As a Global Culinary Trendologist, I watch for future food trends and help my clients apply them to restaurant menus and food products. Business meetings and events held at your restaurant create opportunities to showcase your business too.

How to take this year’s hottest food trends and turn them into memorable meetings for your guests…

Behind the kitchen door

When hosting meetings at your restaurant, make your guests feel the day is all about them. Invite them into your kitchen to meet your chef and team. Hosting a kitchen demo with a tasting helps to build excitement about the event. Let the meeting planners know what the hot trends are and give them the option of trendy items on the menu at the meeting.

Customized non-alcoholic beverages

Non-alcoholic drinks are as much a part of innovative menus today as cocktails. With unique flavours, innovative presentation and food pairing options, consider creating a unique non-alcoholic beverage with a theme that suits a meeting’s theme.

Energize your guests at breakfast meetings with fresh pressed juices. Set up an interactive bar run by your bartenders at lunch and allow guests to experiment with shrubs, herbs and spices.

Veggie-centric

Vegetables continue to be the stars of the plate this year. When you’re planning menus for meetings, keep innovative vegetable preparation in mind. Think about how you can transform cauliflower rice to match the tastes on your menu. Is it a cauliflower rice pizza crust with smoked cheddar cheese? Or is it on a vegetable charcuterie platter with house-cured meats and pickled local vegetables?

Hosting a successful meeting

The next generation of sommeliers is showing up in creative restaurants across Canada. A sommelier is a knowledgeable specialist who not only conducts tastings but who gives advice on food pairings. Set up a sommelier specialist for a meeting, and let them share their passion for beverages like tea, craft cider or coffee.

What can you waffle?

Every year I nominate one item that is the Dish of the Year. 2017 is all about asking the question: What Can You Waffle?

It’s more than chicken and waffles! Think about making waffles out of French toast, mac and cheese, or grilled cheese. Think about serving them with any meal or for any course. Be creative — how about grilled veggies, quesadillas or even brownies on a waffle iron?

The waffle bar is the new pasta bar!

It’s all about Taste!

Reach out and let us know what meetings you are working on. We’d love to hear your innovative ideas. Send us an email with your story, at menueditor@restaurantscanada.org.

Christine Couvelier

Christine Couvelier is a Global Culinary Trendologist, Executive Chef and Culinary Executive. For more information, visit www.culinaryconcierge.ca.