From delicious hors d’oeuvres to event themes, here’s what’s hot in catering trends.
You drive across town for authentic French brie and you know a North African grocer who orders harissa especially for you. But there’s still a spot in your stomach for those comfort food favorites, like meatloaf and macaroni and cheese. Lucky for you, caterers are taking cues from the not-so-secret offerings of the coziest kitchens and crowded diners out there, whipping up variations of much-loved standards with gourmet twists. So go ahead -- fill your reception menu with grilled “four cheese” sandwiches with mint pesto on French country white, baked ziti with sundried tomatoes and pancetta, or wasabi mashed potatoes with ponzu sauce, and watch your guests clean their plates.
As appealing to the eye as to the taste buds, mini meals -- scaled down portions of traditional dishes -- are one of the hottest trends in hors d’oeuvres. Some of our favorites include miniature hamburgers with teardrop tomato slices, tiny Chinese to-go boxes stuffed with lobster, shrimp, and Chow Fun noodles, and mini Caprese salad served on skewers.
From Indian samosas to Greek spanakopita, global cuisine is very in vogue. Whether couples choose to honor family heritage by creating a menu with old-country roots, or they just happen to love the flavors of a certain part of the world, an ethnic-inspired menu is sure to spice up any event. Additionally, many top caterers are creating delicious fusion cuisine, like crusty Cuban-style empanadas filled with spicy shrimp Vindaloo, or Italian-style bruschetta topped with Moroccan-spiced tomatoes and lentils.
Foodies around the world flock to fine restaurants to enjoy “tasting menus,” where as many as 30 small courses are served. Caterers are able translate the concept by serving courses of hors d’oeuvres-size dishes. For example, a starter course may include a trio of soups like chilled cucumber soup in a shot glass, a demi-tasse of lobster bisque, and a ramekin of French onion soup. When it comes to entrees, a small roasted filet on a bed of horseradish crusted potatoes and four-peppercorn sauce may share a plate with a small piece of herb crusted halibut with tomato fondue. And who could forget dessert, where a bite-size slice of New York cheesecake is escorted by a mound of homemade strawberry sorbet and a mini root-beer float.