Unique food and drink pairings are more inventive than ever and have added a special “wow” factor to any full-service catering event. With the nationwide explosion in the number of microbreweries, craft distillers, and U.S.-based vintners, America’s palette for both food and drink is more adventurous than ever. What this means to the catering industry is yet another chance to dazzle the senses with catering menus that marry inventive cuisine with delectable spirits.
Today’s food and drink pairings can go way beyond wine and cheese.
Whether it’s for a wedding, corporate event, gala, brunch, or any other reason to celebrate, nothing satisfies like a hearty bite of food washed down with the perfect liquid accompaniment. One trend that’s very hands-on is a “build-your-own” street taco station paired with a self-serve bloody Mary station. Think beef barbacoa, chicken tinga, and an assortment of toppings like refried black beans, Pico de Gallo, roasted street corn, and mini flour and corn tortillas. When these are paired with a bloody Mary built from ingredients like lemon and lime wedges, peeled shrimp, olives, and jalapeno, the combination’s dual heat works beautifully together.
Beer is here to stay.
Craft beers provide an almost limitless possibility for food and drink pairings. Beer is not only refreshing, but it’s great when cooked into the dish itself. A very New Orleans twist would be to pair a poutine dish with dark beer gravy, or grilled redfish with a light, refreshing hefeweizen. Plus, beer can elevate the flavors of many catering menu items that might not sound obvious at first. For instance, a stout beer greatly enhances sweet desserts, like New Orleans caterer Messina’s Catering & Events’ beignets with powdered sugar or flaming crepe Suzette. Pale ale pairs exceptionally well with their lobster mac and cheese station, lending a malty profile to the ultimate comfort food.
Mini pairings promote mixing and mingling.
Caterers have been offering “shooters” of food for a long time. In the last couple of years, there is a growing trend toward pairing food and spirits in the same shooter. How about a shot and brat? Pair a scrumptious bite of bratwurst with the perfect swig of beer by resting it over the top of the shot glass with a skewer. The sour kick of a margarita is delightful when served together with ceviche. Then there’s always the favorite, oyster shooters. For dessert, a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream and a mini brownie are the perfect ending to a memorable event.
Wine pairs well with many foods.
Everyone knows that a hearty red wine is the perfect complement to a thick, juicy ribeye or braised duck. What might surprise you is that a sweet wine like a Riesling or Moscato is the ideal accompaniment to spicy foods like a Thai curry or beef fajita. Dishes that are highly acidic, like a chicken picatta, pair well with a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh oysters and champagne are a taste sensation and the perfect balance of salty and sweet.
Trust the experts to craft your perfectly paired event.
Caterers like Messina’s can help you create the perfect blend of food and drink, and leave a lasting impression upon your guests. A full-service caterer can also help you with venue selection, décor options and other nuances that set the mood and create lasting memories.