“We are living in the golden age of creative catering and innovative events, where anything is possible and ordinary just doesn’t cut it anymore,” says Alexandra Loriente, Director of Meetings and Events at InterContinental Sydney.
“With more and more clients coming to us seeking exceptional culinary experiences and wow-worthy catering solutions, we have to be on the ball and on top of the latest trends at all times”.
There is persistent requests for memorable, out-of-the-ordinary, blow them out of the water-style events, so if that’s what you are needing for your next Sydney event, Alexandra shares her expert advice on how to elevate the catering to ensure it’s memorable, on-theme and leaves a lasting impression on your guests.
I will start with the most obvious one when it comes to event catering – and that’s to ensure the food presentation is out of this world. They say we eat with our eyes, so if your food is colourless and a little stale looking, it might not be all that appetising. There is nothing memorable about food being presented in a dull way, so why not pick things up with a little bit of foliage, neat arrangements of small colourful bites, levelling at different heights and good attention to detail.
Interactive chefs’ stations
It’s always a special touch when the chefs are on-hand to help bring your event to life. Bring a bit of the behind-the-scenes to the forefront with an interactive chefs’ station, where the culinary team are on display, cooking for the guests right before their eyes. Asian menus are the perfect cuisine for something like this – if you can imagine noodles sizzling in a hot wok, or even pizza-making!
DIY food stations
Similar to the chef’s station, but this time guests get the chance to do it themselves! This kind of catering is stunning for more relaxed-style cocktail events. Think DIY baos, tacos or cheese fondue. It is important here to ensure the ingredients are always topped up and the catering staff keep an eye on the cleanliness and presentation of the stations – things can get messy quickly.
If you are hosting an event in a larger space, a great way to bring a touch of uniqueness and really get guests taking (and walking) is to set up a themed ‘marketplace’, which sees smaller food stations positioned around the room dishing up cuisine from around the world. It’s almost like being at an indoor food festival where you get the choice of a little bit of everything. You could summon a taste of China, with a dumplings and noodle station, or a taste of Italy, with fresh pastas and gnocchi.
Again, this one works really well if you have a themed event. Throwing a Mexican fiesta? Why not have a pop-up margarita bar. Or, if you want to offer your guests something special later in the evening, how about an expresso martini or whiskey bar? You can decorate your pop-up bar with florals and foliage and make it look extra amazing.