Wedding Food Trends for 2017: Small plate stations and Late night snacks

Chef Evan Benson 


At the beginning of every year, there are a ton of articles that come out about the latest food trends for wedding receptions. Some of them are retreads—brunch receptions are great and you can be really creative, although the idea isn’t new—but there are a couple of emerging additions that I think go beyond being fads and can make the food at your reception memorable and delicious.

Here are two of my favorites:

Small Plate Stations

Some of the difference makers for wedding reception food are execution, presentation, and, of course, quality and taste. That’s why I’m a big fan of this developing trend. Many of the couples that come to Joel Catering & Special Events have sophisticated tastes, and they want to offer small composed plates to their guests that you would experience at a higher end restaurant.

Like any fine dining restaurant, timing is critical so guests can immediately enjoy the dish when it’s fresh and hot, and small plates can accomplish that. I’m a big believer in using seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients like Louisiana seafood, and that’s something I keep in mind when I’m creating the small plate menus.

Here are few of the most recent dishes:

  • Cilantro corn cakes with Jumbo lump crab with mirliton slaw and lime vinaigrette
  • Sauteed gnocchi tossed with butternut squash, pearl onion, mushrooms with a sage brown butter sauce
  • Lamb chops with a white bean puree, romesco sauce, and oregano oil soaked feta cheese
Cilantro corn cake with Jumbo lump crab with mirliton slaw and lime vinaigrette

Cilantro corn cake with Jumbo lump crab with mirliton slaw and lime vinaigrette


Late Night Snacks:

While this isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, what is new is that couples are now serving snacks that are creative takes on fulfilling late night cravings. One couple loved empanadas, so we kicked it up a bit and made homemade empanadas with queso fresca and mojo dipping sauce. It’s tempting to simply serve beignets, but why not make it unique to you that’ll leave your guests smiling and satisfied?

Check out some of the recent late night snacks:

  • Homemade milk shakes (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry)
  • Waygu Beef tacos with avocado puree, cilantro leaves and chipotle crema
  • Mini-grilled cheese filled triple cream brie and fig mostardo
Mini-grilled cheese

Mini-grilled cheese