Clients and guests are seeking customization of their events; from interactive cooking classes to wine tastings and pairings and family-style venues to street food options.
The craving for elevated, chef-driven concepts are on trend. “Guests don’t remember the last minute details, but they do remember what they ate and drank,” said Erica Poppe, Director of Sales, Spiaggia Complex, Chicago, IL.
Here are four tips for this year’s food and beverage trends you can use at your next event from the team at Spiaggia.
There has been a rise in experiential meetings and events, which breaks away from the traditional corporate meeting format. Spiaggia offers a variety of add-ons to private events, including olive oil and balsamic tastings, craft cocktail making and cooking demonstrations with James Beard Award-winning Chef/Partner Tony Mantuano and Executive Chef Joe Flamm (a contestant on this season of Bravo’s “Top Chef”). Perfect for entertaining clients or rewarding employees, these interactive event formats are memorable and fun.
For daytime meetings where teams want to skip wine pairings, Erica and her team are noting a rise in non-alcoholic temperance cocktails. This is particularly popular early in the year when people are trying to eat and drink lighter. Their temperance offerings include: Faux-sé (sparkling mint-rose argumee), Ersatz-traminer (saffron, apple and pear) Fake-burgunder (genmaicha, hibiscus and raspberry) Forge-eaux (rosemary, cherry, balsamic and chanterelle) and Vin Falso (cranberry, bitter orange and sage).
More and more, guests are seeking a local tie to their meal from their ingredients to experiences offered. Venues are encouraged to work with a variety of local purveyors to source ingredients. Spiaggia doesn’t have a preferred vendor list which gives clients the opportunity to utilize their local favorites when selecting entertainment, décor and more.
Interactive Food Stations and demonstrations have been especially popular with corporate groups recently. Corporate gifts such as cookbooks, olive oil, balsamic, or baked goods are also trending now. Customized gifts are also on the rise.
As Chicago continues to position itself as the best city for food in the US and the city’s passion for food is on the rise, it paves the way for more companies to seek a Michelin Star experience with impeccable service, world-class wine, and customized menus. With Chef/Partner Tony Mantuano at the helm, and Executive Chef Joe Flamm leading the culinary vision, Spiaggia is synonymous with fine dining in Chicago and has set the standard for Italian dining by earning four-star reviews, international praise, and numerous national accolades over the past three decades.