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Tips for Planning a Successful New Orleans Catering Event

It’s a new year, and with it comes lots of trends in catering a New Orleans destination wedding or event.  There’s gluten-free, booze-free, farm-to-fork, and lots of other new catering traditions taking hold.  But some things will never change just because the calendar year does.

Some of the factors in a successful, full-service catering event have been static for years.  Savvy top rated New Orleans caterers have always demonstrated an uncanny knack for organization, culinary knowledge, food safety, use of locally sourced ingredients, and the type of mentality it takes to prepare large quantities of food and deliver them personally plate-by-plate.

Since 1961, wedding caterers like New Orleans-based Messina’s Catering & Events have been following these basic tenants of successful event planning.  Here are their top five behind-the-scenes tips for how they get from point A to a delicious and memorable point B.

Know your client’s cuisine preferences.

Good caterers would never suggest a catering menu without taking the time to understand the individual preferences each client brings to the table. Perhaps their guest list contains those with adventurous palettes, some who have food sensitivities, or perhaps the vast majority in the room prefer fresh, healthy or even Vegan fare over rich, decadent menu items.  It’s also important to consider any food allergies that might be present at the event and plan accordingly.

Follow the theme.

Themed events provide the perfect opportunity for caterers to offer unique twists to catering menus that fit the motif.  For instance, a Greek Isles-themed event would be the perfect backdrop for Messina’s Mediterranean grilled vegetables and antipasto display, Greek salad, baby lamb chops with rosemary sauce and mint jelly, and a tapenade station complete with hummus, tabbouleh, Baba Ghanoush, and roasted garlic spread with fresh pita.

Go local.

New Orleans is known for its plethora of fresh seafood choices – from crawfish to redfish, shrimp to crab. New Orleans catering menus would be remiss not to include this treasure trove of flavor.  Messina’s even offers a roasted whole alligator display that is a tasty conversation starter.

Presentation is everything.

What sets a catered event apart from a potluck is not only the superior skillset required to make culinary creations, but the way in which they’re presented is key.  Consider including edible flowers as fresh garnishes and table and stemware that fits the occasion.  Table and chef station decorations are also important to the presentation of the food, and should make everything about the environment in which the food is being served irresistible.


Be as pleasant as the food.

Successful New Orleans wedding caterers know that beyond the quality of the food is the kindness and accommodating nature of their culinary and service team.  Put the chef front and center so they can interact with guests and offer insights into the dishes they’ve prepared.  Look for a service team that puts the needs of the guests first.  A smile is as appreciated as a signature cocktail at any event.

If you’re considering hosting a wedding or other event in New Orleans, keep these points in mind.  Also, be sure to interview the best caterers to make sure they share your vision and your mindset as well as your budget.  Look for positive reviews and client testimonials.  Caterers like Messina’s Catering have a 4. ( 5-star rating on Google, a 4.6 star rating on Facebook, and a 5 star rating on Wedding Wire.  You can also read more testimonials on their website at

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