Sustainability and fun are ingredients in event cateringCelebrity chefs who feature on TV would probably require fees that would break most budgets for feeding delegates at conferences, but their messages are having an influence on the MICE catering business and can be incorporated at reasonable cost. Fresh ingredients bought from local sources in the right seasons are very much the in-thing at the moment.
Tapenade, a food design and event management company, has recognised this trend and is also emphasising sustainability and fun are two further popular ingredients when catering for events of any size.
And these are also watchwords that fit snugly with corporate policies in general.
Tapenade’s Executive Chef John Hearn says: ‘We are increasingly being approached by event organisers 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.’
And the ‘fun’ component?
‘Theatre and entertainment’, John goes on, ‘are creeping into corporate event catering, too. Organisers are opting for informal and fun ways to serve food. This creates a more relaxed ambience and encourages socialising. 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 encourage 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,’ he maintains.
Focussing on another current trend, he suggests that burger and chips, fish and chip cones and cheese cakes are often taking the place of the traditional buffet. ‘’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 you get from this kind of food’.
If the event extends late into the night, snacks served at the end of the evening, or goody bags with food to take home are also becoming popular. Warm cookies and doughnuts are the preferred choice of these treats.
‘Sending people off with a delicious treat is a perfect way to round off the event and to leave a lasting, warm impression’, says John.