How to set up an outdoor buffet

Just in time for patio season! I recently shot this video segment, packed full of outdoor buffet and entertaining tips, for the TV Show Real Life. Check out my tips and tricks for setting up a self-serve outdoor feast. I hope you find it fun and informative.

What do you prefer: casual outdoor dinner parties in the summer or more formal shindigs held in the dining room? If you’re an outdoor entertainer, do you have any tips you’d like to share? Feel free to post them below.

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4 Responses to How to set up an outdoor buffet

  1. I needed this last week!
    Tips?
    If you are using disposable items, make sure to have a garbage can or bag nearby, but out of sight.
    But, don’t be afraid to use your real dishes outside. There really is no need for plastic and melamine unless you fear some random trip down the stairs or battle with china. You are no more likely to break outside than at the dining room table.
    Serve make-ahead foods, or make the cooking part of the party, like a barbeque. If you are outside to entertain you definitely don’t want to be in the kitchen.
    Always have a beer or gin and tonic in your hand.

  2. I much prefer casual parties in the summer. Formal is fine once in a while, but summer is definitely the time to relax.

    I’ve always put the plates and cutlery together, but like your idea better. Makes more sense now that I see it laid out that way.

    One of the best outdoor party items are plates with a cup holder cut into the side — or clip on cup holders. It’s hard to mingle holding a plate AND a drink and these free up one hand. Of course, they only work if you’re drinking from stemware.

    Great video, as always. You look great in red.

  3. cherie says:

    Definitely casual summer parties. With a great soundtrack, great people and a pool maybe? Tip: don’t kill yourself with making fancy cocktails on order for everyone unless you’re a bartender!

  4. Rye says:

    I really enjoy casual summer parties. It’s relaxing. Actually, we’re always having summer parties.

    I agree with cherie, a great music background and a pool may do so. And with beer or something like that.

    Anyways, nice sharing! The video and your tips are good!

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