By Venessa Anthony
It’s Christmas season and what better way to show your love and appreciation for your friends and family than gifting them with a delicious platter of food? The Morning Brunch compiled a list of home bakers that curate not only the most mouthwatering platters and boxes, but also the best looking, made especially for the festive season.
Platters Inc. offers a cold meat and cheese platter in a Christmas tree or wreath for arrangement. The ingredients are based on the standard items that they offer on their menu, which are not commonly found everywhere. They highlighted that the best fact about their business is the amazing value for money you get.
The talented husband and wife duo, Sanjaya Sahabandu and Amali Peiris run this page full of delicious goodies. They talked about how they got into curating platters. “Food is a passion for us and our love of entertaining friends and family with food platters over the years finally nudged us to go into this venture we so love. Every platter we put out is with the utmost joy and passion to make people feel better and enjoy the same comfort food we all love.”
Peiris explained how their seasonal platters came to be. “Platters are just as visual as they are in taste and texture. Food is a visual experience and we wanted to produce a Christmas-themed platter that appealed to people’s nostalgia in Christmas trees and wreaths, hence we did arrangements in the shape of Christmas trees and wreaths in keeping with the seasonal theme.”
She added: “We have felt the impact in limited orders. The restrictions placed in different parts of the city limits our ability to serve our customers. This saw a clear reduction in orders. However, we are seeing a gradual increase with more parts of the city being opened up, which is indeed encouraging.”
Nazrun has a gorgeous curation of sweets that will satisfy any chocoholic out there. Her goodie boxes can comprise cupcakes, decorated sugar cookies, strawberries in chocolate, shortbread cookies, cakesicles, macarons, mini cakes, profiteroles, eclairs, marshmallows, brownies, Christmas chocolate bark, and handmade chocolates depending on what the client’s aesthetic and budget are.
She spoke to us on how these boxes came to be. “I created the festival goodie box, especially with seasonal decor as it’s perfect for gift-giving. Now goodie boxes are the latest trend. Christmas is all about exchanging gifts and sweets, so I thought to myself ‘all these years I’ve been doing only Christmas cupcakes or cakes or cookies; why not combine all in one box that someone can purchase?’”
Nazrun described how the pandemic affected her business. “The Covid pandemic is, of course, a real stick in the mud for most businesses, and I’m no exception. But considering the first pandemic wave, this time I’m more prepared. I would say business is not as brisk as last year but all things considered, I’m happy with the orders I have. The first pandemic was pretty bad but this time I ensured I had all ingredients in stock. I also ensured I had all boxes and equipment bought early so that any order I can do on short notice. I even bought another fridge just to store my goods.”
She told us that this is the perfect gift box to give to your loved ones as it’s all decorated in seasonal decor. “Getting it as a gift for Christmas will be pretty special. Normally when you place an order with a baker, you need to order a minimum of half a dozen or a dozen of one particular sweet, but with my boxes, you get a variety of all delectable sweets.”
Who wouldn’t love getting a complete box of all Christmas baked goods for Christmas or New Year?
Platters by HS
Platters by HS has a grand range of platters available for the season! The most festive platter is the Mega Christmas platter, containing roasted vegetables, lemon roasted whole chicken with a juicy citrus tang to it, along with special creamy mashed potatoes, finished with iced Christmas cookies, fruit cake, and butter cake.
Himashi Sandeepani Weerasinghe, the lady behind Platters by HS, explained why they decided to curate a whole savoury meal on a platter. “We were initially considering a sweet platter but then we saw many small businesses already going at it. So we decided on a culinary twist by adding in new and unique flavours to create our platters.”
She explained what makes her platters unique. “Our platters take more thought and effort and careful curation. We live by the motto that no two platters can be the same. We constantly research different flavours to combine and different platters to put together. We are the first to offer platters of different cuisines such as Mexican, Indian, Lankan, and Thai.”
She added how the pandemic affected their business in a positive light. “We love creating grazing tables and that is what we miss the most since we cannot go into residences or offices anymore. The pandemic has however given us more time to create menus and discuss business goals.”
She encouraged people to try their new flavours and move out of their comfort zones to get the best experiences.
Platters by Suzy
Susan Brohier, the owner of Platters by Suzy, has two festive treat boxes lined up for the season. She specialises in her hamper boxes with jars of the richest chocolate biscuit puddings you’d ever taste! Her signature flavours are almond, mint, Bailey’s Irish Cream, rum, brandy, butterscotch, dark chocolate, espresso, and whipped cream, each made with innovative creativity and an interesting infusion of flavours.
Brohier explained why she chose chocolate biscuit pudding to add to her gift boxes. “Chocolate biscuit pudding has been done over the years so I wanted to give it a twist and infuse it with different flavours, in different shapes and in jars, quite in contrast to the conventional chocolate biscuit pudding.”
Aside from these boxes, Brohier also curates platters with fruit, veggies, cheese, nuts, dips, crackers, ham, salami, and an addition of turkey breast slices for the season. She adds colourful presentations into her platters, without compromising on quality and hygiene.
She also credits the pandemic for the growth in her business. “It was the pandemic that drove me into doing the platters and dessert. I thank my God for using the pandemic to bring out the hidden talent in me. I just started this as a hobby when the country first went into a lockdown and now I find it growing.”
Platter Parties, run by Shenika De Livera and Keahra Mudalige, focuses on sourcing distinctive and quality products that are fresh and stored at the right temperatures to maintain the superiority of the cheeses, charcuterie (cured meats), exotic accompaniments, and finger food. They talked about their most popular platters. “Our most popular platter is our Bellissimo cheese and charcuterie platter but we have also come up with a festive menu with different options based mainly on various combinations which are doing well.”
Their festive menu features four signature platters: The Ultimate Holiday board which offers a combination of cheese and meats, the Cheerful Cheese board which features five varieties of cheese, a savoury platter, the Happy to Meat board which features five varieties of meats plus a pate spread that’s quite a hit, and the Christmas Cheer Cheese Log which is a flavourful cream cheese dip served with crackers.
“As an added food safety precaution, all fresh produce and equipment are disinfected with chemical-free Kangen water which is certified to remove preservatives, pesticides, and 99.9% of bacteria on contact.”
They also spoke about their creative concept behind their platters. “There are no limits to getting creative with a platter or grazing table. We once used an antique rickshaw as the base for a grazing table. It was not pre-planned. We spotted the rickshaw, shared the idea with the client who loved the idea.
“Creating a platter is a piece of art. We start with the notion of creating a vibrant and colourful abundance of gourmet delights keeping in mind that presentation is an important factor while serving food. We work with colour, texture, and form to ensure the food on the platter/grazing table looks great and appetizing and will be remembered long after.”
They explained how they dealt with the new normal. “This season has been quite different as expected. With more cosy gatherings taking place at home we decided to focus on convenience for our clients by offering a variety of platters as a one-stop solution. At Platter Parties, we have always talked about ease and convenience when entertaining at home. With the current pandemic situation, we go beyond client expectations to offer just that.”