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IN A CITY THAT IS AS INNOVATIVE and constantly evolving as Vancouver, the team at Truffles Fine Foods has its finger on the pulse of change. Catering trends come and go with each new year, depending on the kind of event and the guests that are being served.

A meal that is nourishing and truly delicious will never go out of style, and it’s at the heart of every item our team prepares and serves. There are, however, many original and inventive ways to feed guests at an event, and keeping up with current catering trends is the smartest way to ensure that your gathering is one for the books.

We’ve rounded up the top 10 catering trends on the horizon for 2017 to help inspire our clients as we head into what is sure to be an incredible year.

1. Textured Buffets

Forget what you think you know about buffets and instead imagine this: a rich tapestry of vibrant colours, rolling hills of inventive platters, mouth-watering bowls brimming with hearty soups and homemade sauces, and towering dishes adorned with all of your favourite foods. Flat buffets that stretch as far as the eye can see have been done again and again and again. Instead opt for multiple tiers, layering your caterer’s offerings at different heights to create contrast and texture.

2. Herbaceous Cocktails

We’ll always keep a place in our hearts for classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned, but there’s no denying the trajectory that the craft cocktail scene has taken in recent years. Shaking up creativity behind the bar with a twist for 2017 means taking organic herbs and pouring out something that plugs into the locavore movement. How about a rhubarb-basil cocktail, lavender lemon drop martini, or a rosemary gimlet? The possibilities are truly endless!

3. Local Pairings

In keeping with the locavore theme, we say two is always better than one. Look no further than your own community for the perfect pairing. Perhaps our favourite catering trend is creating a dangerously delicious duo from the local culinary scene. Your summer BBQ guests will be undoubtedly be wowed if you serve them up a pint of suds from Vancouver’s craft brewery scene with a Fraser Valley beef slider on the side. Keeping it kid-friendly? How about vanilla ice cream from the heart of Main Street garnished with mixed berries from Delta?

4. Interactive Foods

Allowing your guests to get interactive with how their food is prepared is Fun with a capital ‘F.’ While some of Truffles’ catering is often prepared on site, why not take it a step further and have our chefs showcase their culinary skills for your guests? Another option is to allow your guests to “play with their food,” so to speak. Ask us to creatively provide garnishes and sauces on the side, allowing your guests to add the finishing touches themselves. This is especially welcome when anything chocolate is involved.

5. Small, Deconstructed Plates

The beauty in serving smaller plates is that it allows your guests to enjoy a wider variety of foods, textures, and tastes. By deconstructing those smaller plates, it allows your guests to see and understand why the dish tastes the way it does. Sometimes by taking a classic dish and re-arranging it, our team creates a new way of experiencing something iconic and making it new again.

6. Heritage Dishes

If you’re planning a wedding or a family reunion, this is an option we’d love to help you bring to life. Whether two lives are joining, or multiple families are celebrating, by incorporating heritage dishes you can beautifully honour each of your guests. Did your grandmother make a mouth-watering pasta that was a huge part of family gatherings during your childhood? Or maybe dad’s incredible stock pot of ramen was what brought everyone together on Sunday evenings. There’s an intrinsic link between food and memories, and we’d love to help recreate those dishes to add a touch to your event that is unique and only yours.

7. Raw Vegetables

There’s no denying that we’re living in an increasingly health-conscious society. Providing options that are gluten-free, vegetarian, and even vegan are considered standard at nearly any event. There’s little that’s inspiring about a chopped veggie stick platter with dip, so instead consider a kaleidoscope of colour with sliced kohlrabi, lengths of vibrant carrots, bite-sized radishes, and leaves of lacinato kale to wrap them all up with. Boost your raw vegetable game by offering an assortment of homemade drizzles and sauces: think miso-ginger or fruit-fusion vinaigrettes.

8. Roaming Dessert Carts

Remember how fun it was to chase after the ice cream truck as a child? Bring that thrill into adulthood with what might just be our favourite catering trend. Instead of having guests line up a dessert bar, bring the sweets to them – toute suite! A roaming ice cream cart or trolley of mile-high donut towers is sure to get any guest’s sweet tooth salivating.

9. Family-Style Dining

Over the years, we’ve seen this one come and go, but there are few experiences that can be compared to enjoying a family-style meal with friends and loved ones. Because a plated dinner may be too formal, or a buffet meal too impersonal, nothing says “welcome!” like gathering around a platter of tender chicken, bowls of roasted-to-perfection vegetables, and fresh rolls so warm they’re still steaming. Reminiscent of family dinners around the kitchen table, family-style dining reminds us why there’s no sincerer love than food.

10. Crostini Bars

Shhhh… this is our little secret! Crostini bars have been popping up and are shaping up to one of the truly tastiest catering trends this year. A crispy, savoury blank canvas, crostini will let your guests’ creativity flow as they top them with an assortment of cheeses, chutneys, fresh herbs, cured meats, and viscous drizzles. Combining the convenience of a food bar with the trend of interactive foods, this is a fantastic way to compliment your event’s appetizer round.

WHETHER YOU’RE LOOKING TO incorporate one of these catering trends into your next event, or to set a new trend entirely, Truffles Fine Foods will make it happen. To learn more about our extensive and creative catering options, please contact our team today!

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