Locally Produced: What’s in Season for Your Fall Weddings

Autumn yields a bounty of exciting ingredients and recipes, making it one of our favorite times of year for planning exquisite menus. Couples appreciate the flavors of home and dishes that bring them comfort and an air of nostalgia. Guests delight in the fruit of local harvests and the opportunity to sample regional favorite foods and beverages. All things come together magically in fall—truly the perfect season for weddings.

The fall weather influence

Moderate weather in much of the Northern Hemisphere means that fall is one of our peak growing seasons. A bountiful harvest of greens, potatoes, squash, and fruits like apples, berries, and pears open up many possibilities for chefs creating seasonal menus. Keep an eye on the weather so you’ll know which crops are ready and when, and work with your chef to adapt as needed.

Photo courtesy Kate Anfinson | http://kateanfinson.com/

Soup for starters

Soups and stews grow more popular in the fall as weather turns cooler and the ingredients abound. They are popular as starters on fall wedding menus, as they are filling and a great option for honoring special dietary requests like vegetarian, dairy free, and gluten free.

Photo courtesy Daniel Neal | https://www.danielnealphotography.com/index

Comfort food

Couples and guests alike gravitate toward comfort food year-round, but most passionately in the fall. At Wente Vineyards, we try to honor this connection by making sure our menus are filled with our personal twist. One of the most popular items that we serve this time of year is our House Smoked Double Cut Pork Chop with baked polenta, apple cider braised cabbage, and mustard cream, paired with Wente Vineyards Riva Ranch Pinot Noir. Incorporating favorite childhood and family dishes is a great way to personalize a wedding menu.

“Make sure, when planning your fall specialty menus, to keep in mind that your chef might need to make changes if not all seasonal crops come in on time. We can plan ahead and attend to details, but we can’t influence Mother Nature.”

Regional variations

As climate varies widely—even from state to state—you’ll need to familiarize yourself with your popular local fall crops and their normal growing seasons before you finalize a menu for your clients. We are lucky in California to have mild fall weather, and we use this to our advantage when planning our clients’ wedding menus. Two of the more unique vegetables or fruits that you can find here in fall are artichokes and candy stripe figs, so we make sure we feature them when they are available. The season may be short, but if your event falls within the window of second harvest, as ours does, these ingredients could offer something special to your menu, too.
 
Make sure, when planning your fall specialty menus, to keep in mind that your chef might need to make changes if not all seasonal crops come in on time. We can plan ahead and attend to details, but we can’t influence Mother Nature. Be prepared with substitutes if needed to make up for a late or failed crop.
 
What can you expect of your fall event menus? Anticipate personalized feasts that celebrate the autumn harvest and are tailored to make the couple’s overall vision come to life. May your own fall be bountiful and bright!

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Heather Jones

Catering Sales Director

Heather Jones is the Catering Sales Director for Wente Vineyards, a family-owned property that is home to a winery and vineyards, a golf course, restaurant, and a handful of unique facilities for hosting weddings and special events.