Top 7 Catering Food Trends for 2015 – Tampa Bay, Sarasota and Lakeland
Posted on January 12th, 2015 - No Comments
In the Tampa Bay Catering food scene, we aim to be trend setters, not followers. As a small locally owned catering company, we cater over 100 full service events annually and speak with hosts and guests about what they love and what they want. Based on our future booked events and weddings and the conversations we have daily, we’ve compiled our top 7 food trends that we foresee this year for the Tampa Bay, Sarasota and Lakeland catering markets. Enjoy!
Popularity of lesser known cuts of meat – Teres Major (our bistro steak) is our pick for the best cut of beef in 2015. It’s tender with a deep beef flavor that is perfect for marinating and grilling. We marinate our bistro steak for 24 hours, season, mark on a hot grill and then finish by roasting in the oven until medium rare. When sliced, it’s a heavenly cut that pairs perfectly with our cilantro chimichurri or stands great on it’s own.
Late night wedding snacks with personality – we’ve found that a guests’ culinary experience at your wedding can be a direct reflection on you and your personality. Late night snacks have gained in popularity over the past couple of years in Tampa Bay weddings, but this is the year that they will explode with character. Food items customized and specifically tailored to the couple will be the year’s hottest ticket.
New and Upscale Southern Food – In the past, Southern food might have earned a reputation for being hearty, simple and cheap. We’ve taken our love for grits to the next level and infused them with mascarpone cheese and just the right amount of cream and butter to make a heavenly accompaniment to slow smoked pork shoulder or lamb chops drizzled with a cabernet wine reduction.
Asian Street Food – One of our most popular new food stations is our Asian street food station, complete with action station chefs preparing favorites like lobster fried rice, pork belly fried rice, green curry ramen noodles or our fun Floribbean fusion fried rice. We’ve had the popular Pad Thai action station since 2008, but have recently seen a growth in interest in other styles of Asian street food, which helped us expand the possibilities and ideas.
Healthier and Lighter Dining – whether it is a corporate cocktail party or a wedding reception, we have found recently that hosts are becoming more and more health concious and aware that lighter eating is a trend on the rise. Based on our booked events for this year, we see healthy and light options appearing on menus at many of our events. Dishes like Roasted Vegetable Quinoa, Grilled Sweet Chili Seafood Skewers, Fava (or Lima) Beans, and Grilled Lean Beef with Romesco, fresh green salads and brussels sprouts are all making appearances this coming year.
Chef Composed Dishes and Action Stations (no more guest DIY)- our culinary focused action stations have the overall guest experience in mind. Gone are the days of “create your own” pasta or salad bars; your guests deserve a night off from the kitchen! Instead, we feel that designing several upscale composed dishes gives the guest the culinary experience of a top notch restaurant menu and less worry about getting it right.
More substance, less style – food is meant to be enjoyed and savored. If it tastes good, then it is good. We’ve found that many of our clients and guests are coming around to enjoying great food without the pretentiousness or show. Technique and flavor in food will shine, as diners have realized that flavor is more important than a pretty plate with unneeded garnish or flowers.
Innovative Corporate Event Catering (click for photos)
Posted on August 28th, 2009 - No Comments
Despite the doldrums of summer and being engulfed in the heat of a Florida August, Good Food Catering Company has been rather busy catering various events and parties in the Tampa Bay region. Although the event catering has kept us from regular blogging, I wanted to share a particular highlight in the corporate event catering branch of our company.
In early July we were contacted by a prominent Ybor City design and advertising firm with the possibility of catering an evening cocktail party mixer at their office, to be held in honor of one of their VIP clients. Because the firm wanted something different and unique, they felt Good Food would be the perfect fit to bring tasty and approachable food along with our unique and modern look. After a couple of proposal revisions and a committee decision, the firm chose us as the top Tampa caterer to be a part of their event.
Since the event was for nearly 100 guests and held in a confined office setting, we used three unique tablescapes, strategically placed throughout the office along with a full bar setup by uDream Events in the main foyer. As an added touch and creative twist, we used the firm’s logo and colors as a template for a portion of the food signage and designs. The summer environment also gave us another opportunity to utilize wheatgrass for a light and refreshing “pop.”
The menu was designed to be refreshing and approachable party food that was easy to eat but also heavy enough to mix with an afternoon and evening of cocktails. Check out the menu (followed by photos):
Passed Signature Appetizer Bites
Stationary Food Displays
And for a visual:
If you’re a corporate event planner in the Tampa Bay region and you’re looking for unique and fun food for your next event or Holiday party, give us a call to discuss having us cater it. And don’t forget about our innovative style! 813.731.0819.
Shrimp & Andouille Pasta… Almost Famous
Posted on March 19th, 2009 - No Comments
Yesterday I had the pleasure to visit with Staci Mandikas of Unique Event Design and learn about how she utilizes both classic and cutting edge designs to make every event and wedding “unique.” I had originally met her at the Davis Island Garden Club bridal show a couple of weeks ago and wanted to spend some time getting to know more about her and the services she offers for for her clients in the Tampa Bay region. In the process of checking out her website, I stumbled upon the fact the she hails from New Orleans, which gave us a few fun things to talk about. It also gave me the opportunity to introduce her to my signature dish, Shrimp and Andouille Pasta.
When my wife and I began dating, I probably originally won her over through my cooking and my use of cream sauces, good seafood and of course, sausage. When I was developing some dishes, I combined the three and ended up with one of my signature dishes. It became so popular that it was being requested by many of my friends for every dinner party I threw. And believe it or not, the media came calling.
Many of you know that I moved here as a result of Hurricane Katrina. But you may not know that for many years, I wrote a blog about New Orleans food and culture. It wasn’t long after moving to Tampa that I was featured in a story for the New York Times and later the St. Pete Times. A couple of months later I was contacted by a talent agency in New York City and was asked to submit some cooking videos for use on Yahoo Food. I had nothing to lose, so I sent them two videos – one about the New Orleans Style Bloody Mary and the other one? You guessed it, Shrimp and Andouille Pasta.
The video never made me famous, but I had a lot of fun making it. I can’t bring myself to watch the video, but for posterity, it is still found online even today. Fortunately you’re still able to see it and can pretty easily re-create my signature dish. And if you are hiring us to cater your next Tampa Bay event or wedding, we’ll be happy to serve it for you and your guests. (The only difference is that in our catering operation we use penne pasta instead of the linguine that I would use at home.) You can check out the video above and feel free to email me for a copy of the recipe for our soon-to-be famous Shrimp and Andouille Pasta. Enjoy!
Good Food Catering Company was established to provide superior culinary experiences for events, weddings and celebrations in the Tampa Bay Region.