Fall events have been in full swing, with safe social gatherings happening from NY to LA and everywhere in between. One of the fun parts of being back to attending IRL outings has been tasting the amazing bites that top caterers from coast to coast have been serving up. We tapped the best in the biz for their insights on fall food trends so you know what to make sure you try at your next event.
Menus are getting more ambitious and multicultural. Little Gem clients don’t want to be so conservative when making menu selections, and they seem more excited to try new flavors and spices and push the envelope a little bit. An example is our chicken samosa with mint cucumber labneh, which has been a very popular selection.
Everyone wants to be sustainable and appeal to all diets, so menus are chock full of vegan offerings. One of our most popular menu items is our crispy rice. Formerly topped with spicy tuna, it’s been reworked for fall to be accompanied by butternut squash and chive.
Even though guests are gathering in larger numbers, we are still seeing a need for individually portioned menus this fall. Recently, we partnered with New York-based experiential marketing firm Gradient to serve 100 guests an authentic Qatari menu. Each guest received a gorgeous tray with bowls of traditional foods such as machboos and lokma, as well as an individually-portioned mocktail, served in a Boston bottle. Gradient’s creative team chose serving pieces that were both luxurious and functional.
Also, at both social and corporate events, planners are asking for easy grab-and-go items that look amazing on their own as well as when presented on a station. We are mixing kraft paper containers, pressed-leaf bowls and bamboo boats to create visual interest.
We’re of course serving evergreen seasonal items, like all things apple, mushroom and pumpkin. We have been seeing a lot of requests for vegetarian soups and comfort food in general, such as baked pies and meat and beans stews, as well as mocktails.
Something unique that we are experiencing this year is that our clients have a tendency to entertain in a more casual than formal way; most of our culinary services are requested to be served buffet or family style.