Expert advice about catering

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourcheshiremerseyside.wedding

 

Wonders of the world

Wonders of the world

Q. We're big fans of international cuisine and would love to reflect this in our wedding-day menu. What can you suggest?

A. James Behan says: A lot of couples are choosing less traditional options when it comes to their wedding breakfast, with street food and international bowl food proving particularly popular. The latter is flexible and allows guests to sample a number of different dishes that will take them on a culinary tour around the world. With this serving style, there's also the added bonus of being able to choose multiple dishes, as opposed to a single main course.

Our menus include a number of these options including lamb tagine with herb couscous and mint yoghurt, Thai crispy chilli beef noodle and papaya salad, and Sri Lankan king prawn curry. All use fragrant herbs, spices and dressings, ideal for couples who love a range of international cuisines and flavours.

Whether you have fond memories of a trip that you'd like to recreate, or you simply want your menu to reflect your heritage and culture, work closely with your wedding caterer to create a bespoke menu that makes your day totally personal to you.

James Behan , National Museums Liverpool
www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/venue-hire/weddings

 

Vegan spice

Vegan spice

Q. We want to serve a vegan wedding breakfast, packed with flavour, that all of our guests can enjoy. What would you suggest?

A. Candice Fonseca says: These days us Brits have wide and varied tastes so don't worry too much about how your guests will react to a bit of spice and some heat in your vegan wedding meal.

It's best to take inspiration from the cultures that do vegan food well, such as the Indian subcontinent – the Middle East and Far East for example. To keep everyone happy, I'd avoid going for anything too hot in terms of chilli heat, and instead go for dishes that balance spice with sweetness such as tagines or coconut-based curries.

Traditionally, a wedding breakfast is individually plated with key elements, and if you want to stick to this approach then a star vegetable should take centre stage, for example red peppers stuffed with jewelled couscous works well, or a griddled cauliflower steak dressed with pomegranate, pine nuts and tahini. However, this approach has a couple of potential pitfalls. Some of your less adventurous guests may not like it, and secondly, if the schedule on the day slips even slightly keeping the crunch in the vegetables can become difficult for the kitchen team.

I personally think that serving a wedding breakfast family style on the table in serving bowls is perfect for a vegan feast. It gives you a wider variety of dishes and flavour profiles, and will mean that everyone will find something they like. Ordinarily, serving this way is more costly than plated, simply due to the increased volume of food required, but the fact that there's no expensive protein element does mean you won't be breaking the bank. Think about the flavours you like or dishes that have significance to you and your new spouse, and start from there.

Sit down and chat with the chef, and from there they'll be able to come up with a menu inspired by you, and more to the point, something that's deliverable. Finally, always insist on a tasting – understanding spice is a real skill and you need to be on the same page in terms of expectations!

Candice Fonseca
www.delifonseca.co.uk

 

Barbecue bonanza

Barbecue bonanza

Q. We're having a relaxed outdoor wedding. What catering options and menus would work best for this as we don't think a traditional three-course meal is suitable?

A. Darren Wynn says: Whimsical outdoor weddings are big news in the wedding industry, so for those wanting to achieve a more relaxed vibe, there are plenty of alternatives to a three-course wedding breakfast. A barbecue can be a fantastic option for both large and small weddings and creates an informal atmosphere that's especially fitting for a summer's day. A buffet is also a great option and gives guests the flexibility to pick and choose what they want rather than conform to set menus.

It's important to consider which produce will be in season. Leafy salads with fresh fruits offer a light alternative to traditional starters and main course accompaniments while zesty desserts that include vibrant citrus flavours can really pack a punch. Summer berries also work well in trifles or a traditional Eton mess, which lends itself perfectly to an English picnic-themed wedding.

Picnics are a great way to create a talking point at a wedding. Couples can ditch the traditional seating and take a pew on wooden benches or even hay bales to share a delicious selection of traditional hamper items such as salads, pastries, sandwiches and sweet treats like scones paired with clotted cream and jam. When it comes to finger food, our fish and chip cones always goes down a treat!

Darren Wynn
www.carringtons-catering.co.uk

 

Happy hour

Happy hour

Q. We're having an outdoor tipi wedding but we've got no idea about organising food and drink – please help!

A. Carly Timmins says: With the rise of outdoor weddings, so many suppliers have tailored their offering to be able to provide their services al fresco.

We offer drinks served from our mobile horsebox called Ginny. Packages include prosecco, beer, cocktails and, of course, gin and tonic. If you're concerned about the weather, we can set up a gorgeous rustic-style bar inside the tent, as well as having Ginny outside to take advantage of fine weather and photo opportunities.

Alternatively, if your caterers are providing a bar, you could consider hiring a mobile bar for the evening. We make sure your guests are well refreshed with premium seasonal gins and cocktails.

Make sure that your drinks menu reflects you as a couple and includes your favourite tipples. We offer bespoke packages, personalised to each event.

Carly Timmins
www.theginjointcouk.wordpress.com

Adeava Bridal
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Adeava Bridal
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