Welcome back for our second installment of 2013 Trends! (Here is last month’s trend feature on wedding gowns in case you missed it!)
Our February 2013 Trends post features an interview with the fun and fabulous Jessica Haro of Global Gourmet Catering. We had the pleasure of enjoying a tasting with Global Gourmet in January and were dazzled and delighted by everything we were served.
Based out of San Francisco, Global Gourmet prides it’self on being able to deliver restaurant-caliber food, impeccable service, and trend-setting design while paying close attention to detail. In addition to offering seasonal, sustainably farmed organic cuisine sourced primarily from the Bay Area, this truly green caterer commits to incorporating environmentally friendly practices in their event production as well as their day-to-day operations. We caught up with Jessica to discuss and forecast the newest trends in wedding cuisine for 2013:
Q: What do you think will be different this year in terms of food trends in 2012 versus 2013?
A: Being in the Bay Area, fresh seasonal food will always be what’s in style. During the last couple of years, rustic foods have been a trend and while I feel we will still see this at some weddings, I think it’s more of a shift to upscale, “comfort” food that allows guests to enjoy themselves while not feeling stuffy.
Q: What’s new in the Global Gourmet kitchens this year?
A: Our executive chef, Eric Magnani, is always working on new dishes. Something he’s excited about this year is going back to basics. Working with our core staff on producing products from scratch, for example, since the start of January, Eric has been hosting weekly seminars with his staff on how to create dishes such as tofu straight from soy beans, or pickling and fermentation. Next week’s seminar is on sourdough bread making and an upcoming seminar is on mozzarella fresca and burrata (you can bet I’ll be sneaking into the kitchen that week!).
Q: What kind of service will we be seeing more of in 2013 (family style, Russian etc.)?
A: Traditional seated meals at weddings will always be the frontrunners because there’s something to be said for serving guests so they can relax and enjoy themselves with family and friends and have breaks for speeches. The tables have changed a lot: shifting from the usual 60-inch rounds to square tables and long kings tables. With the long tables, couples tend to prefer family style,but at Global Gourmet we provide a mix of Russian style (servers walking with platters and serving individually) with the proteins, and family style with the sides, so no one drops a juicy short rib on their dress while trying to serve themselves :). We have been seeing a spike in station service for weddings lately (not buffet, but rather stations scattered around the room) to allow guests to try different types of food and mingle.
Q: What’s your most popular entree request thus far?
A: Global Gourmet Catering is known for all of our short rib dishes because our chef braises them for four hours in various, local wines depending on the season and clients preference (Chardonnay for Spring, Pinot Noir for Summer and Cabernet for Fall/Winter). Short ribs are a wonderful protein to offer guests at weddings because the couple doesn’t need to be concerned with how their guests prefer their meat cooked, and when the meat is so tender it doesn’t need a knife, women can enjoy them without it splattering on their dress.
Q: Have you had many unique fusion requests for 2013?
A: Our chef’s favorite saying is, “Fusion leads to confusion,” so I’ll have to say we haven’t had any “fusion” requests, but rather world flavor inspirations with California sensibility. My favorite last year was Japanese and Hispanic and we combined a miso wrap with jalapeño peppers. We’re currently working on a menu that is Indian and Persian and another one that will combine Indian and Scottish flavors. Our chef and team are always very excited when we have couples that ask us to create custom menus combining their cultures and allowing us to further expand our menu.
Q: What will we be seeing more of for first courses in 2013?
A: Global Gourmet will be focusing smaller plates with larger flavors featuring local productions from the nine Bay Area counties. For example, a local snapper crudo from the Farallons on shaved baby artichoke salad with beet emulsion.
Q: What 2012 trend are you happy to be seeing less of in 2013?
A: Honestly, while I love the concept of family style service, I prefer plated because it allows us to highlight the beautiful presentation of our dishes. With family style, if you’re the second or third person receiving the platter, while it still tastes phenomenal, you loose the beauty that the chef has put into setting up the dish. It’s also more costly for brides because more food needs to be prepared when guests serve themselves, and oftentimes, they over serve themselves and the food can go to waste.
Q: If you could dream up your perfect meal, what would it consist of?
A: My perfect meal would start with Global Gourmet’s watermelon, heirloom tomato, burrata and arugula salad. Then I would have one of our sea bass dishes with a seasonal puree, and end with a dessert from our amazing pastry chef, James McCann, which would either be a fresh strawberry shortcake or a pana cotta. Oh, and I would have a large glass of Sauvignon Blanc to enjoy through the entire meal.
And finally, are you able to share a recipe with us?
A huge thank you goes out to Jessica Haro from all of us at SMEP! We’re excited to see all of the wonderful menus you continue to create in 2013!