So I've realised that I don't really talk about wedding food much...

I'm usually too busy ooohing and ahhing over wedding dresses, hairstyles and dreamy photography.

My lack of food posts may have something to do with my own undomestic goddess ways. Shockingly I haven't even used the cooker in our apartment yet...and it's been a month since we moved!

Despite my shortcomings in the kitchen, I can appreciate that good food is a big, important, joyous part of any wedding celebration! (I may not be able to cook but I'm very good at eating. Cake is my speciality.)

So when food design and event management company, Tapenade offered to share their thoughts on wedding catering trends in 2012, I jumped at the chance to feature some of their delicious food and expert advice.

Creativity is the key for weddings this year.  With a high demand for more personalised options, dishes are deliciously fun!  What’s more, formal sit-down meals are out – this year it’s all about informal dining.

John Hearn, Executive Chef at Tapenade offers his suggestions for what’s on the menu for 2012:

1.     Relax and enjoy! 

Informal dining options such as buffets, bowl food and rustic platters are shaping up to be hot this year.  These all give guests the freedom to move around and enjoy proceedings, making for a more relaxed atmosphere. Remember, the key is to include a good mix of meat, fish and vegetarian options to accommodate all guests. 

[caption id="attachment_22755" align="aligncenter" width="667" caption="Bowl Food from Tapenade"]Bowl Food from Tapenade[/caption]

Popular choices for bowl food include slow cooked rump of lamb with red onion and cardamom, honey roasted pumpkin and toasted seeds; roasted red snapper with walnut and coriander potatoes; sliced chicken simmered in coconut with lime chilli, coriander and lemongrass with sticky rice. 

Why not give guests a different experience with a chopping board served to each table with ready carved meat – charcuterie style!  Or serve tender racks of pork, or lemon and lime chicken with a variety of side dishes that guests can help themselves to.

2.     Retro food chic

Reinvent classic dishes and pay homage to your childhood favourites, with a fresh twist.  Think pie & mash, mini sirloin hamburgers, bangers and mash, or fish and chips all made from local produce.

[caption id="attachment_22759" align="aligncenter" width="667" caption="Retro Food Chic from Tapenade"]Retro Food Chic from Tapenade[/caption]

3.     Opt for dessert tables or platters with an array of miniatures

 Smatterings of your favourites such as cupcakes, mini cheesecakes, dainty trifles, chocolate brownies or crumble will allow guests to tuck in.  And with light portions they won’t be left feeling lethargic

[caption id="attachment_22758" align="aligncenter" width="667" caption="Miniature Desserts from Tapenade"]Miniature Desserts from Tapenade[/caption]

4.     Make your menu original with canapés 

Offering canapés as a starter or dessert adds a fresh twist and provides a good talking point for guests.  Think newspaper cones of fish and chips, miniature steak and chips with a warm horseradish cream, or tiramisu chocolate cups and miniature ice cream cones.

[caption id="attachment_22756" align="aligncenter" width="667" caption="Tapenade Canapes - crispy cones of lobster and crayfish cocktail with bloody mary"]Tapenade Canapes - crispy cones of lobster and crayfish cocktail with bloody mary[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_22760" align="aligncenter" width="667" caption="Tapenade Canapes - steak and chips with a warm horseradish cream "]Tapenade Canapes - steak and chips with a warm horseradish cream[/caption]

5.     Have breakfast!

For a novel menu idea, why not serve an actual ‘wedding breakfast’?  A beautifully served full English with locally sourced produce, fresh orange juice or fruit to start and pancakes or waffles for dessert.  This is a great way for couples to give their guests a unique experience and works particularly well for weddings held earlier in the day.  At Tapenade, we have also created a dessert that links to the ‘wedding breakfast’ idea - a real egg shell filled with crème brule and served with biscotti soldiers! 

[caption id="attachment_22757" align="aligncenter" width="667" caption="Tapenade wedding breakfast dessert - egg shell filled with crème brule served with biscotti soldiers"]Tapenade wedding breakfast dessert - egg shell filled with crème brule served with biscotti soldiers[/caption]

Anyone else licking their lips?!

I love how beautifully presented each dish is.

(Also I need creme brule eggs & biscotti soldiers in my life. Stat.)

What will be on your wedding menu?

Many thanks to the team at Tapenade for sharing these wonderfully creative ideas ~ you can find out more about their fantastic wedding catering services here.

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(Featured image via Wed Candy)