Mid-May into June marks graduation season. Whether you’re applauding a student for earning their PhD or a young teenager leaving middle school for their high school career, it’s a milestone moment for the student as well as their family. With so much to look forward to, graduation is a reason to celebrate! And what complements the pomp and circumstance of a graduation better than a celebratory brunch? According to New Orleans Caterer Messina’s Catering & Events, brunches are a very popular option for graduation parties. Brunches can be simple or decadent, traditional or contemporary, themed or free-form, making them the ideal vehicle for marking a graduation milestone. Following are a few ideas that can make for a satisfying celebration.
Donuts are loved by all
Donuts have been a favorite American food for hundreds of years. They can be traced back to the Dutch settlers, who brought them with them to early New York, then known as New Amsterdam. From gourmet donuts and donut walls, to donut hole skewers to donut fries…the possibilities are endless. At Messina’s, one of our most-requested breakfast and brunch stations is our donut wall. Or, give your graduation event a New Orleans flair and offer classic beignets!
Think beyond the champagne
Think outside the orange juice and champagne box when building your brunch. While the cult classics mimosas and bloody Marys have their place and should be included, amp them up with some unique twists. Consider peach and lavender bellinis, pomegranate mimosas or grapefruit mimosas. Or put your guests in the driver’s seat with a make your own bloody Mary bar stocked with unique ingredients like shrimp, crab, bacon, ribs, picked vegetables and unique hot sauces. Rose is also a great option to offer. Have on hand sparkling rose, dry and sweet to give guests something to try. It’s not only fun, but rose has a beautiful hue that can complement the venue theme!
Celebrating for a student that’s under 21? Have fun with mocktails that are as fun to drink as they are pretty to serve. Ideas include a LaCroix sparkling water bar, and a virgin twist on traditional daytime cocktails like Arnold Palmers, Shirley temples, virgin Mary’s, or sweet sunrises.
In the South, biscuits rule. What’s better than a biscuit bar stocked with sausage, bacon, country ham, fried chicken bites, and country gravy? Your guests will be able to build their own favorite biscuit breakfast! Consider offering options beyond the standard flaky biscuit. Try Messina’s famous homemade sweet potato biscuits that guests will want to write a thesis on–they’re that good!
Just like donuts, children’s favorite cereals are a sugary morning treat. Create a DIY station featuring several cereals like Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes, Cheerios, Rice Crispies along with carafes of ice cold milk. This station will surely bring out the phones for Instagram photos, and get guests chatting. Use apothecary jars and vintage milk bottles to dress up the station.
Chicken and waffles
Nothing says southern comfort like savory fried chicken over delicate sweet waffles. Though notoriously a bit messy, this dish can be made more “consumable” for standing/mingling events by creating bite size pieces, or sliders. Creative drizzles can provide the perfect complement to this dish, such as Messina’s pecan sauce.
To many, bacon is its own food group. Of course, bacon can stand on its own, but why not have some fun with it! Think chocolate covered bacon, bacon breakfast pizza, bacon topped donuts, candied bacon, bacon skewers, the list could go on and on. Let your imagination run wild.
The options are endless when it comes to hosting a catered brunch graduation event. Think baby gourmet pancakes, MYO eggs benedict station as well as shrimp and grits. And don’t forget the coffee! You can have lots of fun with coffee-shop-style offerings and feel.
Some of New Orleans’ most popular brunch venues can be great sources of inspiration for your catered graduation brunch. Checkout Messina’s Runway Café, where you’ll find runway omelets, Belgian waffles, Chef Leon’s signature crab cakes, and steak and eggs on the menu. Also, be sure to find the best caterer for the job and brainstorm with them! They should have ideas and photos to share of similar events they have hosted and dishes they have served. Messina’s Catering and Events has been catering graduation brunches in the New Orleans and Kenner areas for 60 years. Many of our event planners request brunch dishes and we have an extensive library of ideas to share!
Hosting at home
You can bring the party home when you host a graduation brunch in your residence. It’s warm and inviting for guests and stress-free for you when you use a full-service caterer like Messina’s.