Whether planning a gala, mitzvah, wedding, or corporate celebration, our clients tend to get excited when it’s time to start planning their food tasting. And with good reason—a Capers Catering food tasting is truly an experience, and we prepare for each and every one the same way we prep for the event itself, just on a smaller scale. In addition to fully customizing your tasting menu to your palate, always sourcing the highest-quality, organic, local, or sustainable ingredients, and never cutting corners, we think carefully about what will taste the best based on your event’s time of year, time of day, and the parameters of your venue. On your plate? To simply approach your food tasting with the expectation that it will be a fun, authentic, mini-replication of the food experience you and your guests will enjoy at your event, and to be ready to work in partnership with your Capers team, sharing your honest opinions and feedback at every step…
INGREDIENTS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR FOOD TASTING
1. Collaborate With Us to Create Your Custom Menu After initial discussions with you about your likes and dislikes, we’ll discuss the capabilities and any challenges of your venue, helping to steer you toward menu options that can be well-executed in that setting. For example—if your venue doesn’t have a kitchen and won’t allow you to bring in ovens, we’ll encourage you to consider delicious room-temperature or cold dishes. If you have your heart set on a certain item we know will pose challenges to create or serve at your venue, we won’t say no—but we will be honest with you about what will taste the best, and suggest alternatives we think you’ll love, based on your unique preferences. Once we have your feedback, we’ll write a customized menu proposal for your event, featuring your choice of six to nine hors d’oeuvres, a first course or two (salad, soup, or other option), three entrees (typically one meat, one fish, and one vegetarian or vegan choice), and four to five desserts. What you approve for your menu proposal will be what we prepare for your tasting.
(For more tips as you’re planning your menu, browse our other blog entries, and especially be sure to check out Executive Chef Kevin Marsland’s advice on How to Create an Event Menu that WOWs.)
2. Schedule Wisely
Consider the seasons when scheduling your food tasting. It may be hard to get excited about eating hot butternut squash soup on a scorching summer day, or an ice cream dessert when it’s snowing outside—and even harder to imagine what your guests might enjoy if the weather is the reverse of your event day. If you’re getting married in the fall, for example, you may want to schedule your tasting during autumn or winter, to ensure we can source all menu ingredients, and best replicate the dishes you’ll be in the mood to eat on your big day.
3. Select Your Food Tasters
Designate your top two-to-three decision-makers to attend your food tasting to prevent from too many voices confusing your final decisions.
4. Arrive Hungry Though you shouldn’t expect to chow down on a full dinner, you’ll want to enjoy the foods you’re tasting, and immerse yourself in the experience of dining on your selection of dishes in the same succession as you will at your event, so be sure you arrive ready to eat.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR FOOD TASTING
1. An Authentic, High-Quality Dining Experience We can’t say it enough—we treat each tasting like an event, and insist on using the same premium ingredients, techniques, equipment, and kitchen team at your tasting that we will at your celebration, to ensure that you enjoy virtually identical, top-quality dishes in both settings.
2. A Window Into How We Work…
…literally! Upon entering through our two-story, state-of-the-art kitchen—which we take pride in keeping meticulously clean—we’ll escort you to our tasting room, where you’ll have a birds-eye-view of our kitchen team working below. We want you to see and experience how carefully, thoughtfully, and fastidiously we prepare and serve our custom creations.
3. An Interactive, Team Collaboration Chef Kevin will personally hand-deliver each dish to you, describe its ingredients, and invite your feedback. Do you have questions about where your food came from? How do you like what you’re tasting? Is it spicy enough? Too spicy? Is there an aspect of the item that you’d like changed? Do you feel it’s not quite for you and want to swap a dish for something else? You’ll want to take advantage of this opportunity to communicate directly with our Executive Chef as you experience your menu options, so be ready to ask questions.
Your Catering Sales Manager will also be present to discuss your service options, including table settings, serveware, and the overall guest experience. Our entire team will remind you to choose what you love, while also being mindful of what your invited guests will be most likely to enjoy—a raw brussels sprouts salad might be your favorite thing in the world, but will 200 of your friends and family want to dig in?
We’ll work with you to find your perfect symbiosis of menu options to keep your guests talking about the food at your event long after the last dish has been cleared.
Whether you’re prepping for an upcoming tasting or are thinking about working with us, we hope this has cleared up your questions—and gotten you excited! The whole purpose of your general or wedding tasting is to determine what you like and don’t like so you can fine-tune your menu while getting to know the Capers team and our premium level of service.
Above all, we’re catering your party, not our party—we want the food you choose to perfectly represent you…and to knock your socks off. We look forward to serving you!
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