Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Delicate Delights - Our Wedding Catering Company

Buffet vs. Plated Service

I had always longed to have a grand 3 or 4 course meal served to our wedding guests and we explored this option as far as possible. Early on my wonderful Mother advised me that

 “African man just want to eat, drink and dance” ...translation...

“Concentrate on the food, drink and music and all will be well” : )

With this in mind, choosing the right caterer was paramount. Being me, I went through a whole range of ideas/options before settling on the usual Afro-stylee buffet. In the end, it came down to the simple fact that:

THE BUFFET = more food, more choice, fewer staff and less money - whereas,
THE PLATED SERVICE = less food, less choice, more staff, less dancefloor space (due to the need for extra space for the servers to walk up and down - technical I know!) and most importantly more money!

There was another option, giving the best of both worlds –a ‘Lazy Susie’. This is a round glass turn-table that sits on top of the actual table; it spins around, allowing guests to serve their own food without leaving their table. Genius huh? This, however, still incurs some of the ‘staffing costs’, as the food still has to be taken to each table….

For us, it was a no-brainer and it worked out ‘delight’fully (see what I did there!). The buffet created a less ‘formal’ and more relaxed atmosphere. I still think it is lovely to treat guests to a plated meal if the benefits outweigh the costs, and I’ll be keeping this in mind for when I host a slightly smaller celebration!

The Menu

Round 1: We served canap├ęs to our guests – but we didn’t even remember to taste any – having gotten distracted by the steel band when we walked into the foyer!

Round 2: For the main meal, we wanted to reflect both our cultures in menu and so had a combination of savoury rice sticks, jollof rice and waakye (Ghanaian style rice and peas) as our main starch component (gotta love the carbs!). This was accompanied by stews, chicken, fish, amongst other items. It was all beautifully presented. Louise did us incredibly proud!

Image: RougeAmour

Image: RougeAmour

Round 3: After everyone had served the main meal, Delicate Delights cleared the buffet spread away and turned it into a dessert station – fabulous. Can you believe that we didn’t eat any dessert – we were just having too much fun!

Round 4: Later in the evening, some ‘small chops’ were served, included roast beef kebabs and ‘pepper’ chicken – YUM. Again, we didn’t eat this either – but, Delicate Delights packaged a bit of EVERYTHING and had it delivered to our hotel suite. Now that was exactly what we needed at the end of the long day.
Needless to say, nobody went hungry!

So, how did our 230 guests serve themselves without pushing, shoving,  cuts and/or bruises! ? !

Onto logistics…
* Firstly, it helped that our guests had already had something to eat (see Round One). They weren’t starving! Big bonus!

* We had a long buffet table set up to the rear of the dance floor. We had duplicates of each dish, so that guests could serve more quickly. Essentially, it was two identical buffet tables joined together – clever huh!

Image: RougeAmour

* Although we had a buffet, we tried to retain a few elements of the sit down meal, by having table names, designated seats and a table plan. We also laid all the tables with the appropriate crockery, cutlery and glassware – so guests simply served their food and returned with just a plate of deliciousness...

Image: RougeAmour

* Mr O and I were the first to ‘view’ the buffet table; I figured we wouldn’t get a chance to see it otherwise. Dinner was then served for us and the rest of the top table…at which point we decided not to eat! Lol and went round to greet our guests. By the time we took a break to eat, the food was no longer piping hot, but is still DELICIOUS! I might just be asking for the recipe of those rice sticks!

* We also had a fabulous Chairman, who expertly encouraged guests to serve. He did this in an orderly fashion - calling the next table to serve as the preceding one was nearly finished. It helped that we gave him a ‘map’ of the room, with all the table names and their locations on it, so that he knew exactly which table he was calling to go up! There was no mile long queue and lots of guests remarked at how smoothly the whole buffet thing went.

Overall, I’d give the catering a 10 out of 10! There really isn't anything that we would changed! The food was amazing, the presentation was great, the staff were fantastic at clearing tables and assisting with the serving of food. What more could we have asked for? Louise, of Delicate Delights, did an outstanding job and as with most of our vendors, has our highest recommendation!

Image: RougeAmour

Delicate Delights

Mrs O

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