Chyka Celebrate Extract

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Chyka's Top Tips for Grazing Tables

13 Sep 2019 | Cherry Cai

Everyone wants to know how to host a great party, and there is no one better to learn from than styling expert Chyka Keebaugh. In her new book Chyka Celebrate, Chyka really breaks down how to host an unforgettable event, from planning, to invite, to execution.

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  • Create height using different platters and stands to give your table dimension. Start from the back and work from highest to lowest – a flat table is a no-no.
  • If possible, stick to just a few colours for your boards and platters. The colour will come mainly from the food. Once it is all set up, step back and see where you can balance out the colour by swapping ingredients around.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have a tremendous amount of crockery to fill the table; chopping boards can be found in many cheap homeware stores, and having a variety of sizes will do the trick. Don’t be scared to place food directly on your table either (you can even run a sheet of brown butcher’s paper under everything).
  • Use props to make your table look fuller. Set up your food around potted plants, piles of books or even groups of candles. Items that will give you height and add a little interest are what you are looking for.
  • Include your drinks station on the table to create a more abundant, decadent look. A few bottles of bubbles in ice-filled buckets with glasses at the ready, or a few varieties of gin surrounded by cut lemons, limes and cucumbers next to an array of tumblers turns your grazing table into a banquet.


Dips are simple, delicious and, with minimal effort, can look great styled up on a platter or grazing table. As always, the best dips are those homemade from fresh and flavoursome ingredients.

But, dips aren’t just for dipping. Sure, there is nothing better than sitting down with wine and a platter of cheese and dips, but have you thought about using dips in your everyday cooking? How about sandwiches with dip spread on them instead of mayo or butter? Or homemade souvlakis topped with a fresh and zingy tzatziki? Don’t be afraid to skip dressings either, and incorporate dips into your salads; it will give a textural element that will lift a basic salad.


140 g (5 oz) julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained, plus extra chopped sun-dried tomatoes to garnish

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 rosemary sprig, leaves stripped and chopped, plus an extra sprig to garnish

125 g (4½ oz/½ cup) low-fat sour cream

140 g (5 oz) goat’s cheese, plus extra to garnish if desired

MAKES: 350 G (12½ OZ)


In a food processor, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, oregano and rosemary with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse until chunky.

Add the sour cream and goat’s cheese, then blend for approximately 5–6 minutes until smooth. If the dip still seems a little thick, add another splash of olive oil.

Serve chilled or at room temperature. When ready to serve, crumble over some extra goat’s cheese, chopped sun-dried tomatoes and another drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.

This dip can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It is best served with crackers or flat bread.

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All text extracted from Chyka Celebrate by Chyka Keebaugh
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