Learn about the latest trends in catering and how they are changing from Turf Valley's Executive Chef, Dan Schwartz. Chef Dan manages banquet operations at Turf Valley Resort including catering for all weddings and celebrations, as well as galas, corporate and association events.
When planning your banquet menu, how do you balance stationed vs. passed hors d'oeuvres, and how frequently do you update these selections?
Turf Valley Resort offers a wide variety of hors d'oeuvres. When planning our banquet menu, we look at each item and discuss the best way to present those offerings. Would it be best offered as a passed hors d'oeuvre or a station? Our goal is always to ensure the highest quality in any of our food and beverage and preserve the taste and temperature of the item. We may add or remove items to create an equal balance of station vs passed hors d'oeuvres. We typically update our banquet menu twice a year to keep things interesting.
What are the more prevalent trends in hors d'oeuvres stations and are any phasing out in favor of other newer creations?
At Turf Valley we enjoy experimenting with the latest trends, especially those which offer a more interactive experience. Our newest specialty stations give guests the opportunity to select from a variety of items. Our "Amazing Grazing Table" features sweet and salty options ranging from Green Apple Shooters, Seasonal Fruit Skewers, Charcuterie Board and Chocolate Bark, to reference a few items.
Our Mason Jar Dessert Display features a fun display of mini mason jars filled with a variety of desserts from strawberry shortcake, cookie dough, lemon bar, cookies & cream and strawberry cheesecake.
Our Crepe Station is Chef Attended and features made-to-order crepes. Guests can choose from fillings and toppings such as Cinnamon Apples, Mixed Berries, Whipped Cream, Caramel, Chocolate Fudge, Strawberry Compote, Chopped Pecans and Sliced Almonds.
Some classic options such as Ice Sculptures and the Raw Bar have been phasing out because of the high cost and more creative and playful options are taking their place.
What's popular this season in passed hors d'oeuvres?
Popular items this season in passed hors d'oeuvres have been Mini Chicken and Waffles, Caprese Bites and Shrimp Casino, which is a mix of new and traditional options that offer thoughtful consideration to a variety of attendees dietary needs.
What's the greatest challenge you've encountered with hors d'oeuvres execution (passed or stationed), and how did you successfully overcome it?
I think the greatest challenge in catering is anticipating how much of a specific item guests will choose while at the same time making sure we have enough to replenish as needed. We have a simple formula we follow for passed selections estimating one per person; for station items, two per person. Any seafood selections, we anticipate three per person because of their popularity, an excellent example would be our mini crab cakes – traditional preparation.
Turf Valley Resort really shines with the execution of our weddings. We have a highly trained team that is always able to meet any challenge and turn it into a great success.
For more information about Turf Valley Resort's catering services, please click on the links below: