What’s on the menu? A caterer dishes on the hottest wedding food trends for 2021
The food spread at a wedding reception in south Louisiana used to follow a simple format–big and bountiful buffets, often with long lines of guests crowding around to grab a dollop of spinach dip or a slice of prime rib and piling it all onto a plate balanced on top of a wine glass. But as with many aspects of life, COVID-19 has changed the way wedding foods are offered to guests. To get the scoop on what’s in and what’s out in wedding cuisine this year, inRegister asked Caryn Roland of Heirloom Cuisine to share with us the tastiest trends of the season.
“What I saw the most coming out of the pandemic was more bite-size individual servings of food,” says Roland. “The days of the cheese and charcuterie buffet have now become cheese and charcuterie on a skewer.”
There will be little mad dashing to the buffet table this year, as the trend of individual food stations continues to grow in popularity. “The buffet has shifted from one long table where everybody stands in a 10-foot long line to individual stations that don’t crowd as easily, and the food is easier to pick up,” says Roland. “Like mini tacos with the salsa already on them, just little light bites like that that are one or two bites.”
Guests can also expect to see trends including lighter fare, vegan and vegetarian options that contain protein, and a striking presentation to top it off.
“You know, I think people are moving toward food as art,” says Roland. “They want the food they are being served presented in a beautiful way and to really be eye-catching, more like art than just a simple tray.”
For spring events, Roland says Heirloom Cuisine tries to focus on seasonal and local ingredients. “That means things that are sourced locally or within the area, and things that are plentiful in the spring, so fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and homegrown herbs,” she says. “In spring, I feel we do a little lighter fare. In the fall and the winter, the food can be heavier. We’re doing a lot of chargrilled oysters for spring–a lot of action stations involving the chefs, and things like shrimp lollipops, shrimp skewers, and finger foods on bamboo knotted-picks.”
For Roland, the perfect wedding menu is all about finding balance–no matter what the trends are.
“I think a good menu for a wedding reception needs to include some lighter food and heavier food,” says Roland. “There will be people that treat that as dinner. Mealtime weddings are still going toward a mixture of light and heavy.”