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How to Incorporate Food and Beverage Trends from the 2020 CATIE Awards

Though we look forward to collaborating and socializing at Catersource every year, the CATIE Awards are another highlight. This year’s entries were no less spectacular than any other, with fierce competition in the Best Food or Beverage Trend Incorporation category. Three caterers came in as top of the class—see their inspired ideas below!

A Celebration of Gluten
Finalist: Culinary Crafts

Though the humble loaf of bread may not seem like a trendy dish, Culinary Crafts wanted to celebrate this “carbohydrate non grata,” in their own words. The Utah-based caterer embraced bread’s indulgence with a bakery tasting station, pairing different loaves with rich toppings.

Polenta loaf with blackberry jam and salted, whipped butter. Photo courtesy Angela Howard Photography.

The station featured three freshly -baked loaves with two toppings each. Rustic ciabatta was paired with torched bone marrow and a red onion jam, while a polenta loaf came with homemade blackberry jam and salted, whipped butter. Sweet-toothed guests enjoyed molasses brown bread with compound butter and local honeycomb.

From the Ground Up
Finalist: Empyrean Events and Catering

In their CATIE Award entry, Empyrean Events and Catering combined three culinary trends in one cocktail. The drink, called From The Ground Up, was low alcohol by volume, utilized the butterfly pea flower, and incorporated CBD, which their home state, Indiana, recently legalized.

Empyrean Events and Catering's cocktail, From The Ground Up, was low alcohol by volume, utilized the butterfly pea flower, and incorporated CBD. Photo courtesy of the caterer.

The gin-based speciality drink was created for a couple’s lush garden cocktail hour. Empyrean celebrated the wedding’s setting with a refreshing mix of tea, citrus, ginger, and golden beets. A butterfly pea-stained blood orange slice topped the cocktail.

Pentagon to Star
Winner: Thomas Caterers of Distinction

While the menu card may not typically be an event’s showstopper, Thomas Caterers of Distinction made their menu (quite literally) the star of the show. The origami-inspired menu was presented to guests as a five-sided pyramid.


Thomas Caterers of Distinction's origami-inspired menu walso included an amus-bouche in the center. Photo courtesy Ian Borgerhoff. 

Once guests read the inscribed ring that held the pyramid closed, they opened the structure to find not only their menu for the evening laid out on the five sides of the star, but also an amuse-bouche in the center. The Indianapolis-based caterer crafted a bite that would hold at room temperature: tomato gelee with crispy prosciutto and a smoked gouda mousse.

Each year, the innovation in this category blows us away. We can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

Culinary Crafts, Empyrean Events and Catering, and Thomas Caterers of Distinction are proud members of the ICA. For more information, visit

International Caterers Association

For motivated caterers, International Caterers Association is a resource that provides Education, encourages peer to peer Relationships and Inspires creativity while embracing all segments of the catering industry. For more information, visit