Friday, February 6, 2015

Your Wedding Menu: Thoughtfully Sourced, Carefully Served.

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GUEST POST BY REBECCA STERN, HYATT REGENCY CHICAGO




One food trend that is here to stay centers on thinking globally and acting locally. Restaurants and caterers are sourcing food from smaller, local contacts and in some instances, growing their own produce. You see terms like “farm-to-table,” “locally sourced” and “sustainable” on menus as often as you see "grass-fed beef" and "organic." This local thinking has become more of a standard than a trend.

Additionally, people want to know what they are eating. Long gone are the days of blissful ignorance when we didn't question “purple drink” and “cheese food."  And thank goodness! Reading labels and taking note of what is going into our bodies has taken priority over price and ease. Most importantly, educating our youth on proper nutrition has become a major hot button since the First Lady, Michelle Obama, become honorary Chair for the Partnership of Healthier America. Even the food pyramid has gotten a makeover in the last few years to reflect this change in thought!

At Hyatt Regency Chicago, we take this mission seriously thought our "Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served.," a global philosophy focused on sourcing and providing food and beverage options that are good for clients, good for the planet, and good for local communities. 

When planning your wedding menu, consider some of these ideas to ensure you're providing your guests with a healthy, conscious meal.
  • Think about the health of your guests. Consider portion control, balanced offerings and natural ingredients prepared with nutrient-preserving cooking techniques. Be sure to include gluten-free and vegetarian options, organic produce, natural meat without supplemental growth hormones or antibiotics, reduced sodium, reduced additives, beverages with all natural sweeteners such as agave nectar, hormone-free milk and real fruit juice.
  • Keep the planet healthy by working with a venue or caterer that uses sustainable practices to improve the long-term health of people and the planet. Ask about options like sustainable seafood, naturally raised beef and pork, and vegetables harvested from an on-property chef’s gardens.
  • Support your community by sourcing foods from local suppliers, as well as sharing knowledge and actively supporting farmers’ markets and other community events. Try to serve at least five local ingredients on menus.

Couples have taken these thoughts to heart when planning their wedding menus. Giving back to the community, offering their guests delicious and healthy meals and providing options for guests with allergies or specific dietary needs are important. Talk to your venue or caterer about menu options or how to create a custom menu to ensure you have the perfect wedding.



Engagement Fun Fact:
Much like the modern tradition of feeding wedding cake to one’s spouse, in ancient Rome, couples pledged their unity by sharing food. Today a Japanese bride and groom drink sake together, Jewish couples drink from the same cup of consecrated wine, and Muslim couples eat from the same piece of candy.



Thank you so much to Rebecca and our friends over at the Hyatt Regency Chicago for all their sage advice!



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