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Posted by  in Food & Beverage

Straight from the Expert – This Local Caterer Shares What’s Hot for 2013.

We talked with Senior Event Designer and local Hospitalitarian, aka our go-to-girl Deirdre Wildman Toltz at Catering by Design┬áto find out more about what’s hot and trending right now when it comes to food, drink and presentations that wow and impress. Here’s the latest scoop:

“What’s Fresh is Always Trendy,” says Toltz. Seasonal ingredients and local food sources are at the top of the list again this year. She adds to always choose quality over quantity when selecting a menu.

Restaurant Trends are impacting menu choices and presentation. For example, speciality meatball shops and mouth-watering burger joints with specialty combinations are inspiring event and meeting menus. What’s hot and available in your day-to-day life is just as popular in the catering world, as it should be.

Customization is as hot as ever. Finding unique ways to display food with company branding such as napkins, custom vinyl sheets to build food walls upon and labeling food to meet a clients look and goals. Just choose wisely, too much of something can be overkill. Choose one thing and make it memorable.

Add style to the event through food presentation. Theme events don’t have to be limited to decor and entertainment, incorporate it into the way guests come in contact with the food. For example, Toltz suggests for a throwback 1950s event, serve snack mix in a campbell soup can. Other ideas may include; present milkshakes in old-fashioned milk glasses, use color-coordinated striped straws, add a funky garnish to go with the specialty cocktail and offer summertime beverages in mason jars.

Vertical wall presentations are HOT and aren’t limited to dessert on a stick. A vertical wall can be an accordian partition wall, a leaning and open bookcase or shelving display, secured to the wall and wrapped in fabric of your choice or framed to look like a piece of art. Martini Glasses with noodles or salads, shooters with shrimp cocktail, colorful beverages, appetizers, cotton candy on a stick… the options are limitless. Just ask your caterer to think outside the box and they’ll jump wow you with ideas.

Tasting menus are great for a reception or food-centric crowd. Pair food with flights of beverages. For example, whether its a beer, tequila, whiskey or rum tasting event, the food will be specially chosen based on the taste and aroma of the libation.

Street Food isn’t limited to food trucks. Street food whether in the form of ethnic, custom or comfort food is a great addition to the event. Toltz said she’s even had a client that created an all indian food menu just because its different and unique.

Speciality Drinks and Mixology is all the rage. Pair a beer and wine package with a specialty drink that’s branded by its color and name. Add a mixologist to the event who will make a scientific laboratory of the bar and with a little molecular manipulation and beakers full of this and that, concoct a one-of-a-kind libation.

“Just Add Water” is what Toltz likes to refer to as participation food stations. Guests like to be a part of what they eat – let them choose their toppings, garnishes, sauces, type of noodles, rice, etc. These interactive stations allow them to select from several offerings to create something that will meet their own unique taste buds.

Here are some inspiring food and presentation pictures, Courtesy of Catering by Design.
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