Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Matter of Taste - Proper Tastings

We are excited to share with our brides
"A Matter of Taste!"

Chef Larry, from Simply Gourmet Catering
has contributed to our blog to shine some
light on your menu tasting!

Chef Larry Barrett - Simply Gourmet Catering

A tasting should be one of the highlights of
planning your wedding, one of the first steps in
making your dream a reality. 

Start by contacting three caterers by phone or email.
Do your homework, ask friends for referrals and read
reviews on line. Let the caterers know what foods you enjoy.
Are you planning a buffet or table service dinner?
Would you like passed appetizers?
Inform the caterers of your food, beverage and
service budget. Next a personalized menu should be
created for you. Make sure all the details you discussed
are on your menu. You can make tasting requests when
setting up your appointment, keep it simple: 
“we love scallops and potato gratin can we try those?” 
A good caterer picks up on what you’d like to sample
and focuses on items you discussed earlier.

Every caterer has their own formula for tastings. Some 
charge a fee that goes toward the final bill when you book 
with them. Most do not charge a fee, they are excited to
let you sample their food~you wouldn’t buy a car without
taking it for a test drive. Some caterers have group
tastings, several couples sampling cuisine at the same time.
Chef Larry likes tastings that focus on one couple
enjoying a fantastic dining experience. This personal
attention allows you to ask important questions
in a relaxed atmosphere.

The tasting is not only about the food, it gives you
an opportunity to observe how a company operates. 
Every caterer has it’s strong and weak points, this is your
chance to size them up. Notice how your food is
presented, plates should be beautifully garnished. 
Was the food delicious? If the answer is no, move on. 
No matter how great the support staff is, your
palate is saying no. If a company can’t pull off a tasting
for a few guests, the food will not shine on your wedding day.
Discuss your menu with the chef. If there is an item
or two that needs tweaking, see if your wishes can be
accommodated. Don’t over think, just make
common sense decisions.       

The most important aspect of a tasting is the clarity
it provides. Now you know the food, the presentation
and you’re acquainted with the sales staff and chef. 
You will be speaking with your caterer many times
over the next year. Make sure they are someone you
trust and can laugh with. Caterers are like culinary fairy
godmothers, you make a wish and they make it come true. 
Planning your special day requires a lot of work, but
remember to enjoy yourself, this is a once in 
a lifetime experience. 

Tasting Etiquette
Let the caterer know your food likes and dislikes before
the tasting.  “I hate capers and basil”, the more specific,
the better. A good company takes careful notes and
follows through on tasting requests.

Make sure you have a personalized menu from the
caterer before your tasting that is within your budget.

Make sure everyone necessary is in attendance~
bride, groom and anyone responsible for 
making important decisions.

Take photos of the food to view later, this helps keep
everything fresh in your mind. 

Best not to be overly critical, if the food is
not for you move on.

Happy Planning!


Confetti Girls + Chef Larry

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