Have you ever been to a networking business event, where you had to hold food, a drink, give your business card away and shake hands with a business person? And you don’t know what to do first?
I did and after being in that awkward situation a couple of times, I decided to attend them to meet people without even tasting one ounce of food, which it takes all the fun out of doing business after hours.
I discovered the puzzleboard made by OOOMS a design studio based in the Netherlands.
It’s a multipurpose board made of beech wood blocks that can be used both for cutting or as serving plate. By inserting boards together, you can extend your workspace when cutting French breads or preparing hors-d’oeuvres. Wineglasses can also fit conveniently into the indented groove of the board.
Self-serve and buffet style food is less than a 100 years invention. Food was always consumed sitting down at a table with many servants around.
Service à la française (French style) of the middle 1800’s in the Victorian era is the closest way to buffet style, food were brought out at once in an impressive, but often impractical display.
Often food arrived covered with silver domes, but due to the distant location of the kitchen in respect to the dining area, they arrived cold.
Guest could see the beautiful display of food on the table and could help themselves to dishes close by, but had to rely on servants to bring other dishes and wine and to change plates and cutlery.
The table for service à la française was beautifully made up generally with a minimum of three-course meal in addition to desserts. Soup and various terrines were on one side of the table, meat and fish on the opposite side, many other specialties in the middle of the table and all sizes and shapes cutleries around the edges of the table. The host duty to carve meats at the table with all that production of food was very challenging.
In the early 19th century Russian Ambassador Alexander Kurakin brought to France the service à la russe (service in the Russian style) which is a manner of dining that involves courses being brought to the table sequentially up to dessert, when everything on the table gets cleared out even breadcrumbs before serving desserts.
This resembles the way we eat today in restaurants without the 14 courses of the previous eating fashion and without the elaborate dishes preparation and presentation.
We have also adopted service à la russe for home sitting down dinner parties in those few rare occasions of family gathering and important holidays we use the formal dining room.
As a designer, I can tell you that formal dining rooms are disappearing from homes. That space is now used to make a great room, which includes living and family room in an open space attached to the kitchen.
The buffet serving style is more congenial to todays’ living, no servants are required, only good food and good time spent with our guests.
Most of us organize parties outdoor, in the garden or by the pool, the puzzleboard (only Euro 19.95) is ideal to carry food and drink from the buffet table to anywhere we like to sit without worrying about having both hands occupied.
It is interesting to me that the wine glass inserted in the proper groove will not leave my site easily. Ciao,
Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola transforms and creates spaces realizing people’s dreams in homes, offices, interiors and exteriors.
She infuses your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away a comfortable living.
As an interior designer with a passion for kitchens and cooking she loves to remodel homes and loves to turn ugly spaces into castles, but especially loves to design kitchens and wine grottos.
She is the author of two Italian regional cuisine books available here in this site on the Books page and in various other locations:
©Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity and ©Sins Of A Queen