A new decade is here and with it comes exciting and delicious catering trends. Corporate events and weddings are coming alive with culinary flare with a focus on sustainability, plant-based options and personalization that will make each guest feel like the food was made just for them.
Let’s take a look at some of the culinary trends of 2020.
At Made from Scratch, we are seeing a huge interest in “build your own” ideas in the snack and appetizer world. Examples such as Bruschetta stations, trail mix bars or popcorn bars are really big right now.
With a bruschetta station, guests are able to top their crostini with a variety of items such as tomato and basil, mushroom, olive tapenade, caramelized onions, pesto spread, sun dried tomatoes, shredded parmesan cheese, and more.
“Allowing guests to create their own “masterpiece” is a fun way to have something that everyone enjoys,” said Kelley Belman, Made from Scratch Sales Coordinator. “Easy to eat snacks are huge with corporate clients right now. A trail mix bar is an interactive addition to meetings without too much hassle.”
Snack bars offer things like Chex Mix, peanuts, paisins, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, sesame sticks, etc. The Made From Scratch Gourmet Popcorn bar gives guests the option to top their fresh popcorn with M&Ms, peanuts, chocolate chips and seasonings like cheddar cheese, ranch, kettle corn, caramel corn, buttered popcorn, garlic parmesan, cinnamon sugar or sriracha salt.
People are rightfully concerned now more than ever about where their food comes from and how it is prepared. The catering world has seen a major bump in interest from guests in where catered food comes from. Many people have started requesting specifically that the food be sourced locally.
A blog posted by The Knot says guests are also looking for organic options; “These days, you can serve something as simple as a fresh salad made with organic greens to start, or free-range chicken with organic string beans for your main. And going green doesn’t stop with the food. Many winemakers and spirit producers are venturing into organic beverage options, so you should ask your caterer about adding organic tequilas and vodkas or even biodynamic wines to your bar menu. This is one eco-friendly trend that’s here to stay.”
In the past, you had to drink alcohol if you wanted a fun drink with a wedge of fruit or umbrella on top. That trend is changing however, as more people are being mindful about the amount of alcohol they consume. That said, people still want to enjoy the fun tastes of the drinks, minus the buzz.
An article in Real Simple clarifies the desire to drink less: “There are many explanations behind the recent uptick in quasi-sobriety. To begin, #wellness: drinking (or not) with intention and staying aligned with a healthy lifestyle. Why should catching up with your friends have to involve a hangover that causes you to miss your morning yoga session?”
According to an article in Forbes, the trend is spanning the nation: “Whether you call them mocktails, zero-proof or spirit-free drinks, non-alcoholic beverages are becoming a staple at happy hours around the country. Expect to see even more zero-proof drinks as hops-infused sparkling waters and alternatives to liquors meant to be used with a mixer such as botanical-infused faux gin continue to pop up everywhere from bar menus to specialty stores.”
Guests are increasingly seeking food options that benefit both their health and the environment. Popular plant based options include animal protein substitutes like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat, quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, and seeds (chia, hemp and flax), as well as pumpkin and avocado. Caterers are now using these plant products to recreate fan favorites like fettuccini alfredo, enchiladas, and macaroni and cheese.
An article in Real Simple says that Vegan and vegetarian diets are “getting reinvented, and options are more interesting and indulgent than ever. Vegan versions of comfort food classics that don’t skimp of flavor—and oftentimes, richness—are soaring in popularity, and we’re here for it.”
The article quotes New York City Chef Alain Verzeroli, “What I’ve seen happening across the restaurant industry—and something I’ve been doing in my own dining establishments—is giving vegetables equal balance on a plate,” said Verzeroli of Shun and Le Jardinier in New York City. “The days of considering vegetables to be a side dish or garnish are over: we’re putting just as much care into their treatment as the proteins. What you eat is such a defining factor of your health, and I think people are beginning to look for dishes that put more emphasis on vegetables for this reason.”
Another great example of large-scale catering going vegan is this year’s Golden Globes. Just two weeks before the event, the hosts decided to switch to an all-vegan meal, and people were pleasantly surprised.
2020 is promising many positive changes in the world of appetizers and catering. Are you ready to create a unique and trendy menu for your next event? Contact Made From Scratch’s Event Consultants today!