Sneak preview of 2020’s tastiest catering trends

March 15, 2020Lauren Windle

Catered events are evolving with emerging food trends and cultural interests. When it comes to planning catered events, there is much more interest in exploring new food hybrids, cultural ingredients and serving trends than ever before.

Event catering is leaning much more toward having an immersive event experience, rather than a predictable meal. Not only should the food look and taste amazing, the menu should be part of the décor, entertainment and the overall experience.

Here are some emerging 2020 catering trends from Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering that will help make your upcoming event a smash:

·      Infused cocktails & local spirits

Beer and wine from nearby microbreweries and vintners provide a local salute. What can be even more fun is to add signature drink using local spirits (non-alcoholic versions are encouraged as well).

According to the 2019 What’s Hot Culinary Forecast, CBD oil-infused food and drinks are very hot right now. Seventy-seven percent of mixologists ranked CBD oil-infused drinks as the number one trend (and 76% of chefs ranked CBD oil-infused foods as number two).

A balance of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks make events more inclusive. Just make sure all ingredients are clearly labeled so your attendees know exactly what they’re drinking.

·      Healthier foods

No matter the setting, more people are opting for healthier options and relinquishing the idea that special events are the place to overindulge without consequences.

Healthy menus – especially those focused on sustainably sourced foods (a specialty with Jacquie's Gourmet Catering)– are definitely trending. Plan your menu around high-protein, low-fat meats and fish, whole grains, and unprocessed locally farmed foods such as edamame, fresh in season fruit and vegetables; and super-foods, such as kale and avocados.

·      Small desserts and pairings

Small portions with the perfect pairing continues to impress. It’s all about ease for the attendee – especially when it comes to appetizers and desserts. Small portions that transport easily work well with an adult beverage, so guests can mingle and nibble easily. Serve up a gourmet dish with a drink that compliments it. Make the pairing a conversation piece. Placing tables in different locations will encourage mixing and mingling, and offering small portions will allow people to sample more items without becoming overwhelmed.

Desserts in bite-size portions are also great – especially if they can be taken with at the end of an event.

·      Wine, beer and bourbon flight stations

Guests love to try new beverages when they are with friends. Indulge them by having wine, beer or bourbon stations where they can try small samplings of three pairings of red, rose or white wines, for instance. Or several types of beer (ale, lager, Belgian, and bock, for example.) Enlist a local winery, brewery or spirit maker to help educate.

·      Food-based entertainment

Put food in the limelight of your event through immersive experiences. Consider a sushi-rolling station with lots of options, or a ceviche station, or a nitrogen ice cream stand with lots of trimmings, even a tea party with many loose tea blend options.

Make sure your menu tells a story -- perhaps about who you are, or the location of the event, or the couple getting married. If your catering complements the event, it will exponentially deepen audience engagement.

·      Plant-based proteins

Plant-based proteins are seeing a huge spike. Riding on the popularity of the Beyond Burger, vegan ground beef is perfect for tacos, meatballs, and whatever else you want.

Vegetarian and vegan options are now expected and not offering them takes away from the positive experience individuals have at the event as a whole.

No matter what you decide to offer – and where, the creative and knowledgeable catering staff of Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering will do their utmost to make your next catered event fun, different, dramatic, and memorable.



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