The 2013 catering trend of the year? The pros tell us it’s all about a return to formality. “A major trend is to do plated dinners now,” says Elizabeth Creasey of Los Angeles-based Whoa Nelly! Catering, the go-to foodies for Hollywood A-listers. “We’re getting more requests for gold silverware, something more sophisticated.”
Photo Credit: Jenn Bartell for Sam's Chowdermobile, Half Moon Bay, CA
But what about the food? Fresh and local are two of the most common requests from in-the-know brides, says Beth, who specializes in market-driven menus. “In spring we do vegetable ragus with asparagus and peas, or in the summer great corn, squash and cherry tomato succotash. And local—brides want to know that we’re working with local jam producers and coffee roasters, and to see that written on their menus.”
Move on over, cosmo girls—the martini bar gets a big yawn from Olivier Cheng of New York’s Olivier Cheng Catering and Events. Instead, he loves artisanal cocktails, like the champagne bar he did at a recent wedding. The bar featured oversized bottles of bubbly and all sorts of infusions, from lavender-lemon to candied ginger. “Make a statement with your signature drinks,” Olivier urges.
With a return to gilded-age glitz, Alyssa sees a resurgence of old-school barware and cocktails. Instead of the narrow flute, she likes the vintage look of a champagne saucer. And she prefers mint juleps served the traditional way: in polished silver cups with crushed ice and a fresh sprig of mint.
Wave your flag in 2013—spotlighting your culinary heritage gets a big yes from Beth. “We do a lot of it in the cocktail hour: little banh mi (mini French baguette) sliders for Vietnamese brides or braised brisket sliders for a Jewish wedding.”
The entrée of the year? Pork is having a major moment says Beth, who loves to surprise guests with a main course that veers away from more expected beef offerings. “We braise pork shoulder until it’s really tender, then slice and grill it with black-beans, citrus-pickled onion, and avocado salsa.” Brides are demanding unexpected, fun, and above all, restaurant-quality food.
The liquor of the year? “Tequila,” says Olivier.
Those with a sweet tooth, take heart. According to Beth, dessert bars are here to stay, but now they have a formal twist. “I’m getting requests for dessert bars by color. For a white one, we just did merengues, French macarons, fudge brownies topped with powdered sugar, and lots of desserts with vanilla-bean frosting.”
Photo Credit: Kaitlin Wallace Photography