Expert advice about catering

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Kent Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourkent.wedding

 

Sweet treats

Sweet treats

Q. What seasonal dishes can we serve at our winter-themed wedding?

A. Clare Smith says: I've noticed that while couples are nodding to the festive season by opting for a crowd-pleasing seated traditional Christmas dinner complete with rich, local flavours, seasonal vegetables and comfort food with a gourmet twist, their desserts are taking centre stage.

Rather than opting for classic puddings though, couples are getting more creative and incorporating their wedding cake into an exciting dessert station, also replacing the post-wedding breakfast tea and coffee with a hot chocolate bar.

Food stations add a classy wow-factor to buffet-style dining. Using the best of the county's seasonal ingredients you could choose to have a cheesecake, pie and tart bar including the best of Kentish traditional desserts like the deliciously sweet gypsy tart, Canterbury apple tart made with fruit picked from local orchards, and Kentish cherry batter pudding and ginger cobnut cake that we love to serve alongside delicious wines, also made with locally grown grapes.

Clare Smith
www.touchays.com

 

Finger lickin' good

Finger lickin' good

Q. What would you suggest we serve out evening guests at our autumn wedding?

A. Debbie Green says: It's a difficult time for choosing evening food. English autumns can either still feel like the height of summer or like winter is creeping in, so we suggest serving a selection of canapé-style finger food. This way, wherever your guests are, we go to them with a fabulous selection of nibbles.

It's also a really good way of ensuring everyone gets something to eat. You can also mix up the selection with hot and cold dishes of different styles and flavours. The beauty of served evening food, is that guests who may have thought they were too full to go to the buffet table suddenly rediscover their appetite!

We suggest the following as a mouthwatering evening menu using seasonal produce and catering for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free guests, as well as continuing the wow factor of your daytime food.

- Mini kangaroo and cracked pepper pies
- Slow-cooked pork belly skewers with apple chutney and crackling crumb
- Pheasant with spice crust and lime mayonnaise
- Venison sausage rolls
- Smoked trout arancini
- Thai-flavoured crab croquette with spicy dip
- Courgette, leek and sun-dried tomato filo parcels
- Mini bakes potatoes with vegan chilli and cheese

Debbie Green
chivescaterers.co.uk

 

Barbecue bonanza

Barbecue bonanza

Q. Our reception will be in a tipi in the family's field. What would be the best food to serve our guests for the wedding breakfast?

A. Kristi Collins says: Weddings in temporary spaces such as tipis are perfect places to move away from the constraint of formal dining and add your own style to a blank canvas. By nature, a tipi wedding connects you with the outside, so if the weather allows, make the most of it and go for either picnic style or a barbecue depending on whether you prefer hot or cold.

Picnics offer an element of surprise and delight guests as they decant packages of deliciousness. Tartlets, open sandwiches, pastries, pies and salads offer joyous little morsels of celebration food. From a practical perspective, food can be served cold and at your leisure, so there's no issue if timings run over, and the abundance of choice makes it easy for guests to make selections according to their dietary requirements or tastes.

If you prefer something hot, there's little more celebratory than the theatre of an outside fire and the smell of chargrilling. To me, there's also a certain authenticity to pairing barbecue food with your tipi venue. Whether it's the luxury of lobster tails and T-bones or a more casual cook-out, the sights and smells will evoke feelings of recreation, relaxation and liberation, all adding a relaxed and fun, festival style wedding vibe.

Kristi Collins
www.seasonswildandfree.com

 

Winter warmers

Winter warmers

Q. How can I turn my big day into a winter wonderland?

A. Debra Green says: With a winter wedding, you need wow factor comfort. We suggest little cups of soup, such as spiced butternut squash and red pepper to help warm up the guests as they arrive. For the perfect welcoming winter canapés, try mini pheasant and mushroom pies, skewered pork belly with applesauce and crackling crumb.

Our fabulous kangaroo hot pot is always a winter winner. With an Australian head chef, we have introduced many of our couples to this delicious meat. The taste is a cross between beef and venison, and it's served in a filo basket accompanied by a creamy sweet potato mash on the side. It looks stunning and tastes incredible! Alternatively, roasted pork fillet stuffed with roasted plums, dates and apple with a sherry reduction are ideal warm, wintry flavours.

A date and chocolate pudding with butterscotch sauce is a perfect end to a winter menu. If you're planning a Christmas wedding, our profiteroles filled with Christmas pudding ice cream with a chocolate, caramel and brandy sauce will end the meal with a smile!

Debra Green
www.chivescaterers.co.uk

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