Trending Foods to Serve at Your Next Event

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Ah, trends. They come and they go, but in the moment, and regardless of what kind of event you’re hosting, they’re huge. Plus, they make great #TBT posts years down the road.

Sometimes, though, trends stick around. It seems like some of them have been around forever. We can’t imagine putting on a wedding, corporate event, holiday party, shower, graduation party, religious celebration — any event! — without them. Check out our two favorites, as well as what’s trendy right now:

Tried-and-True Trends

Seasonal

Although it’s obvious to say that means “in season,” it’s worth repeating. Sure, we could source cantaloupe in December, but it’s going to have to travel to get here, and that’s not ideal for taste or the planet (think carbon footprint). A fruit tray in the off-seasons doesn’t make sense, while a beautifully prepared cheese platter will always be impressive any time of the year. Work with your event planner to select what’s available, fresh and fun. That never goes out of season!

Local

Putting parameters on local can be more contentious than talking politics. The current general consensus for “local” is food produced and consumed within about 150 miles. We keep our sourcing as local as possible, using Castle Valley Mill in Doylestown for flours, meals and grains; High Hill Hydro in Thornton for microgreens; Kings Kreamery in Lancaster and Woodside Farm Creamery in Hockessin, Del., for dairy and cheeses; Phillips Mushroom Farms in Kennett Square for mushrooms, SIW Vegetables in Chadds Ford for veggies and Swarmbustin’ Honey for honey. Our best local source? Our own rooftop garden.

Current Trends

Savory Miniatures

Miniature foods are ruling the cocktail hour, so consider adding them to your lineup as they can add a creative tapas touch to any event. Try seasonal skewers such as fig and butter-braised radish in the spring or sweet caraway cooked carrots with Manchego in the winter; tiny tartlets featuring tomato and corn in the summer and roasted acorn squash in the fall, or versatile croquettes stuffed with the season’s best. There’s almost no limit to what can be whipped up.

Sweet Miniatures

Mini desserts are also a sweetly satisfying way to please all of your guests. You’d think everyone loves chocolate, but there are some who don’t, or who are allergic. Go for platters of bite-sized brownies, tartlets, cheesecakes, cream puffs, cannolis, Napoleons, donuts or cupcakes. A diverse cookie tray is also a hit, too.

Seafood

Seafood is hot right now! Well, it doesn’t have to be served hot, but it can be. Smoked fish, mussels and raw bars add a next-level feel to your event. Even an old favorite, scallops wrapped in bacon, is trending again! You can even mix two trends and serve pop-in-your-mouth mini crab cakes.

Candy Bars

Gone are the Jordan almonds in tulle bags as party favors. In is an assortment of candies from which your guests may choose — and then indulge! Depending on the type of event and your guests, you can display M&M’S, gummies (sweet, sour or a bit of both), Swedish Fish, Nerds, Tootsie Rolls, Reese’s Pieces, mints, caramels, candy-covered pretzels … anything tasty and tiny. Consider choosing candy colors that match your theme or are displayed in vessels that complement the event’s tone. Guests love filling food-safe bags, boxes or even small Mason jars to transport their goodies home.

Overwhelmed by trends? Eyes bleary from scouring Pinterest? Don’t worry: A good event planner will be on top of it no matter the year or the season. If you’re considering The Gables at Chadds Ford for your next event (and, we hope you will!), then give our team a call at (610) 388-7700 for a consult.

The Gables at Chadds Ford is nestled in the heart of the historic Brandywine Valley. Our combination of fresh seasonal cuisine, rustic yet elegant charm and enchanting outdoor dining will keep you coming back time and time again. The Gables is also the perfect venue to host your next special event, whether you are planning a wedding, rehearsal dinner, baby shower or corporate event.

Nina Malone

Featured photo: Kyle Ten Eyck Photography, associate of Pat Robinson Photography; all other photos, top to bottom: The Gables of Chadds Ford (next three photos); Fantail Photography; The Gables of Chadds Ford; Kyle Ten Eyck Photography, associate of Pat Robinson Photography