Archive for the ‘Catering’ Category
At a recent wedding professional’s meeting with NACE, we were introduced to a new trend in wedding catering. The new trend had less to do with a new type of food than about how the food was presented.
What struck us as cool and innovative was the way all the food engaged the guests. The food stations were set up to illicit guest interaction. A step beyond a buffet station, all the of various elements were placed out and the guests were allowed to create their own versions of salads, chilis, gyros and desserts.
We really like the idea that everyone can personalize their own meal and add or subtract ingredients that makes their meal unique. By doing this, we can see that each guest would have a better food experience at a catered event. I mean, who doesn’t like the Burger King option of “having it your way?” There is a reason why Whataburger boasts that there are 36,864 ways to customize your order. The goal, is to make the diner have input in their perfect meal. We definitely approve of this and can see why this will be a popular trend in wedding catering over the next year.
With the help of Bokeh Photography, we were able to get you some fantatic photos to illustrate this new food/catering trend.
Tags: catering, food trends, NACE, wedding catering
Posted in Catering, Event Ideas, food | No Comments »
“Beautiful” is only a word to say the least about the Antebellum Oaks. With its angelic landscape, it is located in a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle of the city of Austin. Although outside the city limits, it is easily accessible for brides, grooms, and their family and friends. Antebellum Oaks is filled with organic features such as a large oak tree, small waterfalls, ponds, and various types of trees. It is an ideal place to have your dream wedding if you love nature and the true beauty of Austin.
Antebellum Oaks recently built an event pavilion, where guests can enjoy an exquisite reception. With its huge windows, guests can enjoy the true meaning of nature in the comfort of their chairs. Not only will they provide you with a lovely reception hall, but they also offer and provide certain amount of chairs, tables, linens, and a set up/take down crew to help you with your big day. They also offer a bridal suite and a separate groom suite.
And this was the backdrop for an exciting event that recently took place for brides to enjoy. The Wedding Food Truck Expo brought out an eclectic assortment of gourmet foods and dishes to sample in a very trendy, hip type of way. Guests dined on everything from Asian Southern fusion cuisine to atypical Tex-Mex favorites. The evening showed guests how Antebellum Oaks can cover whatever type of event you are having, from the completely casual to the most formal of events.
A special thanks to food blogger Katie with Slow Down & Savor for her great photographs.
Premiere Party Central is a local rental partner that provided rentals for the event. Their goal is to bring a positive and complete event rental experience no matter how small or big the event may be. They provide a full range of services, rentals, and a collection of wedding retail products in order to help make your dream wedding become a reality. They provide products anywhere from bars and furniture, event décor, lighting, and glassware.
DNA Events caters events with any type of food, including food trailers and restaurants. There are even some caterers that have signed exclusively with DNA Events to provide an excellent array of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. They were able to bring out some of their clients to the events, all being able showcasing their services for your wedding, bachelor/bachelorette parties, or family gatherings.
These trailers included:
- Cool Haus, a homemade cookies and ice cream company
- The Peached Tortilla, an Asian Southern fusion
- Chi’Lantro, a Korean and Mexican fusion
- Little Fatty’s, a Gordita Cocina
Tags: Antebellum Oaks wedding venue, reception ideas, wedding food trucks
Posted in Bridal Events, Catering, Event Ideas, food | No Comments »
Have you ever attended a wedding, danced the night away, stayed for the bouquet and garter toss and realized…hmmm, I’m a little hungry. Well rather than heading to your late night burger joint after the wedding, many couples are now opting to send their guests off with a little parting nosh. Much like the enticing appetizers that greet the guests at the cocktail hour after the ceremony, the latest trend is to offer a last bite of something before the leave.
Caterers have heard the call and are coming up with some very creative and comforting bites that couples and guests alike are raving about. And, it is yet one more way to personalize your wedding. All food should have a story on your wedding day and reflect either a memory or heritage homage of the couple of honor.
And according to Christa Vagnozzi of The Knot, you can arrange for servers to bring out trays of the quintessential before-bed treat: mini cartons of milk and an array of cookies. Get some inspiration for what kind of food you’d like to serve. We know one bride from Mexico who hired her favorite churros guy to come to her beach reception and serve authentic churros from a Boardwalk-style food stand. Your caterer can help you with this part of the evening by setting up a table of pizza or popcorn toppings, a gyros station or an espresso bar. Make sure there’s room to put the station close to the dance floor so guests can hop off, refuel and get back out there and show off their moves.
Just remember, think small…tiny if you will. Just give your guests enough “fuel” as Christa says to recharge. Your guests will enjoy the final “gift” of their hosts and provide them with a bar to meet at any other wedding they attend. You and your husband will be “that” couple who had the super fun food.
Tags: catering, catering trends, late night snacks, wedding food
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by Brogan Lozano
“Chicken or beef?” We are far past the days of hearing that dreadful phrase at wedding receptions. We have moved on to bigger and better things, or more recently, smaller and tastier things. Wedding food used to be a very close second to airplane food when it came to least satisfying meals, but wedding caterers these days have taken the hint and have come up with scrumptious new concoctions and fun serving styles to please you and your guests.
These days both caterers and couples to be wed are putting a spin on the traditional sit-down dinner by making the plates smaller and adding additional courses. So instead of a heavy 3 course meal that’ll leave you slumping in your seat, you’ll get a lighter 5 course meal that’ll still let you jump to your feet and dance the night away.
Interactive food stations are taking receptions by storm. They are easy, fun, and you won’t have to worry about guests complaining about too little or too much food. They get exactly what they want. Interactive food stations can take a buffet format, or they could be in the form of a taco truck or ice cream stand. Don’t be afraid to “play with your food,” it’ll make the dining experience more enjoyable for everyone.
The results are in on cupcakes—hot or not? Survey says, cupcakes are still in and an excellent choice for any part of your dining experience, whether its dinner or the cake. That’s right, cupcakes aren’t just for dessert anymore. Try a lasagna cupcake, or even a meatier cupcake with mashed potato “frosting.” Not down with the cupcake? Try an equally tasty treat that isn’t too heavy—sliders. Take your favorite comfort foods liked pulled pork or grilled cheese, and shrink them down to size for all to enjoy. Both mini options are the perfect proportion for following a light salad and leaving plenty of room for dessert!
Did someone say dessert? Well, now that we’re on the topic, one of the hottest trends still for weddings is having a dessert buffet/bar at the reception carefully orchestrated by your wedding sweets maker. Everything from cookies to truffles, this trend is sure to satisfy that sweet tooth of yours and your guests.
Whatever you decide to serve, and however you decide to serve it, don’t be afraid to put your own unique twist on it. The personal touches are what make the guests get to know the bride and groom as a couple and as individuals. And with catering being a large chunk of every wedding budget, you should be sure to get exactly what you want. So eat, drink, and be married!
Tags: catering, dessert bars, food trucks, mini foods, wedding catering
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We are fast approaching at least two major holidays where champagne could make an appearance. We think you should use this as your opportunity to test out some bubbly options for your wedding reception toast. The hard working staff at Brides Magazine have given their all for you and ranked their top four sparkling wines in their latest issue. If you have made arrangements with your caterer to provide the libation for the auspicious toast, then you might want to ask if you can have one of these as your go-to selection. If you are bringing champagne separate from your caterer, try these out first. Bring one or two for your holiday dinner and then the other two for your New Year’s Eve celebration toast. This way, you have enjoyed your evening and been bridal efficient all at the same time.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, do a blind taste test with these four different bottles and one you had already selected to see if you would still keep your original selection. Invite a favorite couple or a couple of bridesmaids and make a casual evening of it. Either way, you’ll get to mark something off your “To Do” list and get to try some amazing bubbly. Cheers!Information provided from Brides.com
FUN FACT: Acclaimed Chandon winemaker Tom Tiburzi used to be a microbiologist who made vino in his garage.
FUN FACT: When he died in 1826, Thomas Jefferson reportedly had 49 bottles of this wine in his cellar at Monticello.
FUN FACT: Korbel bubbly was served at the past seven U.S. presidential inaugurations, from Reagan’s to Obama’s.
Posted in Advice, Beverages, Catering, Celebration, Ceremony, Details, Planning | No Comments »
The end of this week is here, and my mind has already begun to think about preparations for next week’s Thanksgiving food fest. Yesterday the royal announcement came over the intercom that Heavenly Gourmet was catering lunch for us, to which a thunderous round of applause ensued. Have I told you how much we love those days? Especially when your stomach starts growling at 10:35 am and you swear the clock on the wall is actually going backwards.
Without fail, lunch arrived, and we eagerly stood in the proximity of our kitchen cheering on the deliverer. The aromas coming from the giant chafing pans was torture. Forks in hands, a couple of us were giddy at the mere idea of them getting ready to peel back the foil for us. To our delight, there was a heavenly chicken dish, turkey dish, and melt in your mouth mashed potatoes. It was almost like an early Thanksgiving. Slowly, one by one, we all trickled into the kitchen to make our plates and gather around our table. It’s always amazing to me the power food has in creating community. We all took a moment and just enjoyed each others company, eating rituals, plans for the weekend and who was getting seconds.
So as you’re planning next week’s Thanksgiving menu or maybe it’s your reception menu that your undertaking next week, remember that not everything has to be perfect. The turkey may not be as good as Heavenly Gourmet, the rolls may be burned, the stuffing might have too much sage, but rarely do we remember these things. Instead, what replays in our memory bank are the stories and laughter that fill our homes and the fond memories of the people that were there to help us celebrate. So maybe, call a caterer to do all the stressful cooking and focus on the after dinner board games and football, and catching up with loved ones you haven’t seen all year.
Tags: catering, food, holidays
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Article from The Knot
You’ll spend more money on wedding food than any other aspect of your reception, so you’ll want to work with a top-notch professional. When making appointments to interview wedding caterers, try to schedule a tasting of their wares at a later point. Don’t forget to ask them the questions below, and choosing a caterer will be as easy as pie — just make sure your taste buds have a say in the matter too.
- Does the caterer specialize in certain types of food or service? (They should provide you with sample menus to review.) Find a wedding caterer who can make a memorable meal.
- Can the caterer arrange for a tasting of the specific foods you’re interested in prior to hiring? (They should.) Schedule a tasting if you get a good vibe.
- What is the caterer’s average price range? Are costs itemized depending on the foods you choose, or is there an all-inclusive flat rate? What would that include (linens, tax, and gratuity)? Does the caterer have printed price sheets for food selections? Make sure there’s room in your wedding budget.
- How involved is the caterer in a typical reception — does she work like a wedding coordinator or banquet manager, cueing the band, telling the couple when to cut the cake, adjusting the schedule if guests don’t seem ready to sit down to dinner? (You will need to find someone to fill this role — if your site manager or caterer isn’t going to do this, think about hiring a wedding coordinator.)
- Will the caterer provide tables, chairs, plates, table linens, silverware, salt-and-pepper shakers, and more? Ask to see these items to make sure they’re acceptable. Do you have to rent tables, place settings, or other equipment? Or will they arrange for the rentals? If not, find wedding rentals in your area.
- Who is the main contact? Will the same person you work with when planning also oversee meal service on the day of the wedding? (You want this to be the case.)
- Will the caterer work any other weddings on the same weekend, the same day, or at the same time as yours? (You want to be sure they will devote sufficient attention to you.) You may want to pass on a smaller outfit who indicates they have another job or two scheduled for that day.
- Does the caterer handle all table settings? Will they put out place cards and favors?
- Will the caterer provide wait staff? How many would they recommend for the size of your wedding? What will the waitstaff wear? (Top caterers say they always use their own serving personnel, even if the site’s staff is available, because they understand the caterer’s way of doing business.)
- Will the caterer be willing to include a recipe you provide, like a special family dish, or an appetizer with some sort of sentimental significance? Can they prepare vegetarian, kosher, kids, or halal meals for just a few of your guests?
- Where will the food be prepared? Are there on-site facilities, or do you, the caterer, and the site manager need to make additional arrangements? If the caterer must bring in his own equipment, is there an additional fee?
- Does the caterer work with fresh (not frozen) food?
- Does the caterer have a license? (This means her business has met health department standards and has liability insurance — make sure this includes a liquor license if you’re having a bar.)
- Can the caterer provide alcohol? Or can you handle the bar separately? If you can provide it, is there a corkage fee? How and when will you get the alcohol to the caterer? If the caterer will provide it, do they have an flexible wine list, and can you make special requests?
- How is this list priced?How will the caterer arrange the food on the buffet table or on plates? Can you see photos of previous work displays?
- Can you speak to previous clients? (Get at least two references that had a similar number of guests and a similar menu style.)
- Does the caterer also do wedding cakes? Can you use an outside baker if you desire? Is there a cake-cutting fee?
Posted in Catering, Details, food, Planning, Uncategorized | No Comments »
As most couples realize throughout the planning process, it can fast become an overwhelming task. It’s best to approach your daunting list with lots of organization and hopefully a method to your madness. And above all else, don’t forget to breath and remember why you are undertaking such a monumental feat. It’s all about you as a couple and celebrating the beginning of a wonderful life together.
So when it does become a little too much for you, find a creative outlet that let’s you and your betrothed an opportunity to reconnect again. Whether it’s those important dance classes you’ve been meaning to do, listening to that “must have” band for the reception, or possibly an outing that incorporates a venue option along with some scrumptious food.
Look no further than today’s recommendation for a fun event. If you haven’t already been told, reality cooking show, Top Chef has made Texas their home this season and we’re showing it off the only way Texas knows how…BIG!
Shot mainly in San Antonio last summer, this season’s episodes show off our city along with Austin and Dallas in a big way. Hollywood and foodies alike are taking notice that our culinary palette is growing up, and we couldn’t be more excited to be in the national spotlight.
So here is the fun wedding connection…the Hilton Palacio del Rio. All season long, Wednesdays are dedicated to a viewing party at this gorgeous hotel. What a great idea for couples to reconnect, see a cool hotel, and sample some top-notch cuisine. We’re sure if you incorporate this date night event, you’re sure to get some cool foodie ideas from the show and get to know an outstanding group at the Hilton.
Over here at the Wedding Guide, we’re also marking our calendars to venture down there and rub shoulders with other local foodies who have tips to share with us. Bring your appetites, your special someone, and a big bowl full of enthusiasm. Dig in ya’ll!bridal event, date ideas, foddies, food, Venues
Posted in Advice, Bridal Events, Catering, food, General info., Inspiration, News, Planning, Venue | No Comments »
How many times have you been to an event and been blown away by the visuals? Now how many times do you remember the food that was there? Chances are if you remember the food, the display of the food had something to do with the enjoyment of the culinary experience.
Too often, caterers believe that as long as the food tastes good, that should be enough. But let’s face it, most of us are visual people and eat with our eyes first. We found a very good article online that explains the process and elements of “staging” food for events and we thought we’d pass it on.Full article can be found at www.foodservicewarehouse.com
You need two things to design a fantastic looking buffet: a good eye for aesthetics and an assortment of decorations and food display items. With these tools at hand, you can create a dazzling buffet that is sure to impress your clients and their guests. Research the design elements below to learn how to create a beautiful buffet display.
While some caterers have had success using sleek, modern tables without linens for their buffet, usually, table toppers and table skirts are needed to dress the banquet tables. You can always just throw a simple tablecloth over the buffet line, but then the ugly frame of the table will show underneath,
and if someone tugs on the overhanging cloth the entire buffet could come crashing down.
Instead, you might want to look for traditional table skirts and table toppers – table coverings specifically designed to fit on the surface of a long banquet table with eight inches of overhang, since the table skirting will take over at the edge. The color and material of your table linens will set the tone for everything that goes on top, so choose wisely.
The food at your buffet should be organized in an order that resembles the dining experience. That means you should usually put appetizers, salads and soups first, followed by entrees, side dishes and breads, with the dessert coming at the end of the buffet line or even at a separate dessert station.
Because the food is the central part of your catering operations, make sure that it takes center stage at your buffet table. The best way to highlight the color and appearance of your food is to use high-quality food display supplies.
For many wedding receptions and other formal events, it is common to designate a separate buffet table to hold and present beverages. Another common practice is to serve alcoholic beverages at a separate portable bar area. If you do not have room for a separate beverage station, always put your drinks at the end of the buffet line, so customers will not have to carry them through the line and risk spilling their drinks as they serve themselves food.
Once you have your food and beverage display taken care of, you can begin to add other embellishments to your buffet line. This includes the decorative and non-edible elements that add extra color, lighting and movement to your buffet.
So please add this to your arsenal of tools when you’re out shopping for a caterer and take a look at the staging at the next catered event you go to and tell us what they did. Was it effective? Don’t forget to visit our amazing list of caterers in San Antonio and Austin and see how they stage their tasty feasts. Make it beautiful people!
It’s Foodie Friday! If you’re looking for some places to try this weekend, here are our suggestions.
Austin – In a town that lives and dies by tortillas and salsa, it’s nice to see that some new culinary niches are trying to gain momentum. What first exploded on the east coast, sushi is gaining ground amongst couples that want to give their guests a little something different.
How Do You Roll? is a unique maki sushi restaurant that caters to each individual “roller.” It’s all about YOU there, where you get to personalize your sushi experience as much as you like. With pre-determined rolls like a 3 Alarm Roll for the super spicy lovers and locale specific concoctions like the Fruit Roll-up dessert roll made with fresh fruit, to “you call it” type of orders, you can’t go wrong at this place.
Stop by and visit our new friends at the Arbor Walk location and tell them the Wedding Guide sent you. Rob and Susan will take good care of you.
San Antonio – Although Mexican food reigns supreme in San Antonio, Italian has to be pretty high up on our short list of food favorites. And it’s always a lovely surprise when Zio’s Italian Kitchen shows up in our offices for lunch. We can smell it from a mile away as it wafts down the hallways, distracting us from the task at hand. It’s funny how Zio’s seems to make everyone in the office want to take an early lunch. I can’t imagine why?
All the traditional items are well represented on their menu, but favorites in this office have to be the heavenly stuffed pillows of pasta they call 4 Cheese Ravioli, the island inspired flavors of their Greek Pasta and their yummy brownies for dessert…mmmmm.
We love the fact that after a busy show season, our boss rewards us with this tasty treat. Thanks Bob!Tags: caterers, catering, food, foodies, Italian, Reception, rehearsal dinner, sushi
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