Over the past five years, the farm to table concept has held strong, and you should be gleeful to take advantage of local farmers producing the finest in produce, grains, meat and fowl.
Vegetarian guests have long been an afterthought of most hosts – caterers often provided a token veggie option. Not anymore – happy party-givers, both vegan and omnivorous, are increasingly opting for the freshness, color and diversity that a fully vegan menu can provide.
On the vegetable note, many people are saying no way to a wan pile of green beans or a veggie sauté in favor of vibrant, robust and colorful options such as kale, chard and root vegetables.
Long gone is the boring buffet staple, Chicken is back with a vengeance – but say goodbye to a simple grilled or sautéed preparation. Chicken served in various styles such as sous vide, covered in crackling, a roulade stuffed with black pudding or shredded a la pulled pork are all increasing in popularity – and deliciousness.
Pork belly is a huge trend in the culinary world, and this flavorful, sumptuously fatty cut is a huge hit amongst hosts this season. Prepared in a French style with white wine and thyme, or with a sticky, anise flavored Chinese marinade, pork belly’s crispy skin is ambrosia for meat eaters.
Bacon no longer reigning supreme. The early part of the 21st century will long be remembered for its voracious bacon mania. While we can’t deny that bacon is delicious, you’re less likely to see ‘bacon aioli dipped bacon bombs covered in a bacon reduction’ this season.
Bacon may be on the way out, but other smoked foods are on the way in. Whether a lightly smoked ling cod served with clams and a smoked dashi broth, or a tea smoked duck breast, unique and interesting methods of smoking meat, fish and vegetables are on the rise.
Lentils and peas galore. It’s important to remember that you are not limited to potatoes, polenta and pasta to give your guests a carb side. Lentils of all types can be prepared in sophisticated and delicious ways that will give diners a boost of protein and keep their bellies fuller for longer without a carb crash.