18Sep

Platter-Passed Dining ~ Adding Variety & Fun to your Dinner Service!

Just as many wedding receptions start off with energetic chatter during cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, we find many couples putting the breaks on their night soon after this “cocktail hour” is done. Mingling is most often interrupted by “Please find your seats, we’re about to begin dinner.” And don’t get us wrong, formal dining is still the most common service style requested by today’s couples. When done right, it is classy and elegant. Yet, for some of today’s more adventurous couples, the cocktail hour is just the beginning. They want to carry this energy right through the meal and with a “Mix & Mingle” style of service, and although some hesitate, it’s easily accomplished!

How can we do this? Through creative menu design, floor plans that create movement and service staff who are dedicated to the concept as well. There are many menu and food presentations we can use to achieve this — however, the one on the cutting edge is the four-course cocktail party. This concept involves recreating each course so that it can be easily served and consumed while roaming the reception venue and is only limited by the chef’s imagination and your vision. Below is a sample menu that we created and how it works.

Cocktail Hour: Passed Appetizers
You’ve seen hors d’oeuvres and cocktails before, nothing new here. Just make sure you include a fun variety of both hot and cold items that compliment the courses to follow. The presentation should be as fun as the items themselves!

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First Course: Standing Salad Service
The first course is announced by  your MC, DJ and visually by the servers as they work the room. In this case, we recommend a trio of delicious, bite-sized salads.  Add variety again by using different greens, dressings and also seasonal fruits.

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Second Course: Soup Shots
Tray-passed and served in tiny demi-tasse cups (we are thinking espresso size servings). The staff would circulate offering a variety of tasty and colorful soup options – again here you can opt for some cold and hot options!

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Third Course: Seated Entrees
At this point, guests are asked to take a seat at tables for a family-style meal.  The mingling will continue at the table as guests pass the platters to one another. For family style service we recommend a maximum of 5 dishes (not including any sides)

Fourth Course: Passed Desserts
Work with your venues pastry chef to create something unique and perfect for your event. Again our suggestion is: variety, and lots of it! An assortment of mini treats and flavours that compliment the cake or in some cases, replace the cake all together.

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As you can see, there are many options to the traditional sit-down dinner. Platter-passed courses offer so many opportunities to keep the energy level high and to ensure that everyone has a rich and memorable experience. It’s your party, so do what makes you happy and comfortable but most of all remember to make the time to mix, mingle and enjoy!


Categories: Latest Industry Trends, Planning Tips

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