Bridal Buds WeddingWire Blog

Category: Catering

A Foodie Proposal!

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I am, and always have been, a sucker for a good love story.  You name the romantic classic, I have probably seen or read it.  I can never walk through a bookstore without visiting the bridal magazines to check out the fluffy, frilly confections of wedding gowns, and the etheral decor shots of lush florals and lavish tabletops.  And above all…if it involves scrumptiously crafted food…I. AM. IN. LOVE.

That said, when my friends at Esprit Events in New York City shared this adorable proposal story with me that centered around an intimate cooking lesson with Chef Guy Vaknin, I. MELTED.

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2011 Food Trends…{Yum}

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One of the things I love most about New Years is the bevy of top ten lists generated from the memories of the waning year, and the predictive trend lists for the arriving year.  And of course, I always pay special attention to the FOOD TRENDs.

(Croquet Madame by Good Gracious!Events)

For 2011, experts from Epicurious, Food & Wine, Restaurant Hospitality and more are stating that food trucks and comfort foods are still here to stay.  From homestyle southern food, retro Italian and family style service we are still desiring those homespun, hearty meal components.  Also, cupcakes are at their peak and starting to decline in popularity…though will they ever totally disappear?  I think not.  But fear not– pies of all shapes, sizes and ingredients are ready to replace them.

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Eco-Inspiration!

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As the new year quickly approaches, and you are probably setting goals and firming up your hopes for your wedding, let’s talk eco-friendly wedding catering options once again.  This is a subject that I LOVE, and some of my personal favorite products have continued to shine as leaders in this market segment, and have expanded their product lines and availability.  My top pick:  VerTerra!

(*see photo credits below)

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Colorful “Wonderland” Inspiration

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My staff and I recently attended a delightfully decadent event hosted by the Triangle Chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE). The theme of the benefit event was “An Alice Affair” and the evening’s planners went all out to make us feel we’d just slipped down the rabbit hole! From a multi-colored lighting scheme and wild floral arrangements to tables piled with mismatched china and elaborate, baroque serving pieces, the scene completely captured the larger-than-life exuberance and whimsy of Alice’s Wonderland.

Brides looking to inject a touch of that same fun-loving attitude into their own affair can take cues from this food-themed inspiration board (after all, it was a caterers’ event!). Brightly hued tablecloths, over-the-top silver décor, candy-colored small bites, and jewel toned cocktails invite guests to “Eat Me,” “Drink Me,” and Be Merry!

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Coast to Coast: Autumnal Small Bites {3}

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Heading off to Utah today to showcase an adorable small bite dessert that fits the bill for a crisp Fall evening reception.  Created by the amazing team at Culinary Crafts, winner of Utah’s best of state caterer seven consecutive years, this company creates events in gorgeous mountain vista settings with impeccable service and five star quality food.

Owner/Creative Consultant Mary Crafts, calls the delectable bites “all grown up Smores” and offered a few suggestions for fun ways to serve them.  “This is such a fun retro mini dessert that we serve during the autumn months when blazing evening fire pits are the perfect thing.  Guests roast their homemade marshmallow and bring it to the chef for serving atop chocolate ganache and graham crackers.  If we are not able to create outdoor fire pits, the chefs brulee the marshmallows in front of the guests for a fun action station.  Everyone asks for “S’more”!”

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Coast to Coast: Autumnal Small Bites {2}

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I have another Fall inspired, “treat” filled trip across the country planned for our taste buds today.  And no “tricks” here…just scrumptious artisan food packed with savory harvest flavors!

We are headed first to Harrisburg to sample two aromatic and delectable small bites featuring a seasonal star- Andouille sausage.  Created by the culinary team of The JDK Group, the first selection is entitled “Oktoberfest in a Spoon” and is comprised of Andouille Sausage with Dried Fruits & Sweet Potato Puree in an Edible Cinnamon Spoon Finished with Frizzled Sweet Potatoes.  Edible spoons are so trendy at this point in food development because they really eliminate the need for plates during cocktail events, which adds to the drama of the presentation, as well as the ease for consumption by the guests, and increases the flavor profile of the small bite.  Next the team created “A Taste of Fall” Andouille Sausage & Grilled Granny Smith Apples on a Sweet Potato Crisp Topped with Boursin Cheese & Dried Cranberries again presenting a full-flavored harvest composition too good to ignore!  President/CEO Jennifer Delaye has guided this multifaceted event company with a real dedication to Quality that has catapulted them to award winning status fueled by customized seasonal foods.  Still hungry?  Then let’s head off to Orlando!

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I Do {How To’s} Planning Your Reception Menu

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Sit-Down Dinner – A sit-down or full-service dinner  that usually  takes place between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. These are  considered more of a formal affair and have a waitstaff serve each table for the duration of the meal so guests are not expected to leave their seats to help themselves to food.

Buffet - A buffet wedding reception refers to a wedding dinner in which guests leave their seats to serve themselves and then take their seats to eat. Similar to buffet restaurants, buffet-style wedding receptions can either have a pre-determined seating arrangement or they can allow for guests to choose the table of their choice. Buffets allow for a wide range and variety of foods to be served.

Cocktail Party – Cocktail receptions can serve as a classy and formal alternative to a dinner. They usually take place between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. which allows guests to have their own dinner before arriving. They usually call for formal dressy attire for women and black tie or business dress for men. Cocktail receptions encourage mingling, since wedding guests stand for most of the party. However, small tables, chairs and sometime couches are set up for guests.

Family Style – This service  allows guests to have a variety of foods, such as meat, fish and vegetarian.  Also, it gives a more  casual, interactive quality to the dinner service.  Please keep in mind casual does not translate to less expensive just like buffets couples do not choose family style because of cost but because of the feel they are going for at their reception.

Dessert Reception – This is under the same idea of a cocktail party where instead of smaller appetizers, you will have a variety of sweets and treats for your guests. This  usually begins at 9 or 10 p.m., well after the typical dinner hours, so you’ll want to schedule the ceremony for no earlier than 8 p.m. It is best to indicate to your guests on your

A “Backyard” Barbecue - A growing and fun trend in weddings is a great backyard BBQ. This can be served by a caterer or more in a DIY fashion as either a sit-down dinner, a buffet or in a family-style service. It can be  less-expensive and is a fun option for a less formal wedding reception.

Photography compliments of  Brett Rose Photography

Catering compliments of Culinary Concepts

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Bar Trends: Ginger Cocktails

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Need a refreshing signature cocktail for your fall wedding?  Ginger is the perfect ingredient to add just the right amount of warmth and kick to your cocktail hour.

Playing with Fire

  • 3 Rounds Crystallized Ginger
  • 1 part SKYY Ginger Infusions
  • 1 part Cabo Wabo Tequila Blanco
  • 1 part Fresh Orange Juice
  • 1/2 part Fresh Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice

Muddle 2 rounds Crystallized Ginger with SKYY Ginger Infusions in bottom of mixing glass, saving one for garnish.  Add remaining liquid ingredients and ice.  Shake to blend and chill.  Strain into large cocktail glass or rocks glass over fresh ice.  Garnish with skewered crystallized ginger round.  (created by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist)

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Coast to Coast: Autumnal Small Bites {1}

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Fall is a season that all caterers love because the bounty of the harvest is so rich and varied, and the flavors and spices are so full-bodied…it is a recipe for amazing food in all regards.  So keeping within the small bite format that is so trendy for receptions, I’m going coast to coast for autumnal menu inspirations from some of the industry leaders in the catering world today.

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Picture Perfect

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For several years at JPC we have hand butlered scrumptious small bites on beautiful picture frames containing our company logo.  This has been wonderful on so many levels as the frames come in an array of fabulous colors and finishes to match any decor, and they look unique while being presented to the guests.

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