No matter the event you’re planning, ensuring the food is top-notch is of utmost importance. We’ve all been to fantastic events where the food fell short, whether it was due to quantity, dietary restrictions, or simply not meeting our expectations. That’s why we always recommend incorporating a food tasting when planning your event – a chance to see, taste, and experience the menu that will be served.
Food is a central aspect of any event, and leaving it to chance is not an option. A dedicated tasting session, where you can sample the menu, is a small yet crucial investment that can make all the difference between an average event and a truly memorable one. But what exactly happens at a tasting, and how can you prepare for it?
A food tasting is precisely what it sounds like: a time for you and key stakeholders, such as colleagues, friends, family, or an event planner, to sample a variety of menu options with your chosen caterer. Typically, you’ll have the opportunity to try various canapés, starters, mains and desserts. These tastings are usually well before the big day, allowing ample time for any adjustments or changes to the final menu. It offers you a chance to familiarise yourself with your caterer’s presentation style and the taste of their offerings.
Food tastings can vary significantly depending on the venue and caterer. For instance, if you’re planning a seasonal event like a Christmas party, your tasting might take place in a shared space with other corporate groups and brands, offering a range of options. Alternatively, for bespoke events or weddings, the caterer might create a customised menu just for you.
Over the years, we’ve conducted numerous food tastings with our clients at Kent House Knightsbridge, partnering with our list of approved leading London caterers. Drawing from this wealth of experience, we’re excited to share tips to help you make the most of your food tasting experience.
Before attending a food tasting event, conduct thorough research and collaborate with your event planner to provide a clear brief to your chosen caterers. This will ensure both parties know what to expect. Check the venue’s website or work closely with your event planners to gather information on approved caterers and the types of cuisine available. Some caterers suit different events, budgets, and styles and offer various menu tasting formats. Be clear on any the event objective and theme so that you can select the right caterer and brief them effectively to incorporate the design not just into the food but also the presentation.
Come Hungry, but Pace Yourself
While arriving with an appetite is crucial, it’s equally important not to overindulge too quickly. You don’t need to finish every bite, but it’s essential to sample enough dishes to ensure you’ve covered all tastes and menu elements, whether you’ve chosen canapés, bowl food, street food, or sit-down menu options. Pace yourself to enjoy a variety of flavours and ingredients. Sample small portions, and if you find something you love, you can always return for seconds. Try to make each dish different for each course; don’t just stick to one type of ingredient, colour, or texture.
Amidst all your tastings, it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated. Tasting numerous dishes can leave you feeling parched. Drinking water not only cleanses your palate but also keeps you feeling refreshed. And don’t hesitate to ask your caterer to provide a cross-section of differently priced wines so you can sample them alongside the food.
Go with a Group
Collaborate with your event planner and include them in the tasting; it’s their role to ensure you get the service and food you desire. Sharing the tasting experience with colleagues, family and friends can be a delightful experience. Different sets of taste buds will provide alternative points of view, and it’s an excellent opportunity to discuss your favourite flavours and compare notes with others.
With a plethora of flavours to explore, it’s easy to forget which dishes left the strongest impression. Our in-house event planners, Evolve Events, recommend grading all food items on a scale of five, as well as taking notes or photos of your favorite dishes. This way, you can recreate the experience or revisit those exceptional flavours later. Such reminders can be incredibly useful when discussing the menu at home or back in the office.
While it’s tempting to stick with what you know and love, food tastings provide the perfect opportunity to step out of your comfort zone. It’s also vital to consider options for all your guests, ensuring you accommodate various dietary preferences and allergies. Embrace new cuisines and dishes you’ve never encountered before, and keep an open mind – you might just discover a new favourite.
Food tasting events offer a delightful way to explore new flavours and experience the creativity of your chosen caterers. By planning ahead, pacing yourself, and being open to new experiences, you can make the most of these opportunities and create memorable culinary adventures. So, the next time you attend a food tasting event at Kent House Knightsbridge, remember these tips to savour every bite and ensure it’s a day to remember. Happy tasting!
Exclusive hire of Kent House Knightsbridge allows each event to unfold over two floors with four large and spacious rooms that be configure for different purposes. Kent House Knightsbridge is ideal for 50 to 300 guests. If you’d like to know more or arrange a showround do get in touch with Gary who will be happy to help.
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