A new trend we love is destination-specific cuisine – centering the food and drinks at your event around a specific country, region or place. Because destination-specific events are immersive, the more aspects of your theme that align, the better. Ideally, that means food and drinks that reflect your ‘destination’ — as well as décor, music, color scheme, even lighting. When a destination-specific event is well-thought out, it creates an engaging evening.
Here’s what Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering team recommends as you plan:
- Choose your ‘destination’ theme carefully. Make sure you can tie it into the purpose of the event. Maybe your company just added a new division from Australia. Great! Celebrate the new corporate division by theming all things ‘Aussie’!
- If your corporate event brings various divisions together, you might celebrate the unique aspects of each territory. For instance have a New England seafood station, Southern Creole foods, Texas BBQ, and perhaps a California vegetarian station.
- A balance of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks make events more inclusive, and enable your guests to choose for themselves what they prefer to drink. You can create non-alcoholic cocktails based on fruits, flowers and spices from chosen destinations.
- We love the idea of a tea station – especially for United Kingdom or Asian-themed events.
- Beer and wine from microbreweries and vintners can also make a tasty country- or region-specific statement.
Here are some other successful corporate events we’ve experienced that we thought were just great:
- Racing theme! Tie everything to cars, racing, and famous races across the world. Name cocktails after famous 500 winners; meals after ‘laps,’ main courses after famous car manufacturers (Lamborghini Tetrazinni, for example!)
- Have a signature adult beverage based on the region or country of your party. For example, you could have a Mohito Mamasito to celebrate a Caribbean island such as Cuba.
- Destination food can be the event in and of itself. Put your centerpiece dishes in the limelight and serve up your message with a side of fun. For a French-themed event for instance, you could offer various cheese and wine pairings from different regions of France. Perhaps hire a wine steward to offer information about each region.
- Going Italiano? Tapas, taco bars or pizza stations are always popular, and a lot of fun. Offer fresh-to-order tortillas at your taco bar. Or have a pizzaiolo on hand to create and toss pizza dough right in front of your guests. Pizzas made to order are always popular.
No matter the setting, it’s always a good idea to offer healthy food options. Plan your menu around high-protein, low-fat sustainably sourced meats and fish and whole grain, non-processed side dishes. (That’s our favorite food to serve!) Make sure to have grab and go options, too. Dessert stations are ideal for this.
Truly immersive, well-planned events are about engaging with people through all five senses—taste included. That’s why we love destination-specific themed parties!
Need ideas to get you started? We’ve got lots! Just ask our seasoned event planners!