Event Catering: Flavour Trends for 2017

by Gino Spano

Halfway through the year and some wonderful emerging food trends have emerged that are set to take over event catering in 2018.

If you’re planning an event right now, here are some of the flavours you’ll want to consider incorporating into your menu.

Local Flavour

While this flavour trend has been gaining momentum for a while, it shows no signs of stopping in the coming year. With an increasing emphasis on environmentally conscious meal choices, local options are becoming one of the most in-demand features of the event catering menu.

Depending on where you live, this flavour will obviously vary. In-season vegetables and fruits, and local spices and seasonings are all things you can come to expect in the coming year. If you’re working with a caterer, ask how you can make your menu more eco-conscious by prioritizing local ingredients and flavours.

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs

Eggs, prepared in every form imaginable, are making a comeback in 2017. Whether served as the main dish or as an enhancement to the meal, they’re becoming increasingly popular as an ingredient in a whole host of different dishes.

Eggs are no longer designated as a breakfast food only. Instead, they’ve become regular features of lunch and dinner menus alike. Eggs are also being prepared in more inventive ways. While you can still get your eggs sunny side-up or poached, the trend in 2017 is to incorporate eggs within larger meals or with spices, including turmeric and cayenne.

The Magic of the Plancha

A plancha refers to a thick, cast-iron skillet used to grill a variety of different kinds of meat. Commonly used to prepare food in Spain, Mexico, and France’s Basque region, plancha cooking is quickly becoming popular in other areas around the world.

Grilling on a plancha imparts the meat with a smokey taste and thicker crust—a taste that is absolutely mouth-watering. Traditionally, meat will be seasoned witha Spanish sauce that is made up of cumin, parsley, and green chilies before being grilled on the plancha. This sauce adds to the flavour of the meat while also bringing out a sweeter side to balance the smokey taste.

Middle Eastern Flavours

Middle Eastern dishes and spices are quickly becoming one of the most popular choices in 2017, with the demand for traditional Middle Eastern cuisine, and the spices associated with Middle Eastern food, on the rise.

Middle Eastern food represents a large diversity of cuisine, spanning the cultural dishes of those countries that make up this region, including Turkey, Iran, and Israel. While the Middle East refers to a large geographical region, there are certain key ingredients that many Middle Eastern national cuisines share, with chickpeas, lamb, cumin, and fennel representing mainstays of the Middle Eastern dish. Falafel, tabbouleh, and kebabs are just some of the meals that are set to become increasingly popular in 2017.

Peppercorn Flavour

Peppercorn is on track to become one of the biggest trends of 2017. Popping up in all kinds of new and inventive dishes, it’s one of the most requested flavours for event catering.

Peppercorn has multiple incarnations. We’re most familiar with black peppercorn, which are peppercorns that have been left on the vine to mature and have a stronger taste. However, if plucked earlier, peppercorn can come in shades from green to white to pink, all with varied levels of mildness and flavour. Peppercorn is commonly paired with sweet dishes. With its hints of cedar and citrus, it is a wonderful accompaniment to naturally sweet foods such as dragon fruit and dates.

About Gino. Starting with roots in a kitchen at 14 years old, he worked his way up the ranks and by the young age of 17 was responsible for daily events of 50 to 600 people. Gino continued to use his talents to work in catering, banquet and restaurant kitchens across the GTA. His love for Italian, French and Asian cuisine paired with his wide variety of knowledge brought him success in his new venture at Seventh Heaven in 2001. Over the past 12 years, he has cooked many meals for social events, corporate events and government officials. His love for new challenges brought him into corporate sales where he and the Seventh Heaven team won Best Catered Event for Canadian Linen’s “The Great White North” – Facility Grand Opening in 2009. Learn more at seventhheaven.ca