Corporate and Special Event Planning

Creating an Event Appropriate Menu

Creating an Event Appropriate Menu
I have been putting together quite a few proposals for upcoming events and one of the most important features of an event, in my opinion, is definitely the food.  I love great food. I truly believe food can make or break an event.  I’ve attended many events where the decorations have been beautiful, the entertainment has been great but the food was a let down. Especially events that are based around a meal of some kind it is critical that the food be exceptional.
I am not much of a cook myself. My husband on the other hand is creating some really great things in our kitchen. Having great food for an event doesn’t mean you have to spend alot of money but it does mean that the food has to not only taste great but it has to suite your event as well. Spending some time thinking about what the atmosphere will be like at your event will help you to choose the right food for your event. 
I am currently working with a client and we are creating a posh evening out and the main audience will be women. What do women love…rich, beautiful food…so that’s where our menu for the evening is headed. We are catering to the crowd. The food will fit perfectly with the theme for the night and will be a very important part of what the guests remember about the night.
I recently prepared a proposal for a potential client that had a 1920’s theme to it. I spoke with our caterer about what she would recommend we serve and like most caterers she was excited to step away from her usual menu and suggested a 1920’s inspired menu that included deviled eggs, salads and rabbit.  Had I gotten the contract for this event the menu was guaranteed to blow the guests away.
I prepared another proposal. This time for a bachlorette party. Instead of serving chips and dip, a veggie tray and pizza our caterer recommended a fondue. What a great idea!  Women sitting around chatting, laughing, playing games and eating from a cheese fondue, a chocolate fondue and broth fondue. Love it!!! Wish I was attending that bachlorette.
I am glad that summer is over, for only one reason, I couldn’t have eaten another hot dog, sausage or burger.  I know it is an easy menu choice for having friends over but there are so many other items that are so much healthier and not so overdone.  If you’re having friends over, even at the last minute, for an informal get together take a minute and think.  Think outside the box.  Take 30 seconds and do a quick search on the internet for easy and quick meal ideas for get togethers. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you will find. 
I was invited to a last minute get together where everyone was responsible for bringing an item to share. I was blown away by the food provided. We sat around the kitchen all night and ate.  Picking at sushi, a garlic dip spread on bread, chicken, and, oh my god, this delicious cheese dip with pringles chips.  I know, I know…sounds weird and it certainly wasn’t healthy but it was sooooo good.  Those are by far my favorite nights. I love being able to pick at all kinds of different foods. Trying different things and having dish after dish of delicious food be brought out of the kitchen.  We had to fight the kids off the food, they loved it too.
Maybe food is not a priority for you and that’s ok, as long as your guests agree.  Put yourself in your guests shoes and think about what you would expect for food if you were attending your event.  If hot dogs and hamburgers is exactly what you would expect then great. But if you would expect a sit down three course meal then you might want to put some effort into revising your menu choices.
What are you thoughts on food at an event? I’d love to hear.  What was the worst food ever served at an event you attended?  Or what was the one dish that blew your mind? Tell me, tell me, tell me.
Julia O’Grady has big vision, fresh ideas and a proven track record in the events industry. She and her team work hard to exceed client expectations and push ITM Events to achieve greater heights. A driven entrepreneur, Julia also manages the business side of ITM Events including human resources, finances, marketing and writing grant and sales proposals. In taking a high level approach to event management, Julia is able to visualize a project from inception to successful execution. She attracts valuable sponsors by offering meaningful opportunities to engage with participants. Julia uses her keen analytical mind to create incredible events that maximize the available budget. When Julia isn’t planning unforgettable events, she loves travelling the world with her family, staying active, and enjoying fine food and martinis.

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