Catering Trends 2010: 8 Predictions for Next Year's Trends

By Lisa Cericola October 22, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

Caterers predicted street food and global flavors will be big in 2011. The Kogi Korean BBQ truck, based in Los Angeles, combines both trends.

Photo: Dale Wilcox

As part of our Catering Trends 2010 feature, we asked planners and caterers to tell us what they think we'll see on next year's event menus. Here's what they had to say:

“Menu items that speak of value and prudence, such as organic chicken or whole brownies with whipped cream for dessert. These items, when done well, are as satisfying as any four-star dinner, without the cost and perception of possible corporate excess.”
Peter Callahan, owner, Callahan Catering, New York

“Thanks to the rise in popularity of food trucks across the country, we predict a lot of ethnic street food on menus in 2011. We’ll see a rise in Middle Eastern fare—falafel bars with hummus, baba ganoush, stuffed grape leaves, and couscous.”
Michael Baker, owner, Bakers’ Best Catering, Boston

“Our team is excited about highly seasonal, single-ingredient stations offering sweet and savory dishes along with beverage pairings. From strawberries to tomatoes to autumn root vegetables, we see this as a fun, interesting addition. Also big cooking classes as social gatherings. These types of events are hands-on, interactive, and incredibly memorable and were inspired by the realization that many great parties end with everyone congregating around the kitchen.”
Robb Garceau, executive chef of Union Square Events, New York

“Savory cocktails such as pickled ramp martinis or butternut drams will go from being esoteric curiosities for connoisseurs to being introduced and enjoyed by a wider audience.”
Bronson van Wyck, president, Van Wyck & Van Wyck, New York

“There will be a continuation of savory-sweet combinations in everything from bar snacks to desserts and beyond—and more impactful dishes with interesting spice combinations, such as five-spice beef and chili and spice brownies.”
Kelven Book, account executive, Canard, New York

“Different cuts of meat rather than the same old filet, and nontraditional grains to give the perception of being green, sustainable, and healthy.”
Adelee V. Cabrera, chief operations officer and director of sales, A Joy Wallace Catering, Miami

“The biggest trend our clients are asking for is to incorporate global flavors into another big trend of late: American comfort foods. Grandma’s meatloaf with an Asian twist, Dad’s barbecue with French flair, Mom’s Sunday pot roast with Latin flavors.”
Bill Starbuck, executive chef and vice president of catering, Along Came Mary, Los Angeles

“Functional foods with health benefits will play a part in cuisine for 2011 and beyond. ‘Black’ foods such as black soybeans, black rice, and black sesame biscuits have cholesterol-lowering and weight-control benefits. We will also incorporate iron- and calcium-rich sea vegetables, like sea oak (arame), light brown kelp, and hiziki black sea grass into our dishes.”
Pasquale Ingenito, executive chef, Windows Catering Company, Washington

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