Fall events are a special experience for all and typically come with their own stipulations. With the summer heat gone, you don’t have to be quite as worried about food safety in 90-plus degree weather — but you may have to consider the transition to indoor venues.
Welcoming a new season also means it’s time to introduce new ingredients, spices, and flavor profiles to your menu. Seasonality is a big part of creating new dishes, so you need to experiment with your meals to find the right combination of flavors for a meal.
Without further ado, here are three things you consider as you make the move to fall events.
The pros and cons of indoor events
It’s always a relief when you don’t have to worry about making rain plans or accommodating for extreme temperatures. Indoor events take the weather factor out of the picture, which can ease a lot of stressors. They also have an added benefit of being easier to power, since indoor venues tends to be set up and wired more efficiently than an outdoor space.
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At the same time, indoor venues can be tricky because of limited space. If the event area is small, it can be difficult to form effective routes from the kitchen to the service area. They also have stricter fire regulations, so you may need to consider alternative methods or strategies for cooking styles like grilling or flambé stations.
The power of seasonal creativity
Everyone knows that fall is the season of pumpkin spice, but the reality is that there are so many more beautiful flavors to embrace during this time of year. Root vegetables are another popular choice for fall that fits right into the desire for comfort food as the temperatures dip. Say goodbye to the watermelon gazpacho of the summer and hello to butternut squash stew.
Food seasonality especially comes into play if you are shopping locally for ingredients. You can ensure that your meals are made of high-quality and fresh components, straight from the farm. Take your shopping list to a local farmer’s market, co-op, or connect with a farmer directly. Building a strong relationship with your local farmers can lead you to better prices, fresher cuts, and an insider’s look at what’s to come.
The key to a perfect fall menu
As mentioned, there are countless vegetables, fruits, spices, and even cooking styles that suit the fall season. However, that’s not to say you have to overhaul your menu entirely (although you certainly can!). Sometimes, it can be as simple as swapping out ingredients in your most popular dishes to transform them into something both fresh and familiar.
Fall flavors aren’t just for food, either. The bar is where harvest season can really shine. Consider things like a hot apple cider station or a signature mulled wine mule. It’s a great place to get creative and include fun additions like cinnamon sticks, ground nutmeg, and cherries for adding after the fact.
Catering fall events can be extremely fun and rewarding, so take some time this year to try new things and experiment with tastes, textures, and ingredients you wouldn’t normally try. You never know what you’ll discover as your new signature flavor!