24 Feb Multicultural Wedding Dishes We Can’t Stop Raving About

Every wedding should be a unique expression of the bride and groom’s background and experiences. Simply choosing decor and dishes from a long list of options presented by a caterer can be limiting and uninspired. At Robert Ryan Catering & Design, you can always count on your event managers to present you with novel ideas and new approaches to creating a wedding day that will be one to remember. While we do have tried-and-true dishes on our catering menu, we are always happy to create special menu options for our clients.

The chefs and event staff at Robert Ryan strive to stay up-to-date on new trends in catering. Additionally, we focus on educating our staff about multicultural menu ideas via foodie field trips that help to define our culinary program. We’ve had the pleasure of catering several weddings that wove together a tapestry of cultural influences. Read below about some of our favorite multicultural dishes we’ve created.

Ethiopian Wedding

The bride and groom were frequent visitors to an Ethiopian restaurant, Abysinnia, in Philadelphia. To best re-create dishes that they loved and wanted to be on the menu for their special day, our chefs visited the restaurant several times, tasted the requested dishes and discussed ingredients and cooking techniques with the owners.

We sourced the ingredients at a local market, came back to our kitchen and started cooking. We made dishes like injera bread, doro wot (simmered chicken in a berbere sauce with hard boiled eggs) and yebeg tibs (lamb stew with jalapeno, onion, garlic, tomato and rosemary).

Many of the guests at this backyard tented wedding were visiting from Africa and wore traditional clothing, habesha qemi, at the reception. The dinner was served family-style at the guests’ tables, and many commented on how traditional and flavorful the dishes were. One guest even said it was the best Ethiopian food that he had tasted and he was not expecting it to taste that good in America!

Robert Ryan Miso Glazed Halibut on top of Bok Choy, Soba Noodles, Dashi Broth and Sea Beans

Vietnamese Wedding

Several years ago, we had the pleasure of catering an off-premise wedding at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA. The couple was Vietnamese and had met at the university. In preparation for the event, the culinary team visited a Vietnamese restaurant to taste several traditional dishes and spoke with the restaurant’s chef and owner for inspiration in creating a culturally accurate menu for the wedding.

We cooked and served fresh spring rolls with rice paper, stir fry and Vietnamese-style rice noodles. We even prepared and roasted a whole suckling pig, a tradition at Vietnamese weddings.

Ecuadorean Wedding

The bride had studied abroad in Ecuador when she met her fiancé, and, after graduating and moving back to America, they got engaged. The bride wanted to incorporate some of her fiancé’s local dishes into their reception to reflect his culture.

Our team, including former sous chef and now executive chef Danny Salazar, had a meeting with the bride and groom about a dish that the groom’s mother used to make—seco de pollo—braised chicken with spices. 

Robert Ryan Cultural wedding 2

We scheduled a time for the couple to come in for a tasting. After we served the couple their entrees, the culinary team approached them about seasoning and spices and to discuss any adjustments that might need to be made.

The bride and groom began to cry tears of joy and hug one another. We learned that the groom’s mother had passed away earlier in the year and he hadn’t tasted seco de pollo in a very long time. He shared that it was exactly the way his mother used to make it and it was bringing back memories for him. We hosted the wedding reception a few months later, and all of the groom’s family kept coming back into the kitchen to tell Chef Danny how wonderful everything tasted.

That’s what this is all about for us—exceeding client expectations and delivering food that evokes memories and happiness.

Ready to start planning your party? Schedule a consultation with one of our event managers today!

Robert Ryan Catering and Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a five-star rating on WeddingWire and has received WeddingWire’s Couple’s Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venues. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news and recipes from our executive chef.

Ronna Dewey

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From inception to execution, Robert Ryan Catering & Design works with you to realize your vision for your event, and translate it into a successful affair.