From the boat to a backyard BBQ, making a summer soiree memorable is easy — with a little inspiration.
Megan Palmer Rivera, the culinary director and events planner at Palmer’s Market, has endless ideas when it comes to parties.
“Summer is the time to make parties a little more relaxed, less formal,” Megan said, “but we have some great food stations and themes that will keep it memorable.”
If you’re heading out on Long Island Sound, Palmer’s Gourmet-to-Go menus make it feel more like a trip on the Mediterranean.
“I grew up boating and the worst part of bringing a picnic or planning a party is trying to make space for the food and all the containers,” Megan said. “Our special platters are unique in that you’re getting a gourmet menu without any hassle.”
The Mezze Platter features house-made falafel, tzatziki, dates, baba ganoush and more.
The Tapas Platter offers a taste of Spain with tortilla bites, stuffed piquillo peppers, garlic and herb shrimp and Serrano ham.
For a celebration on land, party stations are a great way to create an interactive event.
The Palmer’s Caprese Station features heirloom tomatoes, local mozzarella and a vast selection of olive oils, vinegars and salts — allowing partygoers and find their favorites.
A Summer Seafood Bar offers both cooked and raw items to appeal to everyone’s tastes.
For something sweet and summery, the DIY Shortcake Station offers fresh fruits, a variety of cakes and a selection of homemade whipped creams.
“What’s fun about the stations is it becomes a focal point for an event in a way that passed hors d’oeuvres don’t,” Megan said.
Palmer’s portable food truck window also helps create a fun experience without changing the flow of a party and taking up space in the driveway.
Some of Megan’s favorite summer party themes are closely tied to the food stations.
A funnel cake station and clam strips are a fun launch into a New England-Kitsch theme.
A Southern BBQ, close to home, is another option.
“We have all the classics like baby back ribs and tender brisket but we take it up a notch with our BBQ sauce station and Southern biscuit bar,” she said.
One of Megan’s favorite themes for summer is The Fiesta.
“We have so many Fiestas this summer,” Megan said. “Everyone loves Mexican food and it’s an inexpensive way to cater your party.”
In addition to the vibrant colors, the Palmer’s taco “truck,” and margarita mixes, a guacamole and salsa bar make it more unique.
“People love choices, and, with a guacamole bar you’re taking something simple and elevating it,” she said.
Whether Palmer’s customers are ordering Gourmet-to-Go or having Palmer’s plan an entire event, Megan believes summer entertaining should be as fun and relaxing for the host as it is for the guests.
“Summer is the perfect time to entertain and throw a party just because,”she said.
To find more ideas and information, visit PalmersDarien.com/Catering.