Get the menu that YOU want | Thomas the Caterer
Today I have the very talented, multi award winning and published chef Thomas The Caterer talking about choosing awesome wedding food, not compromising on taste and getting the menu that YOU want…
We’ve all been a guest at a wedding where you finally sit down to your wedding breakfast only to be presented with a rather dry looking chicken breast with a splash of sauce and rather sad looking veg. There is no other choice unless you are a veggie and then the meal is even worse… mushroom couscous anyone?? You just know this wasn’t what the bride and groom wanted to eat themselves, let alone feed their guests but they were probably given very little choice.
I was there myself and when it was my wedding I wasn’t prepared to compromise. I wanted delicious food that was personal to me. I struggled to find a caterer who would create my ideal wedding meal at my Tipi wedding so figured other brides and grooms were feeling the same ‘chicken or fish’ pain as me. So I set up Thomas the Caterer to do just that, give couples exactly what they wanted to eat, no matter how daring or different.
You wouldn’t compromise on your dress (imagine being told you could only pick from three styles!), why should food be any different? You should get to eat the food you love for your first meal as a married couple. A menu that reflects you as a couple and is of course, super tasty.
So that is step one – make sure you pick a wedding caterer who is willing to work with you to get the menu that you want.
The next step is deciding exactly what you do want. Here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing…
Substance over style
Canapés don’t need to be teeny tiny bites that look amazing but don’t pack much flavour. Go for more substantial options or mini sliders – think miniature versions of your favourites such as roast beef in Yorkshire puddings; Mac n Cheese bites; mini anti-pasti boards or steak wrapped chips. These will ward off the hunger prangs but not fill people up too much before their main meal.
You can’t beat the classics
Your wedding menu should really incorporate what you love to eat. For many of us, our favourites are not quite as fancy as truffle, foie gras or caviar, they can be the simple pleasures in food – pie and mash, an amazing burger or fish and chips. Think juicy steak pave with triple cooked chunky chips, Lincolnshire sausage with creamy mash and lashings of gravy or a rich aromatic chicken madras with Bombay potatoes, onion bhaji and mini poppadum. Yummy!
Variety is the spice of life
Picking one option for everyone can be pretty stressful; you might love something but worry that not all of your guests will feel the same. Go for more than one option, served family style or as bowl foods, that way there is loads more options and people can help themselves to as much or as little of each dish as they like.
Bring together different flavours and styles
If your wedding has a theme you could look to tie in the menu. This could be anything from gourmet picnic boxes to match your summer outdoor wedding or street food style shacks for a Boho festival feel. If there is a style of food you love bring it into your wedding menu for example you might like a Caribbean BBQ (coconut chicken with mango salsa and lime roasted king prawn plantain with black bean anyone?) or a Moroccan feast (think slow roasted cumin lamb with almond and pomegranate, freshly baked flat breads with mixed hummus). Have fun with presentation using quirky serving styles or even some theatre.
Show off your personality
Inject your personality or story as a couple into your menu. Perhaps there is a signature dish you are known for that could inspire one of your courses or if there are destinations that you have visited as a couple why not have a canapé to represent each country. Add little flags to make it even more fun.
Go for the service style that suits your day
If you want a relaxed, laid back wedding then a traditional seated three-course meal might not feel right. Go for a relaxed service style with lots of options and courses to share or even little food stands or vans to visit. If you still want a little formality, compromise with a relaxed sharing style starter (anti pasti boards or baked camembert with mixed breads and chutneys) then a plated main followed by a dessert table or trolley where guests help themselves.
Keep your guests sweet
Dessert is definitely the place to have some fun and break from the norm. Flip it on its head and have dessert canapés – think mini eton mess, apple fritters with toffee dipping sauce or salted caramel popcorn with popping candy. Go for a trio of desserts all served in miniature, cute kilner jars filled with everything from passion fruit trifle to sticky toffee pudding or build your own ice cream sundaes served on dry ice. Seriously the world is your (ice cream) oyster!
That was just a snippet of what is possible but highlights how varied and delicious your wedding menu can be. So get thinking about the food you love to eat and what flavours, styles or dishes you’d like to make an appearance. After all, no one wants a dry chicken breast for Sunday lunch let alone on your wedding day!