Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Food for Fetes: Catering Trends for 2012

It's been a while since my last blog and I"m feeling a bit rusty, but I did want to share with you the newest trends in catering that the March/April Special Events Magazine highlighted for 2012! You can check out the full article here.
Most couples put a lot of thought and careful planning into what they serve their wedding guests and I always appreciate the careful consideration when I attend a wedding! Let's start with your guests first introduction to your reception fete:
The Cocktail Hour:
Have you heard of infusion bars?
(Champagne infusion bar photo courtesy of Project Wedding )
Infusion bars allow guests to customize their libations by adding syrups, fruit, liqeuors, etc. It also is sure to encourage connection and conversation among your guests!
There can also be wine tasting receptions! Guests can start the reception in a wine cellar and partake in a private wine tasting complete with custom wedding labels and corks! This would be ideal for a rustic or garden/vineyard theme.
How about more playful savory mini cupcakes and lolipops for your guests? You definitely want to think about bite-sized options for your guests during the cocktail hour and who wouldn't enjoy a savory cupcake favorite like Lobster and manchego cupcakes with chive creme fraiche icing? Oh, my!
The Main Course:
Now that you've treated your guets to Champagne, Martini or Vodka infusion bars and then teased them with savory bite-size apetizers it's time to really treat them and their taste buds!
Spring and summer weddings would definitely shock guests with Chilled soup stations. You can treat guests to seasonal chilled soups and even follow up with fruit soups for dessert. My husband would go nuts for classic tomato gazpacho with grilled shrimp and cilantro oil!
How about Fusion Cuisine? I've actually seen these for a while, but cross-cultural cooking is still a hit and I've seen classic American and Latin American fusions as well as American and Laio. Sushi? Dim Sum? Yes, please!
Ever think of using small plates for your guests to sample your fete? Having different stations and utilizing small plates keeps the feel of your reception more casual and fun with less formality like plated dinners.
My favorite: Dessert
We know that cupcakes have stolen the classic wedding cake's thunder, but another viral sugary treat that has hit the scene thanks to Pinterest Cakes in a jar! Induvidual cakes are baked in jars, mismatched vintage teacups or mugs in uniform colors that complement the wedding's overall theme. How precious!
Dessert stations with one-bite assorted finger sweets, think themed candies and cake pops, are always a hit! I see guests digging into these all night long!
Ice cream pops are very new (I haven't seen them yet!) but would treat your guests to a cool refreshment in the very hot summer months we have here in the south. Salted caramel, raspberry chocolate chile, coconut mango, espresso bean, orange pistachio and Swiss vanilla almond, too many great choices just might make me visit twice!
The After Party:
You definitely work up a large appetite as you hit the dance floor and dance until the late hours of the night and you're sure to need something to soak up the infusion bar drinks too! Take guests back to their childhood with grilled cheese sandwiches! We're not talking about Wonder Bread and Veleeta cheese slices here, but meat and cheese combos such as slow cooked short ribs with fontina cheese, duck confit with Brie, and Maine lobster with Gruyere!
There's always the grilled cheese sandwich with tomota soup shooters, and shoe-string fries washed down with mini-milkshakes (LOVE this one!), French toast cubes with nutella hazelnut spread, blueberry sauce or chocolate ganache offer a sweet ending to the night!

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