A Fantastic Chanukah Party Idea – Part I: The Latke Bar


Last year I threw a really terrific imageChanukah Party that was a celebration for a combination of really momentous occasions in my life. My daughters first Birthday and for my brand new House that we finally moved into after a few years of whirlwind complications.

I wanted to do something really different and fun, yet practical for the large amount of friends and family I was planning on hosting.

I literally woke up one morning, after spending the night trying to make a party menu, thinking how fantastic would a Latke Bar idea be for a Chanukah party? I knew right off the bat that I was going to have tremendous fun coming up with different types of latkes and various delicious toppings for everyone to mix and match as they please.

I also knew that I really wanted to try putting together a dessert bar ( a huge party trend right now) that would appeal to all, kids and adults. Between those two whimsical ideas, a Chanukah/Birthday Party was born.

It  helped that I had my good friend and go-to party stylist Margalit Lankry using her super talent powers to help with the party decor (and conveniently we had a feature article to write that year for Binah Magazine  – so our well honed team efforts was photographed beautifully by Esti Photography!)

I realize as I write this post, how much I love this idea for a Chanukah Party and how really fun, different and easy it is to pull off  – that I am seriously considering doing the same thing again this year. The visual appeal of mixing and matching colors and patterns is something I really love to do – and  I hope after seeing this you will be inspired to try it in your home.

Happy Chanukah Planning!


Look out for Part II: Latke Bar –6 Latke Recipes 20 Toppings & Part III The Ultimate Chanukah Candy Bar posting this coming week!





The Latke Bar

Part I: Designing Your Bars Mix & Match Look

A simple Chanukah classic takes your family party

to a whole new level

This Chanukah, place latkes center stage! Create an elevated latke bar on a simple do-it-yourself board. We served up six variations on the beloved latke, as well as a host of different toppings. Our fresh new concept works equally well as the centerpiece of a table with places set around it, or as a buffet against a wall or mechitzah. The materials are easy to find and quick to put together, and the delicious offerings will appeal to everyone in the family.

When choosing a color scheme, have fun with different patterns and colors. For a successful combination, keep in mind this rule: When you mix and match patterns, anchor the design with a solid accent color; when picking solid colors, include a pattern that ties them together. Start with items you already have, and find new elements to complement them.

Table Linens: Since we had the blue

dinner glasses and plates, we chose a

blue and white fabric in a fun and modernimage

geometric design. The fabric, from our

local Stitch N’ Sew, makes a gorgeous,

no-fuss table runner. Using fabric glue,

we hemmed the edges and created a

very inexpensive yet sophisticated look

($12.99/yard, 2½ yards for an 8 ft. table).

We also introduced black as an accent

color with napkins from Bed Bath &

Beyond ($12 for 6).


Dinnerware & Glassware: Use what

you have at home. If you want to add to

the look, buy coordinating salad plates or

stemware in your accent color (zebra

plates, Pier 1 Imports, $2.99 each). Our

layered look is both pretty and practical:

since there are so many different latke

and topping options, we placed three or

four plates at each setting so that people

could use different ones for tastes that

might not mix well.

Tip: Dollar stores are a great source forimage

inexpensive creative dishes and



Tabletop Display: Gussy up large

aluminum cans (tomato sauce, Costco,

$2.39 each) by using double-sided tape

to affix wide bands of ribbon. We used

eight cans to evoke a menorah and to

ensure a stable base for our buffet, and

surrounded them with marshmallows.

Fresh flowers, candle votives, pine cones,

nuts, and candy all make great decorative

elements to place around the base of this



Buffet Board: Wrap a piece of plywood

(Lowe’s, $8 for 5 ft. x 18 in.) in

coordinating fabric, and fasten withimage

strong tape underneath (or secure in

place using a heavy-duty staple gun). We

studded ours with decorative nail heads

(Stitch N’ Sew, $6 for 50).

Tip: You can save money by using a

table runner or cloth you already have at



Buffet Serving Dishes: We used

rectangular white plates and small white

bowls that we had at home to achieve a

clean, linear look on our table. If you do

not have simple white dishes, you can

purchase high-quality plastic partyware

to achieve the same look for a reasonable

price (thekayacollection.com, $1.99-

9.99). Add labels identifying the different

kinds of latkes, using decorative packageimage

labels (A.C. Moore or Wal-Mart).

Tip: We used small bud vases with

ribbon as holders for our latke pops.


Gifts for Guests: Create a place card out of a small, white paper box (Michael’s,

$0.69 each). Fill it with chocolate

Chanukah gelt or a small thank-you note,

or leave it empty for your guests to fill

with goodies that you serve for dessert.

Tie each box with a satin ribbon and

attach a handwritten name tag.image


Look out for Part II The Latke Bar:  6 Latke Recipes 20 Toppings

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About the Author

For the last 8 years Sarah Lasry has been the heart and soul of the successful and celebrated Tastebuds Gourmet Café & Flower Shop in Howell, NJ. Sarah opened and ran Tastebuds to much critical appraise for her unique approach to delicious, kosher gourmet cooking as well as her legendary parties, original style and artistic culinary flair. In 2006 Sarah wrote the acclaimed bestselling cookbook “THE DAIRY GOURMET” which revealed all the secret recipes of Tastebuds Café. With much anticipation from her many fans and fellow foodies, Sarah’s brand new cookbook “THE AT HOME GOURMET” just hit the stores with high praise and reviews. Sarah currently resides in Lakewood, NJ where she has recently left the restaurant business to concentrate on her passion for writing cookbooks and is hard at work as the Food and Home contributing editor for Binah Magazine and www. Kosherstreet.com.

Comments (5)

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  1. Sharon O says:

    Do you know what size cans I need to buy in cosco? How many oz for the base of the centerpiece?

    • admin says:

      In Costco – we bought whats called the 10 cans of Tomato Sauce – (i think the whole potatoes are also 10 cans) – Restaurant size cans

      • Sharon O says:

        Hi Sarah!
        We did your buffet idea, everyone LOVED the salad bar!!
        I did end up using the cans for the base – the plywood was 2 small (only 4 feet, not 5 like u suggested) so I couldnt display the cans as the “menorah”, but they were a nice base.
        I am for sure the biggest fan of your site!
        I emailed you some photos.

        • admin says:

          I saw your pictures this morning – they looked gorgeous!!! you did an awesome job – thank you so much for sending them to me – I am going to add them to the post soon!

          Have a great day :) Sarah

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