Beef – It’s What’s for Reception

Baron Beef Reception EntreeAs wedding budgets tighten, more and more brides are looking for a way to provide a consistent, high quality meal, and keep the price reasonable. It’s always best to start with a consultation with an experienced wedding caterer in person to discuss exactly what you are looking for and at what price range.

Many caterers offer meal choices and service options that can range from the low teens to hundreds of dollars per person. When meeting, your caterer should be able to provide several choices to the taste and liking of each individual client, including family favorites and factor in budget considerations.

Beef Pricing

Most brides are not aware of the tremendous rise in beef prices over the last couple years. Many premium choice cuts of beef, such as prime rib, are now near $10 per pound wholesale. One option, is for a Bride to consider a select cut instead of choice or prime cut. The difference between the two is minimal in taste or texture, except to the most discriminating pallet.

The Grading

In essence, beef is graded on an evaluation of factors that affect palatability of meat (tenderness, juiciness, and flavor). These factors include maturity, firmness, texture, color, and the amount and distribution of marbling throughout. However, marbling (the intermingling or dispersion of fat within the lean beef) is the primary determination of beef quality. In general, the higher the degree of marbling, the more tender, juicy, and flavorful that cut of beef is.

The Magic of Proper Preparation

Proper seasoning, searing, and then slow roasting a large cut of meat is the first key for excellent taste.  Then, the real trick is to hold the meat at the perfect temperature to allow the juices to disperse evenly throughout the cut to help ensure the quality of beef being served.

A Bride certainly does not want to compromise the beef quality at the wedding celebration dinner, but an experienced wedding caterer can make suggestions to help stretch the budget with minimal taste difference (if any). Our advice: do not be afraid to ask what quality of cuts your caterer is specifically using at the exact price you are being quoted, and how it will be prepared and served. You may be surprised at the answer…

 

Creative Wedding Food Stations

Looking for trends in planning your wedding meal?

Some Brides are looking for interactive, customizable and economical ways to do something different for their guests.

Live Cooking Stations

Adding a live cooking station allows the bride to share her favorite cuisine, and the guests get to customize their individual experience.

Instead of a grand buffet, more and more couples are opting for smaller intimate food stations, providing a made to order gourmet wedding meal one piece at a time.

Popular Live Cooking Options

  • A live cooking station for hors d’oeuvres to that breakfast or champagne wedding reception brunch.
  • Build your own omelet bar.
  • Or a create your pancake or waffle masterpiece bar.
  • Flambé stations with sweet and decadent desserts
  • Live tapas stations for appetizers
  • And build your own pasta menus where a array of sauces are custom made to order (ie. offering herb crusted chicken, sautéed garlic and sun dried tomatoes in a cream garlic pesto sauce served over linguine)

For Vegetarians

  • A Custom Salad Bar, with a build your own baked potato bar strategically built into the salad station
  • Vegetarian options on the Pasta Bar.
  • Portabello Mushroom option on the Grill Station.
  • A Fresh Fruit Station

Why not? Custom stations are getting more and more popular as Brides look for creative ways to make their wedding food experience unique.

They only take a minute to prepare, and it’s a lot more fun than offering guests their choice of a meat sauce or marinara.

Don’t Break the Bank

Contrary to the belief, adding live cooking stations don’t have to be expensive. It is important that bride carefully considers the logistics of her idea.

For example, if you are having 300 guests, it is unlikely that you will get 300 made to order meals created at a single food station during the dinner hour. If you want this experience with this kind of guest list, you will need to provide multiple stations for people to choose from to spread out the load.

However, for smaller, more intimate weddings, the addition of food stations is not a big deal.

Live cooking stations add that custom flare that makes your reception uniquely you.