Providing unique, exciting and delicious catering is one of the easiest ways to separate your event from similar ventures. A recent study by Lauri Nummenmaa, from the Turku PET Centre, has proven that eating food releases endorphins which make us feel happy and content. Therefore, with the right catering merged with your creativity, you can make your attendees happy whilst making your event memorable.
Using the following ideas, you will be able to push the culinary boundaries of the events industry.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Catering doesn’t have to be a mundane experience. Live food stations will combine entertainment and food to bring theatre to your events. Watching talented chefs prepare dishes on request will emphasise the premium quality and freshness of your ingredients, but more importantly, it’s great fun to watch.
You can make a dish from scratch, such as made-to-order pasta, or simply assemble canapés like our seared queen scallop with smoked cauliflower and sage mash. To truly make a statement, live dessert tables are the pinnacle of artistic talent. Using large tables as a canvas, chefs will create an interactive masterpiece for guests to eat and enjoy together.
Live stations work perfectly for canapés or bowl food sized dishes in a reception setting as you can serve multiple guests at once. Try focusing on an area or cuisine style for each station. Our partner caterers, AlchemyLive, offer some unique live stations that will bring a flare to your event. As well as traditional themes from Indian to Italian, they have applied a local London twist to their Smithfields, Covent Garden, Borough Market and Petti Coat Lane stalls.
TAKE IT TO THE STREETS
Follow the latest trends of street food stalls which offer quick, comforting food from around the world. To transport this into an event setting, pile up your stations with these delicious treats including American sliders, South American empanadas or Mexican tacos. Small enough to enjoy more than one, guests can dive into a range of different treats throughout the evening which will fill the evening with surprises.
For extra theatre, design huts/stalls for each station. You can hire in traditional vans for an authentic look or dress the station in accordance with its theme.
TIME TO DRESS UP
Themed menus can be fun and entertaining. Adding an extra dimension to an event, they will transform the evening into an immersive experience, therefore, heightening the ‘wow’ factor. A broad theme will always work best as it gives you room and flexibility to match the theme with the food.
In our most recent Christmas installation of the ‘Winter Circus’ and the ‘Neon Carnival’, we offered an optional upgraded themed menu for the first time. This included a ‘hoopla’ style blueberry parfait with a white chocolate ring as well as a clown’s nose of goats cheese and red pepper mousse.
However, be sure not to diminish the quality of the dish for the sake of design. Consider the aesthetics of the food as well as the taste to provide the best combination.
PLAY ON THE SENSES
A more abstract approach to themed catering is to play on the senses. Smoke effects, new textures and surprising flavours will help dramatise the eating experience. The unexpectedness of the unusual food will shock your guests so filling the evening drama and act as a talking point for the entirety of the evening.
From our experience, try glow in the dark drinks or swapping around temperatures (for example our cold brownie with hot ice cream). The most effective way to shock your audience is to provide the unexpected. Confuse the senses by offering food that poses as something different to what it should be. For example, our ‘capresse’ tomato, at first sight, looks like an ordinary cherry tomato, but when cut into reveals a capresse salad.
KEEP IT LOCAL
Offering a menu that is ethically produced will provide your food with an interesting story and message. Where the ingredients came from, how it helps the local community and what benefit this is having on the environment are all great points to highlight.
This emphasis on the provenance and sustainability of your ingredients is a great way to promote your environmental efforts but at the same time creating a point of discussion for your delegates. Wanting to tell their friends about the experience, you can be assured that your event will be memorable.
More importantly, the food will taste better. Having less distance to travel and coming into contact with fewer or no chemicals, the ingredients will be healthier and fresher than if imported from abroad.
For some more catering inspiration, contact the sales team.