Monday, September 14, 2015

Return of the Plated Meal: Part 1

1 comment:

As we put together our food feature for the 2015/2016 edition of ChicagoStyle Weddings magazine, we reached out to Frank J. Andonoplas, MWP of Frank Event Design to get his take on cutting-edge trends. Frank suggested we highlight the "Return of the Plated Reception," and so we did. Here are this thoughts on putting together the perfect dining experience: 


There can be so much more to a wedding meal than a basic filet mignon and a gravy-covered chicken breast. Right now, the trend is all about creating classic elegance with amazing, personalized cuisine. Show off your inner foodie and work with your caterer to develop a traditional plated dining experience. Course by course, your guests will fall more in love with your reception. 

This course is sent from the chef to start the meal. It’s a one-bite or sip tingle for the taste buds. It is usually not on the menu card. This is usually the chef’s choice, but can be planned into the menu as well. 
Traditionally, the soup course. But why limit yourself to soup? Twist that into a trio of soups, or think past this and go for unique and different. Consider a cold soup (great for summer) or serve a vegetable or seafood for this first course.
I love composed salads. Add fruit, nuts, and cheese to a unique variety of greens. Have fun with presentation, and don’t forget a chilled fork! You can even pair this course with soup. If you want to really put a twist on this traditional course, serve it after the entrée, as is common in European countries. Just make sure salad fork and knife are placed in the proper order. This is also a great time to serve fresh artisanal breads, Lavosh, flat crisps, and delicious flavor-infused butter.
Traditionally the intermezzo is a sorbet to cleanse your palette before the entrée. I find lemon is usually the most common and does the trick, but I like to think outside the box and get more exotic. Passion fruit, lychee, cucumber - or even wine-infused - are great alternatives. Experiment with interesting presentation. Serve in a individual, lit ice sculptures, or instead of scoops, serve as a granite. A cold demitasse spoon is a nice touch, as well. 

Jewell Events Catering

Eleganté Cuisine

Being in the Midwest, the most popular route is beef. You can use this tradition and add in a complementary fish of your choice to create a wonderful duet. I like to take this concept of beef and fish and make it two separate smaller courses. Lately our “foodie” couples want to take risks. Fish, capon, veal, and lamb are great choices. 

For many couples, this is their favorite part of the meal to plan. Large wedding cakes are being down-sized to smaller options just for the traditional cake cut. Then it's becoming more and more popular to serve an alternative dessert to your guests. Offer a plated “sweet table” to each of your guests with a small selection of three or four mini French pastries. Or consider small, individual wedding cakes that match the one you cut to be served to each guest. Think about your favorites. Pie, doughnuts, or even hot fudge sundaes will put a smile on your guests! Have fun with the course.
Finally, you might want to add on a cheese course or savory (a la Downton Abbey). This extra added course will surely surprise your guests and is a nice way to finish up the meal. Keep in mind, you don’t want to make it a large portion. At this point guests are usually pretty full. But trust me, they always find room. 

Thanks so much to Frank for his amazing insight into this dining trend and for his gorgeous styling and design of our photo shoot! To learn more about creating an amazing dining experience for your guests, contact Frank Event Design at 773.275.6804 or via email at


1 comment:

Kent Sommer said...

The wedding team was very supportive. This venue had everything a girl might need. I highly recommend getting ready in the bridal suite. The Chicago wedding venues lit the fireplaces and the views from the suite were exceptional.

Post a Comment