Cold Platter Preparation

Cold platters are a common product of the garde manger work station. Cold platters can be very simple or very complex. Here are some examples of typical foods that might be served on cold platters as part of a buffet, at a reception, or before a formal dinner:

• Platters of raw sliced vegetables served with dips. Crudité (.krü-di-'ta) is the French word for raw, or in this case, raw vegetables.

• Platters of specially prepared food items, such as canapés, salads on croutons, pinwheel sandwiches, or melon slices and prosciutto (pro-'shü-Qto). Prosciutto, the Italian word for "ham," is dry-cured, uncooked ham that is usually served in thin slices.

• Platters of cheese, meat, fruit, or a combination of all three can be served with different types of dips, breads, sliced fruit, and crackers. Items can be combined to fit individual tastes.

^Rolled Treat A rolled fancy sandwich is an eyecatching way to combine interesting spreads and vegetables. How do you think this rolled sandwich was made?

Cold platters are a convenient way to offer guests tasty, nutritious foods in an informal way. Guests are able to make their own individual choices from the tray. In addition, cheese and meat trays provide high-quality protein. The breads and crackers that accompany them are full of energy-producing carbohydrates. When whole-grain breads are included, fiber, minerals, and other nutrients are also present. Fruits, as a base for cheese or served alone, add vitamins and minerals.

Cold Platter Buffets

Cold platter buffets give culinary professionals the chance to use their creative culinary talents. A cold platter buffet has three main elements:

• Centerpiece This could be an uncut part of the main dish. The centerpiece for a cold meat platter, for example, may be a roast. It also could be a large, attractive bowl with a sauce or condiment. Not all centerpieces are meant to be eaten. They should, however, be made of food-based materials. For example, the centerpiece for a fruit platter could be a hollowed-out watermelon bowl filled with cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon balls.

• Serving Portions These portions come from the main dish, such as slices of meat from a roast or sliced cheese. Portion sizes for meats should average about 3 ounces. For cheeses, portion sizes should average about 1 ounce. Display these servings artistically on the platter.

• Garnish This item should add both appeal and nutritive value. A garnish for a meat platter, for example, might be flower-shaped vegetables cut in sizes that are in proportion to the meat and cheese slices that are on the platter.

Visual Appeal

Here are some other tips that you can use to prepare a visually appealing cold platter buffet:

• Be sure that the individual food items are easy to pick up. Guests should be able to take individual servings without ruining the overall presentation of the buffet.

• Keep it simple. No-frills displays hold up better over time than overdone ones. Displays should look just as good at the end of a buffet as they do at the beginning.

• Use attractive, durable platters that are suitable for the foods that you will be serving. Choices include mirrors, plastic, china, and silver or other metals. Because some metals discolor or leave a metallic taste in food, make sure they are covered with a liner or aspic ('as-pik) before foods are added to the platter. Aspic is a savory jelly made from meat or vegetable stock and gelatin.

• Do not remove a food item once you have placed it on a tray. If you rearrange items on silver or mirrored platters, the food will leave smudges. The food will also look less attractive the more you handle it. You must have a specific plan in mind before you begin arranging a platter. The best way to do this is to draw a plan on paper.

I Cold Platters

Because cold platters may sit out for several hours, it is important to keep them refrigerated until you serve them. Keep cold foods below the temperature danger zone lower limit of 41°F (5°C). CRITICAL THINKING What are the potential dangers if you do not refrigerate a cold platter?

The plan should include shapes, sizes, color, number of items, and appropriate garnishes.

• The platter must complement the overall buffet display. It should also be visually appealing on its own.

Fruit and Cheese Trays

You may prepare fruit and cheese trays as a main course for a lunch buffet or as a dessert course for a dinner buffet. Fruit is often paired with cheese for two reasons. First, their flavors complement each other. Sweet, juicy fruits go well with earthy, rich cheeses. Second, cheese has more visual appeal when it is paired with fruit. The muted, or soft, colors of cheese are enhanced by the vibrant colors of fruits, such as grapes, melons, apples, and pears.

There are many ways to prepare fruit and cheese trays. These trays are not always arranged with individual portions the way that other buffet items are. Often, the trays are displayed with whole cheeses or large pieces of cheese. Utensils are included, and guests are expected to cut their own slices. This arrangement is done partly because cheese dries out after it has been cut. Cheese is also more attractive as a whole. Fruits, too, are not always displayed as individual portions on trays. Many fruits become discolored after they have been cut.

Choose cheeses based on their color, texture, shape, and flavor. Cheeses of different colors and shapes make an attractive visual display, especially when they are combined with colorful fruits.

Combination Trays

Combination trays may include meat with fruit, meat with cheese, or meat with fruit and cheese. Combination trays are excellent for buffets or parties because they give guests a wide variety of nutritious, tasty foods. Some combination trays also include raw or marinated vegetables.

An example of a combination tray is antipasto (,an-te-'pas-(,)to). Antipasto is the Italian word for appetizer or before the meal. A typical antipasto tray includes cold meats, such as Genoa salami and various hams, assorted cheeses, olives, and marinated vegetables. Fruits, such as cantaloupe and other melons, may also appear on an antipasto tray.

Relish Trays

A relish tray is an attractive arrangement of raw, blanched, or marinated vegetables. Sometimes relishes are called crudités. The kinds of vegetables used and the way they are arranged is only as limited as the creativity of the chef.

You might arrange an assortment of carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, radishes, zucchini, squash, peppers, jicama, cauliflower, broccoli, olives, cherry tomatoes, and endive with a special sauce for dipping. You can also use marinated vegetables. A marinated vegetable has been soaked in a liquid, typically made of vinegar, oil, herbs, and spices. Relish vegetables should be attractively cut and served on a platter.


Relish trays are usually served with a dip that complements the vegetables. Creamy dips, made from a base of mayonnaise, sour cream, or cream cheese, are an especially good choice. Dips can be flavored with herbs, spices, clams, garlic, or chopped hard-cooked eggs. Dips can be served inside hollowed-out vegetables or breads. This will give the relish tray visual appeal.

Cold Hors d'Oeuvre Platters

Mixed hors d'oeuvres or a single type of hors d'oeuvre can be served as a cold platter.

Vegetable Tray Ideas

{Vegetable Assortment

Relish trays can be nutritious, tasty, and attractive. Do relish trays always have only fresh, raw vegetables?

{Vegetable Assortment

Relish trays can be nutritious, tasty, and attractive. Do relish trays always have only fresh, raw vegetables?

The arrangement should be artistic and it should also make it easy for people to pick up an individual hors d'oeuvre without having to touch or move others.

Here are some other important things to keep in mind when you prepare cold hors d'oeuvre platters:

• Season each hors d'oeuvre carefully. Because hors d'oeuvres are supposed to whet the appetite, seasonings and flavorings are especially important. Seasonings and flavorings should complement the hors d'oeuvre's flavor, not overpower it.

• Slice, shape, and portion the items carefully. The platter should offer a variety, but not an overwhelming number of choices that can confuse guests.

• Consider the overall color, shape, and look of the platter as well as the look of individual hors d'oeuvres. There should not be too much unused space, and the items should look good together. Garnishes should enhance the platter, not overwhelm it.

• Include the proper sauces and utensils with each type of hors d'oeuvres tray. Provide separate utensils for each item on a cold platter. For example, you would provide a spoon for a dip and small tongs for crudités. Change the utensils if they become dirty, or if the part of the utensil that touches food becomes compromised.

I Explain What kinds of dips are usually served with relish trays?

SECTION 18.4 -

Review Key Concepts

1. Demonstrate how to prepare the bread for a fancy sandwich.

2. List the typical items on an antipasto tray.

Practice Culinary Academics ^^ English Language Arts

3. Create a proposal for an original cold platter for a catering event. Describe the items on the platter, how they would be prepared, and how they would be presented. Include a diagram of how each food item would be arranged on the platter. Write the proposal as if you were presenting it to an employer.

NCTE 12 Use language to accomplish individual purposes.

Social Studies

4. Cold platters are a good choice for serving at parties. Perform research to find cold dishes from other cultures that could be adapted for an American cold platter. How are these items served in their culture of origin? How would you adapt them for a cold platter? Create a drawing of your new cold platter, including a description of the new food.

^^ Mathematics

5. Armando works for a catering company that is preparing fancy sandwiches for a corporate event. Armando begins preparing fancy sandwiches by slicing herb bread into 2 %-inch squares. He then cuts each square diagonally into two equal triangles. What is the area of each triangle?

¿SH^fflSE Calculating the Area of a Triangle The area of a triangle equals {V2)bh, where b equals the base of a triangle, and h is the triangle's height. If b and h are in inches, area will be in square inches.

Starting Hint Draw a square and label each side as 2 V2 inches. Draw a diagonal line that divides the square in half. Look at one of the triangles you just created, and use the formula described above to determine its base and height.

NCTM Geometry Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems.

Check your answers at this book's Online Learning Center at

Check your answers at this book's Online Learning Center at

NCSS I A Culture Analyze and explain the ways groups, societies, and cultures address human needs and concerns.

Chapter Summary f

Garde manger chefs specialize in the preparation of cold foods. The garde manger chef must consider ingredient variety, color, texture, and cost to prepare and serve foods. Some dishes the garde manger brigade prepares include garnishes, salads, cheese plates, cold hors d'oeuvres, cold platters and relish trays.

A salad can be eaten before a meal, during a meal, or at the end of a meal. There are many varieties of cheese. Cold hors d'oeuvres include canapés and finger sandwiches. Cold platters feature cheese, meat, or fruit and may be simple or complex. Relish trays have vegetables and often a dip to enhance flavor.

Content and Academic Vocabulary Review

1. Create a fill-in-the-blank sentence for each term, with enough information to determine the missing word.

Content Vocabulary

Review Key Concepts vinaigrette (p. 468)

cheddaring (p. 471)

ripening (p. 471)

veined cheese (p. 472)

fresh cheese (p. 473)

processed cheese (p. 474)

emulsifier (p. 474)

cold-pack cheese (p. 474)

single-food hors d'oeuvre (p. 477)

finger food (p. 477)

• marinated vegetable (p. 481)

Academic Vocabulary

2. Identify the duties of the garde manger work station.

3. List the main types of salads served during a meal.

4. Outline the preparation techniques for salad greens.

5. Describe the different types of salad dressings.

6. Explain how to identify and store cheeses.

7. Demonstrate how to make canapés and rolled fancy sandwiches.

8. Summarize the steps to make different types of cold platters.

Critical Thinking

9. Imagine that you are preparing an hors d'oeuvre tray that will be served before a main meal. What factors will impact your hors d'oeuvres choice? 10. Consider accompaniment salads that go with a main course of baked fish. What type of salad would you prepare, and why?

Academic Skills h.

English Language Arts

Languages Across Cultures Garde manger, hors d'oeuvre and canapé are examples of French words that are used in foodservice. What other French words can you think of that you might use as a garde manger chef? Create a vocabulary list, with definitions and a pronunciation guide.

NCTE 9 Develop an understanding of diversity in language use across cultures.


12. Melting Point Different cheeses have different melting points.

Procedure Cut pieces of three different types of cheese and place each on a cracker. Put them in a toaster oven at 300°F (149°C) and watch them closely until each piece melts, or until the cracker starts to burn. Remove each slice from the oven after it has melted.

Analysis Keep track of how long it takes each piece of cheese to melt. Why do you think some cheeses have higher melting points? Do some cheeses not melt at all?

NSES B Develop an understanding of the interactions of energy and matter

^^ Mathematics

13. Work Rates Robyn and Antonio work at the garde manger station at a large hotel kitchen. They have been asked to prepare a cheese platter for a banquet later in the day. It typically takes Robyn 15 minutes to cut four large blocks of cheese into cubes, while it usually takes Antonio 20 minutes to do the same. If they work together, how long will it take them to cut four blocks of cheese into cubes?

Combining Rates of Work In work-related problems, determine the rate of work for each worker. Write an algebraic equation with a variable that represents the total time needed to complete the job by both Robyn and Antonio.

Starting Hint If it takes Robyn 15 minutes to cut all the cubes, she can complete Vis of the job in 1 minute. Similarly, Antonio can finish V20 of the job in 1 minute. If x represents the total minutes needed for the pair to complete the job together, then 1/x represents their combined effort per minute. You know that Vis + V20 = 1/x. Solve for x.

NCTM Problem Solving Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts.

Certification Prep

Directions Read the questions. Then, read the answer choices and choose the best possible answer for each.

14. Which type of salad should have a protein served with it so it can function as a balanced meal?

a. appetizer salad b. accompaniment salad c. main-course salad d. separate-course salad

15. What type of cheese is made by the cheddaring process?

a. hard cheese b. firm cheese c. semisoft cheese d. soft cheese

Sharpen your test-taking skills to improve your kitchen certification program score.

Test-Taking Tip

When you study for a test, write your vocabulary words on flash cards with the definition of each on the back of the card. Quiz yourself each day until you know them all.

Real-World Skills and Applications

Self-Management Skills

16. Design a Salad Imagine that you are a menu planner for a restaurant. You decide to create a nutritious salad. Write down the factors you must consider. Describe your salad, and include an ingredient list. Explain what makes your salad nutritious. Describe the type of customers who might be interested in your salad.

Interpersonal and Collaborative Skills

17. Promote a Cheese Follow your teacher's instructions to break into teams. Imagine that your team is part of an ad agency that is developing a print ad for a particular type of cheese. Describe the cheese, its qualities, its uses, and any nutritional benefits in your ad. Display your ad in the classroom.

Culinary Lab

Create Garnishes

Use the culinary skills you have learned in this chapter.

Technology Applications

18. Recipe Search Under your teacher's or parents' supervision, search the Internet for salad recipes. Locate one recipe for each main type of salad. Label each recipe with its type and the source. Bring your recipe to class. Compile the recipes to make a class recipe book, organized by salad type.

Financial Literacy

19. Purchase Cheese Imagine that you buy a 1-pound brick of Cheddar for $4.99 for your restaurant. You use % of the cheese before it must be thrown away. The next time, you purchase a 16-ounce bag of shredded Cheddar for $5.99 and use it all. Which was a more cost-effective choice?

Use the culinary skills you have learned in this chapter.

20. Use Tools to Create Garnishes In this lab, you will practice using various tools to make different types of garnishes. Then, you and a partner will evaluate your work.

A. Choose garnishing tools. You will need to choose five tools that are listed in Section 18.1 to practice your garnish-making skills. You may use the food suggestions provided, or you may be creative about which foods you will use with which tool.

B. Make garnishes. Use the tools you chose as described in this chapter. If you use a tool on an ingredient that is not mentioned in Section 18.1, make sure that your choice makes sense.

C. Practice with garnishes. Practice each garnish a few times, and then choose your best effort to display for the class.

D. Match the garnishes with food. Determine the food item each garnish would best accompany and create a list to accompany your garnishes.

Create Your Evaluation

After you have finished making the garnishes and chosen your best examples, work with a partner at your teacher's direction to evaluate the garnishes. After reviewing all garnishes and discussing them with your partner, write a one-page evaluation. Evaluations should include:

• Things that might have been done differently.

• Other accompanying food possibilities that were not considered.

• Whether the right tool choices for each ingredient were made.


Sandwiches and Appetizers

Cold Platter Turkey

^^ Explain any terms your reader may not know.

^^ Write each step in chronological order.

^^ Use appropriate transition words and verbs.


Sandwiches are a convenient meal choice for many occasions. What makes Jv sandwiches a convenient meal?

Step-By-Step Guide

Sandwiches are prepared in steps. Write a step-by-step guide for making your favorite type of sandwich. Be clear and concise with your directions.

Writing Tips

^^ Explain any terms your reader may not know.

^^ Write each step in chronological order.

^^ Use appropriate transition words and verbs.


Sandwiches are a convenient meal choice for many occasions. What makes Jv sandwiches a convenient meal?


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  • Bill
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