Thursday, July 7, 2011

Top Food Trends

Article courtesy of The Knot.

Make sure your guests remember your wedding food
for all the right reasons. Try out one of these creative ideas for a
fresh take on some delicious food, cocktail, and serving options.


Thought the cupcake craze was going away? Think again.
Caterers have taken our fascination with all things round to a new level
by offering up savory cupcakes during cocktail hour (or even as a light entree!).
That means mashed potato icing, a mini meat loaf topped with rosemary,
or even a tomato basil Parmesan mix topped with freshly grated cheese.


Think: an appetizer served on an edible spoon,
or even a small bite between courses inside a
mini bread bowl. Being able to literally eat everything on your
plate can be a great way to add some creativity to a more casual reception.


Put a new twist on your love for global cuisine by serving it
up street style. Some of our favorite ideas: Chinese dim sum,
mini Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, or even socca -
a crispy chickpea pancake - for French-food lovers.
Or go all out and bring in an actual food truck or
food stand for your outdoor reception.


Since rehearsal dinners often have more flexibility than the
actual wedding day, you can easily take the food to a whole new
level by adding a culinary theme. Skip the pinatas and sombreros
at your "Mexican Fiesta" to keep it sophisticated, but do add classic
dishes like burritos, fajitas, and churros for dessert. Other hot ideas
could be a New England beach clambake, or a "Southern Comfort"
dinner with fresh biscuits, fried chicken, and, of course,
lots of cocktails with the party's namesake liquor.


It doesn't have to be summer for you to embrace this trend of
serving up fruity, tropical cocktails. Go for classics like tequila
sunrises and mai tais, or work with your caterer for newer variations
on old-school favorites like Singapore slings or planter's punch.
You could really get into the theme by designating a separate bar to
serve the tropical punches in coconut shell cups with
colorful straws and fruit garnishes.


For the ultimate in showmanship and presentation, try this: an
ice cream bar where a chef instantly whips up a cold treat using liquid nitrogen.
Not only will it make for some amazing photos, but for summer weddings,
its a great way to keep the dessert from melting, since its made and served right away.


Take a page from the French for this old-school style of service
where you'll dine with your eyes first. At dinner, waiters offer selections
from large trays (or carts) that are wheeled from table to table. Guests can
pick from a variety of proteins, grains, and vegetables, ensuring that everyone
gets exactly what they want.


Whether it's food or liquid, serving it in a shot or martini glass
makes the dish an instant hit with guests. Several caterers we talked with
said they loved the creativity and flexibility this option gave them, while guests
enjoy the amuse-bouche style of dining that lets them have a
quick bite and then get back on the dance floor.


Two is better than one, right? That's the idea behind this luxe trend,
which puts two or even three entrees onto every guest's plate. The idea is simple:
Why pick between chicken and fish options when you can give
your guests both in smaller appetizer sizes?


Give your guests the ultimate luxury by hiring extra waiters for a
real VIP experience. Waiters are assigned ahead of time to just a few
guests and stick with that group the entire night. They provide the basics -
like serving the food - but also add that extra something,
like taking cocktail orders from the dance floor and modifying the
menu on the spot to accommodate special requests.


Rather than a single wedding cake, have an individual wedding
cake in a different flavor at each of your reception tables. It's
all about the presentation with these hand-decorated cakes, and guests
will love getting to cut their own dessert
(rather than having something pre-sliced on a plate.


Whether you've opted to go vegan for social concerns or stick to
a gluten-free diet for health reasons, you don't have to sacrifice when
it comes to your wedding menu. More and more caterers now
offer menus for special diets - whether it's raw foods, dairy-free,
pescatarian, or some other variation specific to the foods you love.


Go with a lounge setting for this heavy-appetizer style of reception.
Tapas are a great way to offer your guests a variety of flavors while still
keeping the menu tied together - since its all Spanish food.
Try paella cups, lime fish, and shrimp skewers. It's perfect for a
relaxed wedding, where guests can easily mingle without having to sit
at the same table all night.


For a simple, edible DIY favor, try canning something for your guests.
You and your groom may can or preserve just about anything - from pickles to
jam - and top it all off with a pretty ribbon or scrap of patterned fabric.
(Just make sure you start the project with several months to go,
since some preserves take months to make.)


We've seen bars of all types grow in popularity over the past year,
but we're really loving this one because it puts a new (and classy) spin
on the old-school condiment bar. At a separate bar,
serve up hot sauces in varying levels
of spices, plus other condiments, peppers, and anything else you'll need to
heat up a dish. Trust us, your guests (and groomsmen) will love the
"dare you to try it" game of picking the hottest thing available.

Are you including any of these food trends in your reception? Tell us about it!


The Emily Weddings Team

Photo credits:
1. Tara Maxey
2. Scott Thompson Photography
3. Rachel McGinn Photography
4. Nicole Hill Gerulat
5. Ben Vigil
6. Kristian Olson
7. Heather Saunders and Kristen Taylor/Heather Saunders Photography
8. Sarah Bastille Photography
9. Elizabeth Messina
10. Danny Weiss Photography
11. Kate Mathis/The Knot
12. Amber Stricklin Photography
13. Heather Waraksa
14. Red Loft Studios
15. Faith West Photography

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