Trend Alert

  • Picture Perfect Hors d’Oeuvres Picture Perfect Hors d’Oeuvres

    Picture Perfect Hors d’Oeuvres

Picture Perfect Hors d’Oeuvres

When you think of weddings, usually the first thing that comes to mind is the stunning bride, open bars, and lots of dancing. For us, the first thing we think of is how to make the food stand out. We had the opportunity to work with our friends at Chicago Style Wedding Magazine to create fun, unique, and delicious hors d’oeuvres for a photo shoot at The Kimpton Grey Hotel. Executive Chef, Ben Holt, was tasked with taking our already amazing dishes to the next level, and did he ever!

It’s true that competing with stunning models, gorgeous dresses, sparkling jewelry, and an incredible backdrop is difficult, but Chef Ben crafted creative dishes that shone just as bright as the diamonds on the bride’s finger. The flavors were spot on and each of these hors d’oeuvres had one of 2017’s trending food items or techniques. These delightful bites are perfect for an intimate wedding, cocktail reception, or an upscale appreciation event.

Pick up the latest issue of Chicago Style Weddings Magazine or scroll down for a peek at some of these tasty dishes! All photos credited to: SYPhotography.




By |August 24th, 2017|Recent Events, Trend Alert|Comments Off on Picture Perfect Hors d’Oeuvres

{Trend Alert} Entrees and Sides

Drinks have been enjoyed, appetizers nibbled on, and dessert already set, but without a doubt, the thing everyone remembers at an event is the main course! Luckily, we know exactly what to do to leave guests in awe!

New Cuts of Meat & Fish
This is probably the best trend to hit 2015/2016 for hosts and hostess. Utilizing new/different cuts of meat along with non-traditional fish usually means that food costs go down. Chef’s that are familiar with these cuts of meat know what to do to make these cuts just as tender as a filet and as flavorful as a strip, often at a fraction of the cost. This also breathes new life into nose to tail eating, only without as much of the tail end!

Who You Calling Ancient – Grains?
Ancient Grains are having their moment in 2015. They give you an opportunity to take a traditional dish and give it a unique spin, while still offering up a starch for guests. Typically used for side dishes or great vegetarian alternatives, many of these ancient grains can be incorporated into desserts as well!


By |June 16th, 2015|Trend Alert|Comments Off on {Trend Alert} Entrees and Sides

{Trend Alert} 2015 Appetizers & Desserts

Just like fine wine, trends for 2015 keep flowing. Moving past cocktail hour, every event is guaranteed to have two things: a beginning and an ending. Many times, the first thing your guests see (or eat) are hors d’oeuvres and the very last, dessert. Here’s what is hot for the rest of 2015!

Special Diets Welcome

As vegan and vegetarian cuisine becomes more mainstream, chefs have been getting more creative and experimental, giving guests delicious and visually stunning vegetarian appetizers.

Food Trucks Optional

Food trucks are notoriously known for their creative mash-ups and blending of cuisines. In 2015, trucks are optional, but street food-inspired appetizers are all the rage. With a strong focus on ethnic flavors, these hors d’oeuvres a flavorful bites that immediately transport guests to different countries.

Pass the Charcuterie Please!

Charcuterie plates are moving beyond traditional cured meats (although they’re still very popular) and have splashed into seafood. From tuna pate to crab leg terrine, seafood charcuterie is the next wave of appetizers.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For…

Ice cream! It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy cold, velvety, dairy goodness, especially when that ice cream has been hand crafted by a small batch ice cream maker. Similar to last week’s trends, artisanal, small batch ice cream allows the maker to use high quality, unique ingredients that will shine through. Plus, a smaller batch makes it much easier (and more fun) to play around with interesting flavor combinations.

For Those Times You Just Want A Bite

The bite-sized food craze is sticking around in 2015 and we’re okay with that. As the night starts to wind down, guests start to anticipate what will be served for dessert. Will there be a big piece of cake? Maybe a […]

{Trend Alert} 2015 Cocktail Trends

The National Restaurant Association just wrapped up another fabulous NRA Show 2015 at McCormick Place last week in Chicago. After a week full of great information, delicious food and drink and innovative technologies, we’re excited to share trends that are continuing through 2015 as well as some new ones that will be popping up.


This week, we’re focusing on one of the most important aspects of any event, cocktail hour! From locally produced spirits to edible cocktails, the trends hitting 2015 hard are buzz-worthy to say the least!

Micro-distilled/Artisan Spirits/Locally Produced Beer, Wine & Spirits

The easiest way to control the quality of a beverage (or food for that matter) is to make small batches, and even better, know the distiller! When alcohol or beer is produced for 5000 people instead of 500,000, the flavors can change, better quality ingredients can be used, and the end result is something that has been nurtured over time.

Culinary Cocktails

Chefs and bartenders have been separated since the beginning of time, but 2015 is the year to break down the wall and start using the expertise from the kitchen behind the bar. Full of flavor with lots of depth, culinary cocktails are going far beyond an oyster shooter.
House-Brewed Beer

A great chef knows what beers will go great with his or her food, so why not bring that process in house. Brewmasters are able to control exactly what goes into their brew and can make the perfect recommendation for the delicious meal you’re about to enjoy.

Edible Cocktails

A far cry from the jello shots you may have known in college, edible cocktails are bringing a new level of fun and excitement to events. From wine sorbet to delicious ‘pop-tails’, there are many ways to […]

By |June 1st, 2015|Trend Alert|Comments Off on {Trend Alert} 2015 Cocktail Trends
  • {Trend Alert} Fall Food Trends Part 2 {Trend Alert} Fall Food Trends Part 2

    {Trend Alert} Fall Food Trends Part 2

{Trend Alert} Fall Food Trends Part 2

We know you couldn’t wait to find out the rest of this Fall’s food trends. So without further adieu, here is part 2 of Fall 2014’s hottest food trends. Hopefully these have inspired your menu for your next event!

Don’t forget the grains!

More grains like amaranth, faro, wheat berries and quinoa are replacing traditional sides such as mashed potatoes and carrots. Having some of these grains puffed can add a whole new dimension to salads and other dishes as well.

Breakfast for dinner.

Everyone loves breakfast and there is no reason it can’t have a place at your wedding. Try a late night snack of mini egg sandwiches on biscuits or savory mini pancakes for a starter with sausage. Or get creative and have a duck egg with pork belly as an entrée.

Interactive food experiences.

Food is no longer enough, guests now want dinner AND a show. From omelet station to a ‘decorate your own’ cupcake bar, everything is customizable. Anything that can be created in front of your guests is sure to be a hit!

By |October 9th, 2014|Trend Alert|Comments Off on {Trend Alert} Fall Food Trends Part 2
  • {Trend Alert} Fall 2014 Food Trends Part 1 {Trend Alert} Fall 2014 Food Trends Part 1

    {Trend Alert} Fall 2014 Food Trends Part 1

{Trend Alert} Fall 2014 Food Trends Part 1

After spending countless hours researching (okay, maybe not countless, but quite a few), we’ve uncovered some of Fall 2014’s hottest food trends. Incorporate one or all of these trends in your next menu. Stay tuned for part 2!

Escarole replacing kale as a ‘superfood’. 

Kale has been in the spotlight for a few years now, but escarole, the cousin of the curly endive, that has many of the same superfood qualities. Delicious raw in a salad, it can also be sautéed for a fun take on a vegetable side dish.

Stop overlooking kohlrabi!

With a taste and texture somewhere between cabbage and broccoli stems, kohlrabi is incredibly versatile and delicious. In it’s raw form, kohlrabi is a slightly crunchy and mildly spicy, similar to a radish mixed with a turnip. Roasted, steamed, or tossed into soup, the flavors from kohlrabi mellows out and sweetens up. Peel off the tough outermost layer of the kohlrabi bulb with a vegetable peeler and enjoy!

More vegetables as entrees rather than a typical protein main dish. Whether it’s rising food costs driving this trend or people becoming more health conscious, veggies are getting the spotlight. Dishes like roasted butternut squash with a warm bacon vinaigrette and hearty stuffed mushrooms are taking center stage.

Upscale comfort foods are still popular.

Think of mac and cheese grown up with add ins like sun dried tomato, onions, garlic, peppers, and sautéed salami or gourmet grilled cheese. From appetizers to desserts, there’s a place on every menu for some comfort food.


By |October 2nd, 2014|Trend Alert|Comments Off on {Trend Alert} Fall 2014 Food Trends Part 1
  • {Trend Alert} Smarter Snacking {Trend Alert} Smarter Snacking

    {Trend Alert} Smarter Snacking

{Trend Alert} Smarter Snacking

You know the story. You eat great all day only to be attacked by the 3pm snack monster that is urging you to hit up the vending machine for a chocolate bar or a bag of greasy chips. And just like that, your healthy day has gone down the drain.

Here are some of our go-to better for you snack options.

  • Hummus with fresh veggies. Homemade or store bought, hummus is a great source of protein and it’s going to give you some fiber. Fresh veggies give you the crunch you’re looking for with chips without the extra salt and oil.
  • 1-2 ounces of cheese. Avoid highly processed cheese (ahem…cheese in a cellophane wrapper, we’re talking to you!) and stick with cheddar, swiss, or mozzarella. Pair it with some fruit and you’ll get a great balance of protein, fat, and carbs.
  • Fruit and nut bars. Stay away from protein bars that have lists of ingredients a mile long and look for bars where you can actually SEE all the ingredients. They’re calorically dense, but they’re full of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Bonus, they’ll satisfy that sweet tooth too!
  • Almond (or peanut) butter with fresh fruit. Almond butter is like peanut butter’s older sibling. It’s delicious, full of healthy fat, protein, and fiber.
  • Homemade trailmix. While the good old standby full of peanuts and M&M’s can be delicious, it’s much more fun and nutritious to make your own. Load up on heart healthy almonds and walnuts, throw in some coconut flakes, dried fruits, hemp seeds, and even a couple pieces of chocolate. Be sure to portion it out into ¼ cup serving sizes so you don’t eat the whole mix in one sitting!
  • Dark chocolate. Yes, chocolate! The darker the better […]
By |August 14th, 2014|Trend Alert|Comments Off on {Trend Alert} Smarter Snacking
  • Trend Alert: Tea Trend Alert: Tea

    Trend Alert: Tea

Trend Alert: Tea

Tea offers subtle and unexpected twists to both the center of the plate offerings and cocktails. Tea infused menus will be on the rise in 2014. Cocktails and non alcoholic drinks with a flavored tea base will be the rage and will be on every restaurant menu this year. Tea is becoming more popular because of anti oxidants and thousands of flavor varieties. Desserts will be jumping on the tea band-wagon as well. Look for “adult tea slushies”, tea granitas and Tea Infused Cremas in the coming year. Here are a few of our suggestions if you’re looking for something “tea focused” on your next menu: 

• Ginger Cucumber Sunrise: Ginger Tea Infused Simple Syrup, Cucumber Juice, Tequila Blanco, Lemon
• Miniature Bergamot and Brown Butter Scones with Orange Marmalade
• Oolong Smoked Pan Seared Chicken with Szechuan and Five Spice Rub
• Lavender and Chamomile Cake with Blueberry Compote and Lemon Frosting



By |January 30th, 2014|Trend Alert|Comments Off on Trend Alert: Tea
  • Jewell Weddings – Trend Alert: Refined Woodland Jewell Weddings – Trend Alert: Refined Woodland

    Jewell Weddings – Trend Alert: Refined Woodland

Jewell Weddings – Trend Alert: Refined Woodland

Sean Parker’s lavish wedding in Big Sur this past year will surely influence bridal style in 2014!

Trends that the Jewell Wedding Team will expect to see this year include:
• Rustic Fur and Floral Accents. *Floral Crowns instead of Veils.
• Buttercream Wedding Cakes with an “Unfinished” Look
• Wooden Serving Platters
• Whimsical, Petite Bites

By |January 13th, 2014|Trend Alert|Comments Off on Jewell Weddings – Trend Alert: Refined Woodland
  • Trend Alert: Spicy Cuisine Trend Alert: Spicy Cuisine

    Trend Alert: Spicy Cuisine

Trend Alert: Spicy Cuisine

With the rise of condiments like Kim Chi and Siracha, the average palate is quickly becoming more accustom to food that packs a punch! Here are a few menu suggestions for your next special event! *Remember that we can customize a menu that will surely “spice” up your next celebration!

• Ancho Chili Quinoa with Mango Pico De Gallo and Shaved Fresno Pepper

• Lemongrass and Siracha Marinated Shrimp Skewered with Grilled Pineapple

• Dark Chocolate and Chipotle Cookies Dusted with Cinnamon and Powdered Sugar

• Masala Rubbed Artic Char with Ginger, Garam Masala, Coriander, Cumin and Green Chili

By |December 11th, 2013|Trend Alert|0 Comments