One thing is constant at all events—the food. There are several decisions that go into the food choices at any event and many questions to be answered when it comes to catering options. Will it be buffet style or a seated dinner? Will desserts be plated or served in shot glasses? The event industry is ever changing, with each year rolling out a new set of food trends to sink our teeth into. To help your food conceptions be the best your guests have seen and tasted to date, here are our predictions for top catering trends this year.
Mini cocktails paired with hors d’oeuvres – Stand out cocktail hours need two things-great food and stellar drinks. Mini “bar food” classic combos will be served with similar sized cocktails to match. Fried oysters with bloody mary shots, bourbon with short rib sliders, tiny tacos with margaritas are sure to be seen in passing. Offering drinks that complement the food – even mini bottles of fruit juice and flavored water fits with today’s particular consumer and gives an upsell opportunity.
Upscale Comfort foods –No matter the season, comfort foods warm every guest’s heart and can add a familiar taste amongst the sea of aioli and asparagus jus. We suggest incorporating comforting and simple dishes in addition to complex offerings. Soups, cheese and cracker stations, mac and cheese, and toothpicks of crisp fried chicken with dipping sauces will give guests a sense of home, no matter where they come from.
Mash-up dishes –Variations and combinations of the catering staples are sure to be shown at events. Foods like dessert pizza, ramen noodle buns with sliders, and chocolate bacon – pairs you wouldn’t think of right off the bat are about to be at every event you attend. Sweet is savory and savory is sweet. Ice cream with bacon in it and a burger that’s dessert. The ideas are endless. Now, creative chefs are finding ways to actually turn menu concepts upside down
Brunch –Because daytime weddings and events are often cheaper than nighttime soirees – brunches have become popular as well as “breakfast for dinner.” Omelet and pancake stations served along side mimosas, bloody mary’s, and syrupy bourbons are trending.
Ingredient Fix—one trend we’ve been seeing is dedicated stations –a station dedicated entirely to an ingredient and incorporates that ingredient into every dish on that station. Basically the spine of America—bacon, can be served hundreds of fun ways. Bacon-wrapped shrimp, bacon salt, and bacon donuts can hit every taste bud at the bacon station. Make sure each ingredient station has a sweet, salty, and savory dish.
Street Foods and Food Trucks –Food trucks before, during, and after events have become a hot trend this year. Hosts are striving to fuse elegance, convenience, and playfulness and food trucks are the perfect solution. Trucks are great for outdoor weddings because they can park right beside the event and close to guests. From Mexican churros to Spanish tapas and Chinese dim sum being served as guests exit, the more international a menu, the better it seems.
Flights–and we’re not talking about how you’re getting to the event. Mini glasses of wines ranging from pale pink to dark red and beers arranged from dark to light seem to be the rage this year. Pairing food and wine has always been a trend, but the sit-down plated dinner is becoming endangered in favor of more fun and boozy-focused events. Serve various types of liquors in beer in small sampling sizes so guests can try more variations.