.
When it comes to cold cuts, The Salted Pig are well-known for their cuts of cured meat in Sydney.
But if you’re from another state, they recommend you visit your nearest deli to secure the best meats and cheeses.
While favourites such as prosciutto, salami and pastrami top platter lists, they also suggest trying warm meats like pulled pork.
Time to prepare your board
A successful spread needs a strong base, with the experts recommending you build a foundation made from meats, generous blocks of cheese and grapes.
After you’ve filled your board, you can begin to layer and place your antipasti across it.
Try folding your cured cuts into cute ribbon-like piles.
Finally, it’s all about presentation
Now it’s time to add those all important finishing touches.
This is where you get to put your creative hat on and use some of those exotic flavours you collated beforehand.
Christmas is a great time to serve platters because all the best coloured produce is in season, such as strawberries, cherries and passionfruit.
Sprinkle around any delicate fruits to add pops of colour to the board and garnish with tasty nuts such as pistachios — another great addition are bliss balls and breadsticks wrapped in prosciutto.
Shane says you can create “pockets of surprises everywhere” by filling gaps underneath, that will emerge as people tuck in.
You have an edible masterpiece that not only looks incredible, but will impress your guests too.
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