The planning of party food begins with the budget. “The party budget provides you with a clear framework for the planning and execution,” says chef Mika Pesonen of Fazer Food Services. A discussion with the customer clarifies their wishes and the objectives of the celebration for both parties.
Fazer's event services organise events of a high standard for both private and corporate customers. “The catering is influenced by the nature of the festivities, the venue and the number of guests. While an informal cold fork buffet is popular, people still tend to sit at tables at more dignified and festive events and enjoy several courses served at the table,” adds Pesonen. Socialising with guests is a part of the celebration and has an impact on its atmosphere. Many customers value finger food that can be eaten in an upright position and with only one hand. This makes it easier for guests to move around and socialise while they eat.
The increasing popularity of food as a hobby is also visible in the work of a professional banquet chef. “Customers are quality-conscious and concerned with sustainability. They are well-versed in food trends, and this has an effect on the catering for parties, too,” continues Pesonen. The menu planning may start from the food culture of a particular country or continent, for example, or from a way of serving food, such as street food. Pure, distinct tastes and the Nordic culture are also very much visible and present in the flavours of party food. Food that features heavily in vegetables and leaves meat to a supporting role is increasingly popular. Wild food, which is used both in cooking and for garnishes, is likewise a growing trend. “Even so, the most important thing is that everyone is able to find something that they can eat on the table,” notes Pesonen.
Party food complemented by drinks that intensify the taste
“It's important for the event and the drink to come together. Selecting wines for a buffet table is a challenging task, given that there is a multitude of flavours on offer on the table. Basing the drink selection on the price and trying to find a generally applicable drink that goes with as many foods as possible is a good guiding principle. The more relaxed the event, the more relaxed should the drinks be. “Beer is great with street food,” says Pesonen. The demand for non-alcoholic drinks as party beverages is growing steadily. “The traditional Pommac is no longer the sole non-alcoholic alternative. The market offers several good alternatives, of which I personally favour the non-alcoholic and flavourful sparkling wines. When selecting drinks to go with food served on plates, it is always a good idea to rely on the help of professionals,” says Pesonen.
An event left in the hands of professionals frees the hosts to prepare for and enjoy their own party
Opting for a catering service is always a good alternative when planning a party. “It reduces the amount of stress and fuss, and even the cleaning can be left to the catering organiser with no worries,” says Pesonen. When necessary, the catering service goes to where the party is. The event can be organised at a special venue or at the customer's own premises. Tablecloths, tableware, even the tables themselves are brought to the location if need be. “I've become familiar with pavilions, museums and all sorts of other unusual party venues,” says Pesonen. Chefs are increasingly visible in the actual party premises. “The skills of chefs are no longer restricted to the kitchen, but are spreading into halls as well. The guests can watch the chef at work and discuss the food they're enjoying directly with the chef,” says Pesonen, visibly pleased. The fact that catering services entitle private individuals to tax deductions also speaks for opting for a professional to organise your parties.