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catering trends

Popular Trends In Catering

From weddings to business conferences to special events, catering services are getting creative and going above and beyond. Let’s take a look at some of the currently popular catering food trends.

Experiential Catering
Consumer demand for knowing more about food and where it comes from continues to grow. We see more awareness, education and consciousness when it comes to what people are consuming, and thus, transparency is key.

With that said, experiential catering allows guests to be part of the cooking process with an interactive catering station. For example, a pasta station provides guests the experience of watching the chef’s entire process of making the pasta from scratch, cooking, and serving it. Another example is a pizza station that allows guests to choose their own toppings and watch the pizza come to fruition in a hot woodfire oven. Lastly, a slider station is another way to incorporate guests in the experience. They can use their imagination and create their own sliders, choosing their protein, toppings and sauces.

Healthy Options
The health-conscious lifestyle has gained momentum over the last few years, with many looking for healthy versions of classics and interesting, new superfoods. Luckily, these healthy foods are great for both presentation and taste. Things like poke bowls, smoothie bowls, edible flowers, fermented foods, plant-based soups and superfood slaws deliver great flavors, textures, and colors. With their excellent ingredients, they promise slow-release energy and quality brain fuel.

Instagrammable Items
Presentation is key. Incorporating Instagram-worthy elements to your catering will definitely wow your guests and potentially get them talking on social media. And positive word of mouth can go a very long way. Instagram loves unique and pretty things like charcoal-infused ice cream or hanging macaroons.

Root-To-Stem Eating
Much like nose-to-tail butchery, root-to-stem cooking aims to cut down on food waste. It makes use of the entire vegetable, resulting in things like pickled watermelon rinds, carrot top pesto, fennel frond vinaigrette, and sautéed beet greens. By rethinking the parts you normally toss, you cut down on food waste and save money in the long run.

Chaga Mushrooms
Although it’s been around for years, chaga mushrooms have only recently been discovered as an amazing superfood. This is thanks to its incredible immune system benefits and for retaining balance. Aside from these health benefits, they deliver delicious flavor. They are being used in dishes such as mushroom canapés, wild mushrooms with balsamic and thyme, grilled cheese and minty mushrooms, and even chaga mushroom tarts.

Grazing Tables
A table filled with rustic bread, local cheeses and a variety of meats and dips allows guests to graze and mingle over the food. Keep in mind that a divers and colorful arrangement will have a greater impact. Also, don’t skimp on the good stuff – while presentation is important, good quality food always prevails. And of course, you want to consider texture as well. Combine soft and hard cheeses, smooth and coarse crackers, crunchy and melt-in-your-mouth snacks, along with passionfruit, figs and edible flowers for the ultimate spread.

Food Walls
This concept plays with the presentation of classic and comfort foods (think donut or pretzel walls). When your favorites are presented in an unfamiliar way, it is exciting and interactive, which draws guests in.

Veggie-based Cocktails
Veggies are no longer just garnishes for your drinks. More craft cocktails will be vegetable-infused with veggies such as beets, carrots, butternut squash, radish, tomatillos, and more. Some great examples of these veggie-infused craft cocktails that you may see include Gin & Asparagus and Tequila & Avocado.

Tacos
Everybody loves tacos. And honestly, what’s not to love? They’re easy, versatile, and delicious. You can fill them with whatever you like – veggies, rice, chili beans, salads, garnishes – the possibilities are endless. And because of this, they will remain a catering food staple.

Korean Food
Whether traditional or a fusion style, Korean food is a popular cuisine. Things like kimchi, soft tofu stew, soy sauce crab, japchae, and Korean fried or sweet crispy chicken are loved by many. An easy dish that’s great for catering is bibimbap, which is like a rice bowl typically served with mixed veggies, beef, egg, sesame oil, and chili paste.

Brunch
The lazy weekend meal is no longer just that. The brunch trend is growing, especially for wedding catering – think a brunch bar with Bloody Marys and mimosas. You also want to be adventurous with the selection by adding unconventional flavors to classic dishes. For example, you can try coconut pancakes with banana and crème fraiche, Bloody Mary baked beans, dukkah-rolled eggs with freekeh and beetroot, or chocolate muesli with warm milk.

What other catering trends have you seen and loved? Share your favorites with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

To learn more about the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli’s catering services, call 909-596-5225, visit BrickMarketDeli.com, or stop by to speak with our staff. We are located on the northeast corner of Garey Avenue and East Arrow Highway in Pomona.

Catering Service Styles

When you think of catering, a buffet table set up with numerous chafing dishes may come to mind. But there is much more to catering than that. There are various catering services to choose from depending on the mood of your event, whether formal or relaxed. Review these catering service styles to determine which will work best for your next event.

Butler Passing
One of the classier styles, butler passing involves the wait staff walking around the event carrying a tray of hors d’ oeuvres or beverages for guests. It can add a touch of elegance to your event, and is often a great way to get guests ready for the main event. For example, you can use butler passing as guests wait for the wedding party to arrive for the reception dinner.

Stations
These allow your guests to get up and move around, which promotes mingling. Guests can explore the different stations and get excited for what’s next. A great theme for this type of catering service would be “around the world” where each station is set up with foods influenced by various regions.

Action Stations
These stations offer foods made to order. Think a carving station or build-your-own omelet station. Your guests get to watch the chef prepare a fresh, custom-made dish just for them. To avoid wait times, many items are partially prepped.

Self-Serve Buffets
Food dishes are commonly set up on a linear table and guests proceed down a line to pick what they want. This is a more casual approach, offering guests a wide variety of foods. The downside is the potential for running out of food before everyone has a chance to go through the line.

Portion-Controlled Buffets
To combat the aforementioned potential issue, portion-controlled buffets have attendants on hand to serve guests as they go down the buffet line. Once everyone has been served, you can open the buffet up to guests who may want more.

Plated
Plated service means each guest is served a meal individually, and is commonly encountered at weddings and formal events. The tables are often pre-set with china plates, stainless flatware, glassware and linen napkins. This catering style is labor intensive as it usually requires a waiter for every three tables, plus additional staff to pre-set tables, plate food, and to clean up. Also, ensuring that all guests are served before the food gets cold can be challenging, especially for larger groups.

Family Style
This is more relaxed in contrast to plated dinners. Guests are seated at banquet tables and food is served on large platters placed in the middle of the table by waitstaff. Guests then help themselves to the items and portions they would like. Family style dining tends to foster interaction.

Before choosing a catering service style, you want to evaluate a few things.

  • What type of mood would you like to set for the event (formal, relaxed, interactive)?
  • How long will your event last?
  • Will you provide a full meal or hors d’ oeuvres only?
  • Define your budget. Remember that some services are more labor intensive than others (ex. plated meals, action stations), and thus, more costly.

The Brick Your Neighborhood Deli offers catering, ideal for casual business or staff meetings or office lunches. To learn more about our catering, visit us in store or call 909-596-5225. For the latest news and updates, connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.

Common Catering Food Trends

Whether you are planning your own event or attending someone else’s bash, one of the most important and memorable details is the food you serve. The restaurant catering can make or break an event. Depending on the type of party or event, you will want to choose a catering menu that works well with the event space, your vision, and your guests. With that said, here are some of the popular restaurant catering trends today.

Buffet
Who doesn’t love a buffet? Buffet dining is the easiest way to feed a large group of people, thus, is ideal for larger events (ex. weddings).  And the best part is that they can be customized to suit different events and budgets.

Food Stations
Similar to a buffet, food stations are also appropriate for larger groups. Rather than providing food on one long table, the menu is divided among stations throughout the dining room or event space. Foods at these stations are usually comprised of appetizers and finger foods. Because the set up requires guests to move around, food stations are great for cocktail receptions and the like, where people normally mingle about the room.

Chocolate Fountains
If you have ever encountered a chocolate fountain at a party, then you know it is often the pièce de résistance. These can be purchased or rented, and pricing can vary depending on the quality. You can make up for the cost by choosing less expensive dipping items (ex. pretzels, fresh fruit, marshmallows).

Family Style Dining
This is also known as English Service and is comprised of bowls and platters of food to share at each table, rather than serving individual plates. Sharing food enables tablemates to interact, providing a level of intimacy that may be missing at larger events.

Food & Drink Pairings
These dinners often serve multiple courses, each accompanied by a wine, beer, or cocktail. It is important to note that these often take longer than buffets or plated dinners, so if you’re looking for a slow, leisurely dinner, this one’s for you.

Artisan Food & Drink
Foods produced in small batches are referred to as artisan food, however, there is no regulation on the term. Because of this, you see “artisan” used by large restaurants and chains, and it has become a good marketing term. For example, “handcrafted sourdough baguette paired with an assortment of artisanal cheeses” sounds much better than “plain old cheese and cracker platter.”

Local Foods
While local foods suggest healthier options and better taste, the can pose some challenges. Because fresh fruit and vegetables are not available all year round, a set menu is not feasible. On the other hand, chefs are able to get creative and provide a rotating menu of specials.

Street Foods
These menus offer foods inspired by the ethnic fusion of street food. Some examples include Mexican churros, Spanish tapas, Chinese dim sum, and more.

Gluten Free Foods
Whether it is due to medical conditions associated with gluten or a health-conscious choice, gluten free foods are growing in popularity. Aside from the health benefits, going gluten free allows chefs to experiment with alternative cooking ingredients such as amaranth, cassava flour, and teff flour.

Mini Desserts
More and more people are opting for mini wedding cakes or dessert tables filled with mini confections such as cupcakes and cake pops, rather than full, multi-tiered cakes. This allows the host to provide a variety of sweet treats to cater different tastes.

If you want to keep it simple, we’ve got the catering plan for you. Enjoy our delicious sandwiches, salads, and desserts are your next event. Visit www.BrickMarketDeli.com or call 909-596-5225 for more information.

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