"Theres been a real shift in recent years to make food less formal and the experience of eating much more sociable and inclusive.This trend has resulted in the grazing table concept."
A Leeds-based alternative catering firm is at the forefront of the latest gastronomy trend, helping couples across the region to create the ultimate wedding wow factor.
Bear’s Pantry is leading the field in the surge in demand for spectacular ‘grazing tables’ and as a result has seen bookings boosted by 250% on this time last year.
Grazing tables are one of the hottest wedding food trends of this year and Sam Pullan and his talented team at Bear’s Pantry are proving that buffets can actually be works of art, giving the standard wedding spread an inspired modern makeover.
A decadent alternative to a traditional buffet, grazing tables use high-quality fresh ingredients and showstopping styling to create an unforgettable dining experience for guests.
Traditional wedding food tends to include canapés, followed by a three-course sit down meal, but Sam has seen a huge shift towards more casual and sociable foods, but also the demand for stylish, memorable weddings.
Commented Sam, founder and head chef: “There’s been a real shift in recent years to make food less formal and the experience of eating much more sociable and inclusive. This trend has resulted in the grazing table concept which is all about the sociable aspect of food. Mingling, chatting and enjoying the day without the formality of a traditional wedding is what people are after and we have fully embraced this trend, combining all our culinary expertise with creative flair and the freshest, vibrant ingredients to breath-taking effect.
“Our aim is to bring people together to enjoy themselves and be sociable, making for a more memorable occasion. Our spectacular grazing tables or ‘wonder buffets’ as we call them, piled high with wonderful cheeses, charcuterie, fresh fruit and veg or even tempting desserts, are perfect for achieving this.”
And demand for the grazing tables is showing no sign of letting up. Sam and his team have been flat out since early June with at least one grazing table a week booked until early October.
All of Bear’s Pantry’s grazing table creations, which can be up to six-metres long, are made up of locally-sourced produce including speciality cheeses, artisan cured meats, fresh fruit and veg, seafood, pickles, antipasti and locally baked bread or even hand-made desserts and sweet treats.
Explains Sam: “Staging brilliant buffets has always been one of our key strengths and we’ve taken this to the next level with our grazing tables, as no other local caterers were doing them. This was an easy step for us given how the wedding planning side of the business has been developing. We want to create a visual feast for our clients so that wedding guests experience that ‘wow’ moment.
“Grazing tables are becoming more and more popular even for more mainstream weddings whereas last year they were quite niche. 12 months ago it all seemed to be about barn-style receptions, but this year we’ve seen very traditional weddings opting for this style.”
Sam attributes the rapidly growing grazing table trend to social media and particularly Instagram. And it’s no longer confined to weddings, Sam is increasingly being asked to create feasts for client functions.
He adds: “I think the appeal of grazing tables will translate really well to the corporate space especially for Christmas parties and client functions, where creating an impact is central to the theme of the event.”