Food is an integral part of a masquerade party—any party really. If you are entertaining guests and want them to stick around, then you’ll need to make sure they’re well fed. Few things make people want to leave a party more than there not being enough/good food.
Here’s our guide to making sure you have a feast fit for royalty for your guests—one that won’t break the bank and will have everyone impressed.
- Ensure that all of the food is bite-sized. You want to go for delicate canapés rather than a buffet. Remember, all of your guests will be wearing masks and evening dresses—the last thing you want is food that is difficult to eat or that could cause spills.
- Prepare food that can be served at room temperature. Heating and cooling food may cause logistical issues, and you want to keep things as simple as possible. Also, if you serve hot food and your guests don’t eat it while it’s fresh out of the oven, they’re likely to be disappointed.
- Balance out your menu. You want items that complement each other but that are different. A menu composed of four chicken dishes and four vanilla desserts will seem boring and bland rather than cohesive. Also, remember that many people have dietary restrictions. Try to serve at least one item that is vegan and one that is gluten-free. This is easier than you think, and a surprisingly easy way to cut costs. Have a look at our sample menu below for inspiration.
- Appearance is (almost) everything. If you are having your party catered and your canapés will be passed around by waiters, ensure that the waiters are all well groomed and in uniform (black shirt, black pants is a no-fail combo), and that the food is always arranged neatly on trays. If you are catering the party yourself, then a buffet is a simpler option as you won’t need to hire wait staff.
- People eat with their eyes first. If your buffet table looks beautiful, your guests will want to eat what you have to offer. Some great ways to make your buffet table look delectable:
- Prop a large bowl overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables in the center of the table. People will likely not eat this but it will give the appearance of abundance and richness.
- Use candles. Candelabras are great, and so are lanterns. Avoid using votive for this as guests will be moving things on the table a lot, and one may tip over (you want a HOT party, just not that kind).
- Fresh flowers in small arrangements look beautiful and also fill up the empty spaces between dishes. Make sure to use flowers that don’t have a strong scent, or any pollen. You don’t need to hira a florist—bodega flowers are great for this—just stick to one color palette and group like flowers together. You can use different containers as vases for an eclectic yet chic look that won’t cost a dime (scour your house for glass jars, old vases, and beautiful cups and glasses).
- Use height and symmetry to your advantage. Create a symmetrical table with a large centerpiece. Dishes on either side of this table should match in shape, height, and placement. Try to create different heights for your serving platters. You can prop upside-down cups or vases underneath some plates to raise them. This creates visual interest and allows all dishes to be seen and easily accessed.
- Keep it simple. This is not the occasion to experiment with new dishes. Make things you are familiar with (or have practiced making) and that you know are simple to make in large quantities.
Smoked salmon blinis with crème fraiche and chives
Roasted cherry tomato and basil bruschetta
Rock melon wrapped in Parma ham
Arugula and roast beef with a sesame-soy dressing
(gluten free, dairy free)
Chocolate squares with cream and raspberries
Flan with caramel sauce
Chocolate fountain with a selection of fruits and sweets
(vegan-depending on chocolate used)
Cheese platter featuring an assortment of cheeses, crackers, fruit, and nuts.