By Sierra Ashley
It may be August, but here at Global Gourmet Catering we’re already getting into the holiday spirit. December is our busiest time of the year and our holiday party planning is already underway – as well as our thoughts on 2019 food and design trends to utilize this winter. You can incorporate these ideas into your home this holiday season and throughout the year, and we’re excited to do the same!
Food is a full sensory experience. What one sees, smells, touches, tastes and even sometimes hears – contributes to the overall experience of eating. A few things to keep in mind:
Presentation Matters! The placement of food on platters and trays in an artful composition provides a pleasing first impression of what’s to come. Use serving pieces that complement and contrast what’s being placed on them, and don’t be afraid to “mix it up” by using trays, platters and bowls of varying colors and textures. Visual interest is the first stop in making a lasting impression. As seen below, our Mini Peking Chicken Bao Buns being served on a corrugated metal tray add a textual background that compliments the shape of the bun.
Menu Design. Mix and match food textures, temperatures, shapes, and colors. What’s best appreciated by our taste buds is a varied, multi-layered eating experience that is in some ways noisy, while at the same time satisfying. For example, our salmon entree at the 2019 Ilea Gala was presented on a black plate to provide a stark contrast against the vibrant apricots, green peas and thai curry sauce.
Depth of Field is Fun. Have you ever been to a pizza place, and your fresh-from-the-wood-oven pie is placed on a metal riser above the table? Yes, it adds drama and excitement! Use this same strategy on your dining table or when presenting cuisine for friends. Placing food at varying heights provides visual interest and makes your cooking look even more tempting.
Scott Fairbanks, our Creative Director, sums up his current design mantra in two words: BE BOLD! “In most instances, people come together for a specific purpose – a celebration, networking opportunity, educational pursuit, or simply the joy of being with others,” explained Scott. “Bold elements are used to attract the eye, add spatial emphasis, or serve as a conversation jumping off point – are all what contribute to the environmental experience of a guest.”
At a recent event at The Mountain Winery in Saratoga, Scott placed a nine foot tall, 15 foot wide Tuscan-inspired stone fountain inside the central gathering area to serve as the central axis for the rectangular space. He continues, “The fountain provided a living, vertical element that grounded the entire space, and split an awkward rectangular footprint into two easily accessible intimate salons for conversation and networking.”
Following the theme of being bold, one should not be afraid to use a little color in their floral arrangements this winter. Rocio Ruiz, our in-house Florist and Event Designer, created a similar design for this Christmas Party Arrangement which includes vibrant reds, pinks and textural greens. It’s not typical to see bright floral colors in the winter, but the subtle contrast makes for a lively arrangement during the holiday season.
However, layering whites, soft grays and greens can still create a dynamic winter floral piece. The key is to use various textures and shapes like cotton, pine cones, kuwa branches and pompons of brunia. These can add intrigue to the arrangement while still being elegant.
It’s not all about the flowers, however, but also what you put them in (or don’t put them in.) A festive metallic gold or silver vase could add a holiday touch to the flowers. The open space on a table could be an invitation to lay out the arrangement, accompanied by a candle or other decorative centerpiece. One doesn’t always have to resort to fresh flowers. Rocio has also been experimenting with an assortment of neutral, bleached or spray painted dried flowers or foliage as a way to decorate for the holiday season. It’s all about getting creative!
The holiday season is not complete without a drink – whether it’s hot chocolate, eggnog, a cocktail, or a glass of wine. Whatever you’re sipping, it should be from a copper mug. While these are typically used for Moscow Mules, they have been increasingly popular to use however you choose. We think they are so fun and add an extra ‘something.’
We’re excited to be incorporating these trends and creative ideas into our upcoming holiday parties and throughout the winter season! Stay tuned as things are always changing in our industry. Remember – be creative! BE BOLD!