Recently, the National Restaurant Association asked over 1500 chefs nationwide to predict the restaurant trends for 2011. I was just pouring over the survey results with a fellow planner trying to determine which ones would most likely influence wedding and event catering menus in 2011. Here are my top picks from the NRA's Top 20. See the full list here.
Gluten-Free and Allergy conscious (finally!).
Locally sourced meats and seafood, locally grown produce, locally produced beer and wine and cupcakes (okay, I added the cupcakes, but I had to. I have had cupcakes flown in from the West Coast for clients in the past. It would be far less stressful to have them delivered from a local cupcakery, and we’ve got almost a hundred of them right here in the DC area).
“Culinary” cocktails made with fresh sweet and savory ingredients. The signature cocktail trend keeps evolving, so I expect this new twist will make it into many upcoming weddings. Along with the signature cocktail color and the destination signature cocktail from Dress the Drink.
Nutritionally balanced children’s meals and gourmet children’s dishes (I would be interested in seeing how this impacts the bottom-line. Some caterers charge $25 per child for chicken nuggets and French fries).
Food and Beer Pairings and Beer dinners (somewhere out there a groom is saying: “yes!”).
Smaller portions for smaller prices – I hope caterers warm up to the idea of serving a lunch portion for dinner. It’s healthier. It’s cheaper. May not be too good for profits though.