Catering

The top catering trends for 2015

Special Events Magazine recently asked the top caterers in the United States what their clients are asking for at special events this year. I really like the ideas and I’m sharing some inspiration for your wedding reception.

FoodTrends_2015.02_Candied-Bacon-Spoon

APPETIZERS

1. Shots and bites Combining micro cocktails with matching mini appetizers is a top trend at cocktail hours. Jerry Edwards, CPCE, president of Chef’s Expressions of Timonium, MD., offers an Asian-inspired rice paper-wrapped poached salmon with a peach sake shooter, and a Mexican-themed avocado mousse and chicken torchon with a mini Patron margarita. Kelly Early, owner of Indianapolis-based Thomas Caterers of Distinction, does mini short rib tacos with margarita shots.

2. Bacon and eggs Bacon is the king in Early’s bacon spoons, mini candied bacon BLTs, and bacon-wrapped chicken breast bites marinated in Korean sauce. (Photo above by Erin Hession.) Edwards offers quail eggs topped with American osetra caviar, toast points topped with house-made smoked salmon and sauce gribiche, and cherry tomatoes filled with egg soufflé among his egg-based bites.

3. Pickled and smoked At New York-based Great Performances, executive chef of catering Matthew Riznyk, has a lot of fish dishes, either marinated, cured, pickled or smoked. Also hot: Korean-style appetizers such as fermented kimchee, dumplings and octopus. Richard Mooney, owner of Los Angeles-based Kensington Caterers, combines his house-cured salmon gravlax with mirin and sesame in a wonton cone. Early offers sweet, savory and sour with watermelon cubes topped with goat cheese and pickled watermelon rind, served on a Himalayan salt block.

FoodTrends_2015.02_Braised-Short-Ribs

ENTREES

1. Light and healthy Edwards sees fish and vegetables as the main ingredient. Edwards combines braising vegetables with herb sauces made with fresh stocks and pureed vegetables.

2. Unparalleled proteins Mooney’s roasted branzino with preserved lemon jus is his fish dish of choice. Riznyk adds tilefish and cobia to the list, adding that nontraditional options such as rib-eye cap steak, bison, sweetbreads, goat and game birds will be more and more used. His popular dishes are grass-fed beef tenderloin with a five-herb green sauce as example, and bone-in organic chicken breast crusted with crushed fennel, mustard seeds and Parmesan-panko. Legumes are becoming very popular as well, and Edwards predicts a rise in beans (cranberry, runner, adzuki, black and garbanzo) as protein-packed, meatless main dish options.

3. Great garnishes Fried parsnip, carrot wisps, crispy matchstick potatoes, or superfine fried onion are clever ideas and they add a surprise element to the plate at little or no cost – This is a perfect solution for your wedding reception. Early would add a small skewer of beef, shrimp or scallops to a chicken entree. (Above, braised short ribs from Thomas Caterers of Distinction; photo by Erin Hession.)

FoodTrends_2015.02_Deconstructed-Apple-Pie

DESSERTS

1. Small and sweet Edwards provides small portions with big flavor such as chocolate truffles with sea salt, house-made caramels and shot glasses filled with trifle as standouts for 2015. He also predicts a rise in pies of all varieties and a decrease in cupcakes and cake pops. Early adds miniature versions of traditional desserts such as lemon bars topped with whipped cream and rose crystals, and brownies topped with chocolate mousse and mint crystals as favorites. Early also mentioned the very popular “nitro pops” made in a variety of flavor combinations (Frangelico-peanut butter and Chambord raspberry, caramel and apple, chocolate and strawberry), a specialty that San Diego-based Sensational Treats can provide. Riznyk sees miniature eclairs replacing macarons, and predicts a rise in heirloom baking ingredients such as heirloom root vegetables instead of the old carrot cake.

2. Put up pies Mini Mason jars are still ideal to serve deconstructed pies, cobblers and trifle with a rustic-chic theme, according to both Early and Mooney. (Photo above, deconstructed apple pie in a jar from Kensington Caterers; photo courtesy Kensington Caterers.)

{Article courtesy of Susan Cuadrado, Special Events Magazine}

How will you impress your guests at dinner or at lunch? Ask LA DOLCE IDEA for advice and ideas and your reception will be a memorable celebration! Contact me to schedule a complimentary consultation today

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