5 Must-Have Menu Items at Your Fall Event

Portland is turning the corner to the crisp, beautiful days of fall. While temps are still high, the cool morning air and slowly dropping leaves give us a yearning for comfort food. If you are planning a fall event, here are 5 must-haves for your menu – they are sure to satisfy!

Photo: Nina Choi for cookinglight.com

Photo: Nina Choi for cookinglight.com

Alternative Grains:

Say goodbye to traditional sides like mashed potatoes and carrots as more restaurants/chefs this year are featuring a slew of new grain options, including quinoa, spelt and amaranth. Not only will you be providing a filling side, but you’ll get the added bonus of nutrition-packed flavor. Try this Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Parsley.

Vegetables as the Main Course:

Veggies are getting the spotlight treatment. While some blame it on the economy and the rising cost of meats, other chefs think that these trends can be better attributed to health-conscious foodies. A hearty, vegetarian main course is also a safer way to deal with common food allergies. Imagine serving your guests this Hearty Vegetable Lasagna on a crisp evening.

Mediterranean Influence:

Fig has become a fruit on the radar for many chefs looking to do something new. All kinds of yogurt are, also, on the radar – and we’re not just talking Greek yogurt. Homemade yogurts are being used in everything from salad dressings and chicken marinades to rich stews. Much of today’s yogurt is creamier in texture and higher in protein than its predecessors, making it a better base for delicious desserts like smoothies and yogurt bars. In addition to yogurt and figs, many other Mediterranean staples are dominating the culinary landscape. At this year’s Fancy Food Show in New York City, culinary products like goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, olives, olive oil, and feta cheese garnered tons of interest from chefs and foodies alike. The Mediterranean influence has already been seen in many restaurant kitchens around the country with lamb and goat replacing traditional steak and chicken.

Miniature Desserts:

These days, upscale restaurants are offering sweet treats like cheesecake lollipops or desserts small enough to fit into a shot glass. Having a variety of sweet nibbles gives guests a chance to try a few tasty options while watching their figure. Try these Individual Pumpkin Pies at your fall event.

Signature Drink:

A signature party drink is a great way to keep costs down and keep with a theme or menu style. Peruse these recipes to find an event drink that sounds delish to you: Fall Cocktails – there’s even a Fennel & Fig Infused Vodka cocktail if you are going with the Mediterranean theme.

We love working with our clients to create a menu around food trends and the season. Call us to discuss what recipes you’d love to see at your fall event!