posted on 10 march, 2017

EWL Midlands held their first mastermind lunch of 2017 in February, led by guest hosts Katie Cabrera and Craig Hancox of Amadeus Food, at the Park Regis Birmingham.

The topic of the event attended by event professionals from Aston Villa Football Club, Weston Park, Ampersand Catering, and Lime Venue Portfolio covered emerging food trends.

For events, the catering offer is one of the biggest draws for potential new clients and the event organisers themselves.

A room is a room and is generally fixed in terms of décor, size, location so the food can be the decider both for a new booking, selling a venue and bringing back repeat business, and it’s not just the venue or caterers that have the good ideas, sometimes the client has a good idea which the venue can adapt and adopt in the future.

The Amadeus team have a ‘creative hour’ each week to brainstorm new thoughts and ideas. They also share inspiration and ideas with their parent company so they benefit from being a part of the NEC Group.

They also regularly organise food tours in London to check out what others are doing.

Street Food is a popular source of new ideas particularly as they come across ideas that are not main stream or ‘off the high street’ and the idea of a chef’s table is a big draw for some – it’s something different and gives people an exclusive VIP feel.

Vegetarian is now considered mainstream and the group discussed the issues around halal and kosher food and catering for people with special requirements – the importance of serving everyone with the same respect at the same time so that people are not made to feel awkward or a nuisance is crucial for the industry, everyone should be having the same experience.

Discussion around featuring brands from the high street on the menu concluded that this used to be a big draw but is no longer a driver.  More often than not people want things not off the high street, they want original and home-made artisan products.

There is a constant race now to find something different; craft beers, artisan produced, original, special and not generally known products and producers.

Social Media and Instagram have also played a part in changing the landscape of food design and trends as pictures of dishes are shared constantly, meaning you have to constantly re-invent to stay ahead.

Success in the future will therefore will be around the capacity to innovate.

What are your thoughts? What trends have you seen driving the industry forward in terms of food and beverage service at events?

Leave us your thoughts and comments below…

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