Concept Food is a innovative catering and food solution company, using state of the art cooking techniques to optimize the results and make the ingredients the star of the dish. Concept Food Catering was founded by Neil van Zyl in 2018. He worked in some of the top establishments in South Africa brushing arms with some of the best Chefs. He travelled abroad through Ubuntu to work in the prestigious 5 Diamond Awarded Breakers Resort in Palm Beach Florida. In the hotel, he worked at various restaurants but fell in love with banquets.
The Covid-19 crisis has contributed greatly to the strange times which we are living in. That said, I think we should keep in mind the consequences the pandemic is having on the industry when determining trends. As results have shown, micro weddings are becoming quite the trend and paths the way for the future of 2021 weddings. Furthermore, because of the lasting effects of Covid-19, more attention will be drawn to clean and sanitary cooking conditions. Consequently, buffets, family style and harvest tables will be a thing of the past.
We as caterers should start thinking more creatively about what we offer to the public, and how we can offer a great experience while also serving our food in an interesting way. In our opinion, people will lean more to individual portions in that they will rather choose a bamboo boat over a platter in order to maintain minimum contact, which in turn is also a great way to focus on presentation and the creation of more intense flavours. We are able to do this as we have a greater vessel to our disposal.
Canapé Food Bowls
A trend which we have been following lately and one which we can see growing in the future are canapé food bowls. We give our clients the option to choose one of our many themes created for these bowls, for example Indian Curry Satay Bowls and Mexican Nacho Salad Bowls.
Another trend we are trying to embrace is fun foods in the form of food trucks, serving burgers and chips. The idea with fun food is to have more than one cart or station serving various meals throughout the evening, rather than having a set plated meal. This will, however, leave a gap in the catering aspect, and we will have to fill the void of family style or harvest tables by incorporating fun foods. Grab and go stations will be in high demand, as less contact is, once again, involved.
Dessert will have a more theatrical style to it and will end the evening off with a big bang. Times are changing and so is comfort food, as it is now being prepared in a very modern trendy way and is becoming more and more acceptable to have at your modern-day micro wedding.
Lastly, ‘support local’ is one of the biggest movements and trends in the catering industry at the moment. This sits well with clients as they now know exactly where the caterer sources its produce from. As this pandemic had a devastating effect on everyone, people are more likely to support local and assist each other.
With the majority of regulations unclear, clients will have to opt for smaller weddings with less guests so social distancing can be adhered to. International travel is only predicted to open early next year and some countries may prohibit travel to South Africa, so initially, clients will, I think, choose more intimate weddings as opposed to waiting another season to get married.
Like most caterers, we lost almost a full season of work due to the Covid19 outbreak. Most weddings moved to dates in 2021 and 2022, leaving very little space for new bookings during prime season time. Hopefully more clients will entertain the idea of winter weddings. The allure of slow food; oxtail, smoked meats, Karoo lamb pies, Intense spice flavours, charred vegetables, warm winter salads and of course seriously good red wine, could entice a few couples to ditch the sunny months, coat up and enjoy indoor fires with great food. As a chef it also allows us explore food flavours and also utilise less “desirable” cuts of meat and vegetables to create complex flavour profiles while still producing a delicious, wedding worthy meal.
Vegetarian and Vegan menus
Gone are the days of a few scorned upon vegetarians at weddings, we have noticed a massive surge of plant based menu requests, A challenge we are very excited by and are developing some new menus and products for any requests that come our way.
Pre-Packed, Pre-Reception Boxes
I believe couples will be cautious of having roaming canapés or graze tables, there is just too much hand to mouth interaction at these stations. So really beautifully packaged, canapé or graze boxes for individuals may become a solution to this. Also picnics in the summer months would be a good way to smaller groups enjoying pre reception food, a good way to keep groups under X amount.
For the last couple seasons, we have had the majority of our clients choose the very popular family style dining option for their mains, all the food beautifully presented on platters and the guests share. Plated menus will make a comeback again due to Covid19. There will be less interaction and it will be a safe way to get delicious food to the guests. Saying this, while some clients want more rustic themed food, so creative ways of plating more relaxed menus will have to be thought about.
Over the past three years our chefs have been inundated with lists of food preferences and special dietary requirements from wedding guests. Most bride & groom’s common concerns to our chefs is to make sure that each and every guest is well catered for. Hence, gone are the days of everyone eating what is put in front of them. We have noticed that people are being more conscious about their food preferences & dietaries, which is the obvious result of the growing food culture, social media, product awareness and environmental responsibilities.
We at Food Fanatics pride ourselves in a green kitchen. We constantly strive towards a lighter carbon footprint by recycling and disposing of any veg or fruit waste in our worm garden which nourishes The Homestead’s vegetable & herb garden. All our fish is locally and sustainably sourced, and our chefs continue to support small local suppliers.
Response to Covid 19
As for ‘Post Pandemic’ catering prediction, you will find caterers advising on menus with limited sharing. For instance, you may see popular Harvest Tables menus set out differently. Instead of guests helping themselves to platters, masked service staff will help serve. The traditional 3-course individually plated menu might make a strong comeback where canapes will be replaced by bowl food so each guest has their own utensil and plate/bowl.
We at Food Fanatics offer ‘one on one’s’ with our Bride’s & Groom’s to create menus that meet these for every changing food requirements, while still being able to keep within one’s theme, wedding season and ultimately the tasty and wholesome food that we are so passionate about!
It’s important that you gather as much information from your guests regarding dietary requirements. Add a section to your RSVP’s for guests to note their food allergies or dietary requirements.
At Food Fanatics we are celebrating over 21 years as the Cape’s favourite caterers.
A highly personalised catering service combining knowledge and expertise with unique customer requirements.
We are fuelled by passion and ambition to approach every wedding with creativity and meticulous attention to detail.