Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Celebration of Orange: Setting the Mood...

Creating a beautiful buffet is one of the many things we strive to do at Orenji when we are commissioned for an event. In this case, given the orange theme, we were inspired. The buffet was draped with a variety of orange, rust, and textured fabrics to create a flowing base on which to present our culinary creations.

The food itself was also part of the mood-- a "forest" of orange fruit and cheese trees created both a whimsical and unique way in which to serve fruit and cheese. Approaching the buffet, the eye was immediately and dramatically drawn to this beautiful presentation.

Along with the fruit and cheese forest, a selection of (orange!) cheeses was also displayed...

... along with a selection of oven-toasted and spiced flatbreads and handmade sweet potato, cardamom, and dried cherry yeast rolls.

Sometimes the manner in which food is presented can be inspiring and mood creating. Our kabocha squash, for example, was presented in a wooden box with a beautifully bare tree branch festooned with holiday ribbon.

Similarly, our shrimp and squid were served on a mirror, surrounded by a "picture frame" adorned with festive and whimsical ribbon. The bases for the shrimp, complementing the orange theme, were freshly cut orange halves. Altogether, this presentation was stunning.

Festive flower arrangements and topiary completed the theming for this interesting buffet. Fresh vibrant orange calendula flowers, arranged with dried stems and berries and presented in a graveyard-evocative urn filled with polish rocks, were finished with a larger-than-life ribbon bow.

Topiary prepared with fresh, locally-grown seasonal produce added a colorful touch to the buffet. This topiary, created out of persimmons, artichokes, and decorative kale, was topped with festive ribbon.

An additional topiary, constructed from fresh oranges and kale, and wrapped in black funeral ribbon, was a dramatic focal-point of the buffet.

Tomorrow, we focus on the sweet conclusions to the 2008 Celebration of Orange-- we're talking about desserts, of course! Be sure to check back...

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