loader image

2016 is here, and so are the hottest trends in catering for the new year. Robert Ryan’s culinary team attends conferences throughout the year, consults with other top leaders in the industry and is constantly reading up on all the latest ideas to make our events cutting edge. The food forecast is looking good for 2016!

Keeping It Local

Sourcing ingredients from local purveyors continues to be hot for 2016. The fresher the ingredients, the better the flavor, and it doesn’t get any fresher than your caterer’s local farm. Artisan breads from a local bakery that uses local grains is another great way to keep it in the community.Creating pairings with local craft breweries highlights flavors from your own community, too. According to the Craft Brewers Association, there are currently over 4,000 small craft brewers in the United States. Find one in your own neighborhood and have your caterer create a menu pairing for a few of their brews.Pittenger-686


Interactive Food Stations

We predict that in 2016 more chefs will step out from the kitchen and into the spotlight to delight your guests with food presentations. From crepe stations to custom stir fry stations, let your caterer transform the food at your event into an experience.

Late Night Snacks

As the party winds down, you want to make sure your guests don’t leave hungry. Anything goes for late night snacks, from sliders to miniaturized breakfast favorites. Even better, provide your guests with a way to take it to-go.Breakfast Station


Root Vegetables

Many guests are watching their carbs and calories, so it’s nice to provide something hearty and delicious without all the starch of potatoes or rice on the plate. Substitute a smooth, creamy puree of rutabaga or parsnip, a colorful array of roasted yellow and red beets or roasted carrots and turnips and your guests will thank you.

Finger Foods

More and more, you will see miniaturized versions of your favorite foods. These finger foods, highlighted in individual vessels, are perfect for the cocktail hour. That way, your guests can be free to mingle without a large plate and cutlery bogging them down. Think fun-sized Chesapeake Bay jumbo lump crab cake sliders or veggie-packed frittatas baked into 4 oz. mason jars.

RR mini food

Different Cuts of Meat

Filet and prime rib have been served at every wedding since the beginning of time. Shoulder tender is making a comeback for 2016. Wow your guests with this cut of beef—it is similar in tenderness and quality to filet, but less expensive. Packed with flavor and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, braised boneless short ribs are here to stay! This delicious cut started appearing on menus a few years ago and doesn’t look like it will be going away anytime soon.

New Fish Products

Sea bass and halibut are the prime rib of the fish family. They have been done and done again. Some up-and-coming fish options include drum fish, sea robin and sheepshead.For the uninitiated, drum fish is firm, not flakey, and has a delicate flavor. It is great grilled with butter, lemon and pepper. Sea robin isn’t the most attractive fish, but trust us, it tastes delicious. It is also firm with a slight flakiness, is mildly sweet in flavor and tastes great any way you would prepare flounder or cod. Sheepshead is a firm, moist fish similar to flounder and is great pan-fried or baked. Sheepshead primarily eat shellfish, so they retain a sweet shellfish flavor.Many popular fish choices are overfished, which isn’t environmentally friendly and also leads to higher prices. With overfishing becoming an issue with more common varieties, drum fish, sea robin and sheepshead are gaining popularity.RR desserts

Out with the Cake

One of the current trends is nixing the traditional wedding cake and opting for a dessert buffet of eye-catching displays of multiple miniaturized desserts. This is another way of getting the chefs involved. Rather than having just a display of ordinary desserts, imagine your guests watching as the chef prepares homemade ice cream before their eyes. What are they putting the ice cream on? How about the mini waffles that chef is cooking up at the same time? Yum!

Ask your caterer for some new and different options and surprise your guests!

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 a 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