Flavor is obviously an important factor in successful event catering. But what about unique plating, unexpected visuals, and interactive stations? As the expression goes, we eat with our eyes first — how the food is presented at incredible events is just as important as its taste. We get unreasonably excited about new and creative catering and have chosen a few of our favorite out-of-the-box chefs who have taken delighting guests with delectable food and interactive displays to the next level.
New York-based caterer Marcia Selden conjured a “secret service” mystery wall at a fun corporate event. White-gloved hands summoned guests closer to receive specialty cocktails in quaint mini martini shakers and yummy snacks in chic wood boxes.
Give Guests Choices
Gaurav Anand, a New York-based caterer well-versed in international fare, presented guests with this paratwala paneer — tandoori grilled paneer (Indian cottage cheese), with chutney pipettes filled with three colorful aioli choices in mouth-watering tamarind, mint and saffron flavors.
Los Angeles-based caterer, Schaffer, offers guests a kaleidoscope of delicious drink selections with their rainbow mimosa bar. Juice blends, such as cherry and mango, are displayed in glass bottles with an array of fresh, seasonal toppings like candied ginger and pomegranate seeds for guests to craft their own perfect sips.
Make it Participative
Paramount Events added interactive fun to this Chicago wedding with a custom s’mores station. They started with fire, skewers and traditional ingredients then added additional fun toppings like peanut butter cups, chocolate drizzle, honey and more, for a delicious new twist on the the campfire standby.
Firefly Events and Catering celebrated the opening of venue, Firefly Kitchen on Chicago’s North Shore, with a delectable array, including mini Asian grills for guests to heat spiced shrimp skewers before pairing them with a flavorful sauce.
Chicago-based caterer, Big Delicious Planet (BDP), created a honey-driven menu (beautifully printed utilizing honeycomb imagery) for a chic Chicago farm dinner. The meal included artisan bread with BDP honey, BDP honey and herb glazed chicken, and honey ice cream, then guests got a special treat — seeing the live hives and tasting fresh honeycomb.
Keep Guests Guessing
Breakfast looks like a delicious dessert with this delectable dish from Chicago-based caterer Good Gracious! Events. It’s their signature red quinoa granola served topped with a yogurt berry popsicle with a side shot of espresso — what a way to start the day!
Creative Edge Parties curated an inventive menu for PartySlate’s New York launch event at West Edge. The epic evening ended with a choice of bread puddings — or were they cocktails? The dessert sported complex classic cocktail flavor profiles like the “sidecar” treat, which consisted of cognac vanilla dunked bread pudding, butterscotch, and candied pecans.
From the pastry pranksters at M Culinary Concepts in Phoenix, we have a dessert masquerading as a hearty breakfast. Executive Pastry Chef Kurt and his team of culinary con artists created this dish for a gala dinner. Caramelized apples stood in for breakfast potatoes served with chocolate soup “coffee”, vanilla bean panna cotta & lemon curd “eggs sunny-side up” with Oreo dust “pepper” were paired with tuile cookie “bacon strips” and vanilla pound cake “toast” with crème brulée “butter.”
Add a Dash of Science
Wolfgang Puck Catering – Dallas created a cocktail station at this fundraising gala utilizing a centrifuge — a device that uses rapid rotation to separate fluids of different densities. The resulting “centrifuge cocktails” featured carbonated mission fig ‘beer’ with a lighted display of gravity-separated ingredients.
Operating out of Texas, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and New Jersey, caterer Frost 321 creates unforgettable experiences with desserts and frozen cocktails prepared live in front of guests. Their liquid nitrogen process creates a mystical mountain of fog — always a crowd pleaser — which leaves behind a delectable scoop of ice cream or a perfectly-portioned drink.
Patina Catering offers another offbeat thrill with their anti-griddle station turning out lemon margarita and cosmo popsicles made with top-notch cocktail ingredients (including alcohol). First the cocktail is poured and frozen on the anti griddle then dipped into white chocolate to create a shell – as the chocolate melts, guests get a delicious cold boozy burst.
Have Fun with Presentation
The New York-based culinary experts at CxRA have made eating vegetables fun with their crudité display. The edible garden features colorful fresh vegetables “planted” in homemade pumpernickel bread crumbs. Guests can also choose from a variety of individual dips presented in shot glasses for easy carrying.
Turning the volume on the selfie craze all the way up to 11, are the seasoned cocktail caterers from The Grand Bevy. For this Washington, D.C., Bat Mitzvah celebration, the all-girl party guests posed for pics that were printed on edible paper then floated on top of their freshly-curated mocktails (no alcohol).
The Chicago-based team at Limelight Catering conjured this original take on bread service for a seated dinner. In place of a traditional bread basket they served a variety of homemade flatbreads attached to hawker poles — an elevated use for the tools you see sporting cotton candy at baseball games. Guests chose a flavor then helped themselves to a flatbread or two (or 20).
When it comes to innovative displays, Creative Edge Parties never disappoints. They created a black netted structure to coordinate with the concrete jungle theming of PartySlate’s New York launch event. Clear eggs filled with perfectly-composed desserts and savories — like burrata with heirloom tomato gazpacho and walnuts — were suspended within the chic frame.
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