For more deli pizzazz, go with garnishes.
Garnishes are the showbiz of deli food presentation. They not only enhance the product--whether it be party trays, catered foods or salads displayed in the case--but they can also contribute to your deli's image. In this Deli/Bakery Digest, we continue our series of garnishing how-to's that can be used to add visual excitement to deli foods during the holidays and throughout the year.
Also included are examples of more elaborate food decoration, not beyond the capabilities of your deli department, that could be adapted on a smaller scale to highlight your party tray and catering offerings. Those illustrated are selections from the outstanding entries in a special competition sponsored by the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association. Contestants included restaurant chefs and professional caterers, but some of the most original creations were those entered by high school home economics classes.
A similar contest, conducted on a local basis and sponsored by your deli, could be an excellent way to build customer traffic, to encourage culinary activities in the schools, and to attract valuable media coverage. If space allows, entries should be displayed in or near the deli area. Invite media food editors to judge. To heighten interest in the competition, consider offering prizes in different contestant classifications: for high school students, for local amateur cooks, and for professional chefs.