Giving Party Guests a Flexible Foodie Experience Keeps Them Engaged

  • Appetizers and hors d’oeuvres have undergone a little change in the last fifteen years. Can’t say I’m sorry, either as it’s been a time of creativity that has brought catering out from the shadows of party planning and into the light. No longer regarded as just a necessity, food service is now widely considered a crucial design element in the success of the whole event. As we all see every day on TV, people are passionate about food and want to experience it in clever ways. Their expectations are higher than ever before and they’re always looking for something new and different. Particularly when they’re planning an event where they want their guests to mingle and meet.

    cheese cart marble table moving feasts peter callahan

    Simple, stylish updates | Cheese Carts that roam through the party bring delightful favorites to the guests.

    It used to be hors d’oeuvres were items served before a main meal. But just a couple, like three or four, and nothing too complicated, as they weren’t meant to serve as your main course. Really, they were just a couple bites to take the edge off of the guests’ hunger as they arrived to the event. Perhaps after 45 minutes to an hour, guests would be invited to sit down for a served multi-course meal where they would remain for hours. {and hours} So much for the networking opportunities!

    Tasting Plates on Food Stations Catering Trends Peter Callahan

    Avoid the lines | Food stations that hold delicious tasting plates that guests can pick up and walk away with quickly. 

    Today, while many parties still follow this traditional format with beautiful results, appetizers are now being artfully designed into interactive food stations, specialized mini buffets, roaming gourmet displays, and passed tasting plates. Guests may never be offered a seat at a dinner table. Rather, they’re invited to perch on a barstool at an open kitchen station, or grab a tasting plate as it’s butler-passed around the room, or rest on an ottoman while they graze on a micro mini display placed on a table before them. They might even enjoy selecting a mini cheese plate from carts roaming through the party tent. Maybe, like the parties I produce, they’re mixing all of the above into the party timeline! Why not? Keep it fresh!  Guests should be encouraged to munch while moving and mingling at their own pace, even while watching a first dance at a wedding or listening to a keynote presentation.

    dessert mosaic coffee table foods appetizer displays catering trends peter callahan

    A large coffee table is the ideal location for a micro mini food station.

    Food is, and should be, a huge part of the entertainment at weddings and parties. For good reason as it’s a huge part of the budget. But more importantly, food makes people happy. Giving guests a flexible experience that incorporates their senses and engages their interest puts the spotlight back on the whole purpose of the gathering. To share, network and party!



    July 16th, 2012

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