Food is a universal love language. It is delicious in all its varieties, but so much better when shared. While we can’t take credit for coining the term “foodies”, we strongly believe ourselves to be classified as such.
When the music fades, and the flowers wilt, the memory of good (or bad) food at an event stays with you and your guests. One of our many superpowers is the way we educate and guide our clients in navigating the multi-faceted event industry with intention.
Here are our Top 5 Tips for navigating your catering tasting
First and foremost, do not eat before your tasting. There will be A LOT of food to try therefore you want to ensure that you’re ready to experience all courses in a single tasting. As tempting as it may, don’t feel the pressure to devour the entire course presented. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and you have many courses left to try.
The value of your Wedding Planner
We highly suggested that your Wedding Planner join the tasting meeting. There will be several floorplan questions, timeline, and logistical details discussed during this time that you may be uneasy answering on your own.
You + Your Partner
Entering a partnership, you’ll bounce off each other in so many decisions. Your menu selections are no different, and we highly suggest trying all the items as partners in the same order. This is a total sensory experience. When our couples taste the items together, they’re able to organize their thoughts and feedback without overwhelm.
The Order of Guest Experience
Catering tastings typically follow the order of the guest experience: hors d’oeuvres, salads, entrees, sides, and possibly dessert options. Your goal will be to experience each course the way it will be presented to your guests:
Hors d’oeuvres: you may feel inclined to pick up your fork + knife, however, you must resist and refrain. As guided by the Catering Manager, eat these items as you would enjoy from a guest experience walking around cocktail hour. Is this item consumable in one bite? Do you dip it in a sauce?
Salads: Rather than select your go-to favorite Caesar salad to taste, opt for the seasonal salad as it will showcase the creativity of what your caterer can do with greens. And if you really need to taste the Caesar because it’s a must-have, request a taste of the dressing on the side to test.
Entree & Accompaniments: When selecting sides, variety is key. For every starch selection, there should be a vegetable accompaniment. A colorful plate attracts the eye and is well balanced. If you as the VIPs of the night would rather select an entree specific to the two of you, by all means, make your request known to the chef.
Feedback, Feedback, Feedback
Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion during the tasting. If something seems too difficult to eat like an hors d’oeuvre let your Catering Manager know. Would you like more seasoning, a smaller portion, temperature change, less/more/different sauce? (you get our drift).
Your Planner will be equipped to take copious notes along with your Catering Manager, however, it’s always a great idea to bring a notepad to take notes for yourself. By the end of the tasting you’ve tried so many items, it’s difficult to keep track of everything you’ve consumed.
Discussions at the tasting are not the end all be all of your menu selections. If you decide to change a menu option after the tasting, your Catering Manager will provide a deadline date when final selections must be received.
THE MUST-HAVE COVID-19 MEAL PLANNING CONVERSATION
As we write this in the times of COVID-19 we would remiss if we didn’t touch on the subject. While we hope for things to eventually settle down, as planners we strategize for the unknown and the “what ifs”.
Here are some helpful tips for what to ask your caterer. Know you are completely within your right to ask questions on how your event could be affected:
- What safety measures are management taking for how the tasting will be conducted?
- What safety measures are on-site service staff, chefs, and kitchen staff taking in the servicing of your event?
- How will our dinner service style be affected by the safety measures being taken?
- Will staff be equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)? What items will they be required to wear?
Last but not least, enjoy the experience!! These are the times you’ll remember from planning that will bring joy, even in the times of unconventional planning (:
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation on planning services feel free to reach out to us by clicking here!