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Tapenade identifies event catering trends for 2014

Tapenade’s executive chef John Hearn
Food design and event management company, Tapenade, has identified the key trends for event catering this year - and sustainability and fun are the watchwords.    Many organizations are already implementing sustainability policies within their companies and this extends to their corporate events and hospitality. But high profile sustainable food campaigns and the plethora of TV chefs advocating fresh, seasonal and local produce is clearly making an impact on event organizers.

Interest in a sustainable approach to catering for corporate events has grown markedly according to Tapenade’s executive chef John Hearn. He says: “We are increasingly being approached by event organizers looking for caterers who can provide fresh. seasonal produce sourced locally to their chosen event venue; we will always endeavour, wherever possible, to meet their requirements.” 

Theatre and entertainment is creeping into corporate event catering too with organizers opting for informal and fun ways to serve food, designed to create a relaxed ambience and encourage socializing. Candy or cake bars, ice cream bikes, pancake and waffle stations or dessert canapés add a fresh twist to the end of a meal and encourages guests to get up and mingle. “Making dessert informal and fun is a great way to break the ice and encourage interaction, especially if the event has included a lot of formality earlier in the day.” says Hearn. 

Another developing trend is for much loved British favourites such as burger and chips, fish and chip cones and cheese cakes, taking the place of the traditional buffet. “Restricting the food options can of course be more economical,” says Hearn, “but opting for these tried and tested dishes that everyone loves is a clever way of reinforcing traditional values and giving guests that warm, familiar feeling people get from these kinds of foods; it’s a kind of nostalgia, and it makes people feel good,” says Hearn.

If the event extends late into the night snacks served at the end of the evening, or goody bags to take home are also becoming popular. Warm cookies and doughnuts are the preferred choice of treats to reward guests and send them on their way. “Sending people off with a delicious treat is a perfect way to round off the evening and leave a lasting, warm impression on guests,” says Hearn.

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