The time of year you choose to tie the knot is likely to have as much of a bearing on your catering as it does your venue styling. Afterall, a barbecue on the terrace isn’t going to have quite the same success rate in December as it might in July. So, what should you serve and when, to ensure happy faces all round? We asked Helen and Darren Wynn, of the region’s award-winning Carringtons Catering for their mouth-watering suggestions.
When the weather outside is frightful serve your guests cosy and comforting dishes. As the temperature changes, so naturally do our eating habits, and serving up some hearty family favourites will surely make your nearest and dearest smile. What’s more, there’s further opportunity to tie in seasonal themes, by bringing in the wonderful autumnal colours found in the produce at this time.
Helen says, “These colder, wetter months lend themselves to the earthiness of root vegetables, and the deep rich flavours of braised beef and lamb, warming our tummies against the Great British climate’s bitter elements.”
Darren says, “One of our most popular dishes is braised shoulder of long-horn beef, cottage pie, roasted celeriac and red wine. Or for a lighter winter dish some people are choosing fish – we love fillet of sea bass, with braised fennel, butternut squash and rosemary dressing.”
SUNNY SUMMER DISHES
As is the case for the modern wedding as a whole, catering your big-day has become about personalisation and creating an unforgettable experience for you and your guests. So, whether you land on the more traditional side of the fence with an indulgent sit-down menu, or you want to break free and offer an informal sharing feast, remember to opt for something to suit your style.
We love huge summer-themed sharing platters and grazing stations, which ensure there’s something for everyone, and offer your guests a fun and sociable dining experience. Likewise, the sense of theatre created by a barbecue is second to none, as your meal is cooked in front of you and you’re enveloped by all of its delicious aromas. Serve with fresh and colourful salads, and remember to opt for reusable or biodegradable plates and cutlery.
Helen says, “Showcasing seasonal and regional foods is something we’re passionate about. Eating seasonally not only means you’re trying produce at its best, but also reducing environmental impact, as it’s often grown closer to home, eliminating shipping and the need to cover long distances, which means much fewer steps from field to plate.”
Carrington’s own master chef of Great Britain, Darren Wynn, shares some favourite spring and summer options:
“When the weather dictates a lighter offering, a cold starter, or one with both hot and cold elements, is very popular, giving a variance in heat as well as texture and flavours.
“We recommend smoked chicken, leek and cheddar croquette, with scorched corn and lemon thyme dressing. This combines different elements of temperature, texture, acidity and flavours - a perfect wedding-breakfast starter during the warmer months.
“Another suggestion would be cannelloni of crab and brown crab emulsion, with pink grapefruit, and ginger oil. Perfect for a summer’s day, as a starter to keep taste buds tingling.”
NO MEAT, NO PROBLEM
There was a time when vegetarian, vegan, dairy- or gluten-free wedding breakfast options were boring, bland and unimaginative. Thankfully, those days are long gone and the modern free-from option is equally as tasty as the main menu, if not, more so, meaning those without specific dietary requirements are just as happy to dine on them. This being the case, a completely vegan menu is nothing to fear. The most important thing is to offer guests alternatives that don’t leave them feeling as though they’re an afterthought. Your caterer will have plenty of exciting ideas, and will surely welcome the opportunity to get creative.
Helen says, “It’s now the norm to encounter an array of dietary requirements at wedding. We find it best to introduce these discussions early on in the planning process, explaining the best way to make the different menus work well together with simple questions to include in the invitations to keep catering as stress-free as possible for the couples. It’s then possible to tailor the delicious food and themes that the other wedding guests are enjoying to fit with these requirements. For example, if the main course involves a crust to top a piece of meat or fish then a gluten free alternative will be used.
“In order to avoid any upset on the day, it’s key for a caterer to know exactly what’s in the food being served. So, when selecting your perfect catering partner, it’s crucial to know that all the food is homemade,” Helen advises. “For example, at Carringtons we know that there’s no flour in any of our sauces, so we can offer a perfectly suitable dish to any of our diners,” she continues.
“We frequently serve textures of beetroot, with whipped goat’s cheese and beetroot crisps. For this we replace the goat’s cheese with a vegan alternative, which then gets aerated.”
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