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The new flavours in event catering by Fanny Dilbeck

09 January 2019

An event with no food or drink? Original… but inconceivable! What with culinary trends and societal values, catering has changed a great deal. It has to surprise the eyes as well as the taste buds. It’s something VO Event has been working overtime on...

Before lighting the stoves, it is important to build in some variables required under the catering code for events: budget, venue, duration, number of guests and... overall concept. To ensure that the ideal catering formula emerges, nothing beats an open exchange with the client and the caterers to combine expertise and ideas based on the key words in the client briefing. This brainstorming session often inspires competing caterers with ideas for preparations, for harmonising dishes or for both visual and culinary suggestions. At VO, we have a delicious memory of the edible flower service provided by the caterer "Great" during the Audi A4 event.

But catering is not only about food, it is also about finding perfect harmony in terms of the location and the theme, using objects, furniture, decoration, tables and service.

At the table - surprises, inventiveness, technology

For an event in Germany for a famous clothing brand, we called on the two rebel chefs from Kochbox, Dirk Müller and Heiko Schulz. On the menu was soup ground in a dishwasher, salad mixed in a concrete mixer and tattooed meat! That’s how to impress an audience...

VO is convinced: the future lies in the ability to surprise and the inventiveness to create an exceptional and, therefore, unexpected experience - like the surrealist dinners of Charles Kaisin. Based on the theme of games, the designer created a worldly banquet in the heart of the Casino de Monte-Carlo, using a dash of sophistication and madness - roulette transformed into a rotating dish display, fluorescent-lit service in the dark and sports events all played a part. Take a look...

The secret was to measure out the effects properly. It’s all in the detail, the original touches in tandem with a more conventional culinary choice.

In the era of inventiveness, the serving dishes play a part too. For example, original dishes for serving champagne, or Do Eat verrines where the contents and container can be eaten in their entirety. Delicious, fun and zero waste. Dining and high bar tables are undergoing their own revolution. Technology is involved, of course. Take Le Petit Chef, for example, where the guests' tables come alive. It’s stunning, as this video shows:

The immersion trend is also popular with, especially, the fabulous creations by Japanese artists' collective Teamlab. For the Sagaya restaurant, they immersed guests in a multisensory environment to treat them to a creative experience. Evolutive mapping transforms tables and walls into a moving natural setting with sound, while digital sensors allow guests to almost touch the birds and fish in these magical surroundings. Dive in

Ethical events and health

The need for environmental responsibility also has its place in minds and on plates. Zero waste, healthy options (organic, vegetarian, vegan, etc.) and the considered choice of fresh, local produce that hasn’t travelled are having an ever-increasing, positive influence on the catering offered at events. VO’s credo - no more irresponsible abundance. Long live the "appropriate", sustainable and high-quality food and drinks formula. Our new reporting tool can assess the sustainability of your event.


Choice and freedom for all

Like our company, event catering is evolving in a way that respects everyone's choices and freedom. At every level, offerings are expanding to meet the very varied expectations of as many people as possible. Some dishes anticipate the intolerances (gluten-free, etc.) and diets of individuals, while others meet the traditional and the exotic tastes of the majority of guests.

The same applies to drinks, where the choice of beer and wine sits naturally alongside organic juices and cocktails, smoothies and non-alcoholic drinks. And, in terms of presentation, events care less and less about choosing between tray service and self-service at the buffet. They offer both! Because guests, present and future, aspire to events built around their freedom to choose what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. And to taste everything!

More blog posts

  • If you want to think outside the box for your events, go to the Café!

  • The LAB - the new creative heart of VO

  • A reporting tool for improving the sustainability of events