We asked fellow planners how they add fresh and interesting touches to their food functions. Here are their F&B tips.
Try these 7 F&B tips:
In Season is Best
Ask the chef about ingredients found close to home, whether from a hydroponic vegetable garden that features “pick-to-plate” ingredients, from the hotel’s very own farm, or from local growers.
Choosing food in season is one of the easiest ways to make an F&B function healthier and more environmentally friendly. Not only will the produce be fresher, but it is also a great way to incorporate the flavor of the region into your event. It also minimizes the transportation impact on the environment.
F&B Tip: Educational Tastings
Instead of having the usual wine sommelier or beer expert, hire a specific spirit expert from a local distillery to interact with attendees. He or she can provide history about the spirit as well as tips on how to properly taste the alcohol.
If you’re serving meat from a local producer, invite the pitmaster who smoked it to serve it up, along with tips on smoking turkey and pork. The same can apply to produce and local farmers, or cheese and local makers.
Food Truck Fun
Food trucks are a category all their own, and an entertaining way to introduce creative, local cuisine into a lunch or reception. Or, ask your catering team to create their own version of authentic street food from your destination.
Imperfect or “ugly” produce is no longer being thrown out but in fact can be used to show attendees that you’re making a conscious choice to pick produce that likely otherwise would have been thrown out.
F&B Tip: House-Made Condiments
Forget Heinz and French’s. F&B teams are taking the time to craft their own house-made condiments that are not only less processed, but also have a unique flavor drawing from local spices. Try a spicy ketchup or grainy mustard to amp up your meeting’s condiment game.
Donuts, cookies, really anything that requires a filler can be made inventive by offering attendees the option to inject the item themselves with assorted fillings. A vanilla donut could come with chocolate, caramel or even lavender flavors to inject. The presentation also makes for a very Instagram-worthy, science-y display.
Take It Outdoors
Using nature as decor has taken off since COVID-19. Venues are enhancing their outdoor spaces by introducing Wi-Fi and investing in unique sculptures, outdoor dining areas, even kitchen gardens.