Sunday, January 23, 2011

Trends 2011 Menu and Catering

More on what we will see in catering and on the menu in 2011. There is no doubt that the march is on to put better things on our plate and into our bodies. This isn't a new idea, but it is a continuing trend gaining momentum and excitement. Caterers and Event Planners will create menus around seasonal, fresh ingredients, from sustainable sources and styles of service that showcase these dishes. Comfort foods, homemade and even homegrown are popular.

Here are 7 trends and ideas to consider when planning your events in 2011;

1. Fresh, seasonal and unique- Chefs will market more frequently for freshness, choosing ingredients from farmers markets, their own gardens or stands. They will make organic choices even when prices are higher. Purveyors are finding open minds abd are bringing more exotic fruits and vegetables to the market.

2. Vegetables move to the center of the plate- As people learn to add variety and balance to there diets, meatless meals are gaining acceptance, even from meat lover's,  Hearty vegetable salads feature grilled corn, broccoli and heirloom tomatoes. Stews are chock full of vegetables  like butternut squash and Lima beans. Don't be surprised if the salad bars return to luncheon events!

3. Entertaining foods will draw from the past
Event menus will often feature upscale comfort foods but in smaller portable portions for easy service.

We will see more twists on the classics, like baby chicken pot pies, bbq pulled pork parfaits, mini meat loafs, pasta-tinis, mac'n cheese squares and sliders in every flavor.

4. Both brunches, and casual cocktail events are popular- Backyard brunches in a relaxed family  setting will become the place to serve; sweet and savory crepes, French toast, pancakes and mimosas.

Cocktail events in 2011 will continue to feature  an eclectic tapas style dinning. This year globally infused dishes including Korean and Middle Eastern flavors will inspire menus.

5. Cooking class and guest chefs entertain- In the new climate of foodies and fans of Food network, hands on cooking class style events are creating a great way to entertain.

Hosts hire local or popular chefs to come out to their parties to prepare a signature dish, a new kind of wow.

6. Food Trucks and Specialty Shop Fare- Creative gourmet food trucks  now offer party catering and can create a buzz at an event. One of a kind foods prepared or served on site by specialty food shops like, Kettle Corn or Dippin' Dots make memorable food stations.

7. Desserts go retro- Pies will be the #1 dessert choice for 2010. Cupcakes are still popular, but we will also see individual pies, flourless chocolate cakes. and old time favorites like homemade Whoopie Pies, Ding Dongs, and Snow balls. Do it yourself 'Smore set ups and candy tables replace the "been there, done that" chocolate fountain.

For weddings, many brides are returning to butter cream frosted cakes. They are also choosing or adding individual desserts in place of the cake.

Spot any trends? Trying anything new this year? Drop me a comment, I'd love to hear!


She's Cookin' said...

Your list of trends is spot-on, Renee! Before Crepes Bonaparte launched their food truck this year, I attended a graduation party that featured them making sweet and savory crepes - it was a refreshing departure from the norm. I love the continuing trend for "retro" foods. The only think I might add is the increasing popularity of global cuisines and classics with an ethnic twist. Great post!

Ciao Florentina said...

Love your tomato picture, I couldn't imagine life without tomatoes and bread.

Renee Weir- Fontes said...

Priscilla, thanks for the comments and Yes it's true, global with a twist is here! Like Korean tacos, and Middle Eastern pizza.

Florentina, I agree, tomatoes and bread will never go out of style! Thank you!

Jessie said...

Great observations! I completely agree especially with your point about farm fresh produce appearing everywhere!

catering in Philippines said...

In catering business its really important to have a very preparing menu and like on your blog it is so informative to follow your post. :)


Neva Modzelewski said...

Your ideas are very helpful. Including a variety of food in a menu list can satisfy the cravings of people with different preference. It is really good to include fruits and vegetables in the menu. However, it is also essential to include sweets and desserts to make the food in a party more appetizing.