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The Chef's Table

Street Food!

We asked what you wanted us to blog about and it seems that street food is at the top of your agenda. Now we’re really good at eating it but thought that you might want a different angle covered so we went straight to a Caterer that is serving this up throughout the year as well as a Wedding Consultant to give us some advice with the styling. We asked The Chef’s Table and White Button Weddings what the appeal of street food is and how it works at a wedding?

The Chef’s Table; Street food stalls are a brilliant way to introduce different and exciting food to your wedding. We recommend three to four stations for a nice variety of food, ideally in an informal setting for your guests to graze at over 2 to 3 hours. By having a variety of food stations set up and a 2-3 hour serving period your guests really can relax and quite literally graze as and when they want to. This is informal and relaxed at its best so your guests can really soak up the experience and have some fun. It totally negates the need for queuing because let’s face it, queuing is never fun and should definitely not be done at a wedding!

Brook Farm; In terms of having a seating plan and serving street food, would this work?

The Chef’s Table;
We can serve sharing platters of street food to the tables so it can work for a sit down meal if this is what you want. Often a lot of the fun of having street food is the grazing part where guests wander between food stations whilst mingling so you probably want to establish what kind of vibe you want. It is quite common for couples to have a meal served to the tables and then have street food stations for the evening food ~ by serving street food you are offering an experience to your guests as well as the actual food so it is almost like another form of entertainment.

White Button Weddings; Street food is great for the more informal wedding where people can graze throughout a set period of time and definitely works best without a seating plan – half the fun is going up to the different stations and seeing what’s on offer.

If you’re having an early start to your wedding day, street food catering could work on arrival with a longer drinks reception. Guests can arrive and tuck into a selection of yummy food with drinks, play some outdoor games, enjoy some nice entertainment, listen to speeches etc and then sit down later on for the main meal. This works particularly well when the street food is done as small bites – mini burgers, mini bowls of curry etc. A perfect little taster of dishes to keep guests going throughout the afternoon until the main meal is served later on.

If you are going for the main meal to start with, then you can switch it around and it works equally well as evening food. After a day of drinking, by 9/10pm it’s the perfect time to bring out some yummy hot food and street food is the perfect way to provide this while keeping it a bit more fun and interesting.

Brook Farm; Ok, so you have the street food stations but how does it work in terms of crockery, service etc.

The Chef’s Table;
All of the street food is served in bio disposable dishes so the guests just go to the food station to get their food as and when they fancy it. At the Chefs Table, we would advise making sure you have enough staff to go round and clear the dishes away once your guests have eaten. It keeps everything looking tidy and even the most relaxed event will have staff there doing these things, probably unnoticed to most, but it makes sure the whole experience is as pleasant as possible. It will feel relaxed and all seem very straight forward but without the staff clearing, it can quickly become quite messy and appear disorganised.

White Button Weddings;
Street food stations can also be a great way to create some really fun styling and fab focal points. Stations can be set up to incorporate styling of the different themes and places, and food can be served in unique ways to match that theme – it doesn’t all need to be served in the same dishes and it’s always fun to incorporate chop sticks and lovely Chinese bowls for noodles, fish and chips in newspaper cones and so on.

Brook Farm; Finally, I can imagine that some of our couples may be a bit stumped about the main meal now. They’re still looking for non-traditional and fun food but quite like the idea of having the more formal table plan and speeches. What do you suggest?

The Chef’s Table; There are still an array of fun, tasty dishes that can be served as your main meal. What sometimes happens is people have been to weddings and experienced food that is not of a great standard. So really it is about doing your research for the right caterer. Recommendations are a great introduction and you can then liaise with them to work out the finer details of what you want. Your couples may be scared of having what is unfortunately quite common, some bland wedding food – we’ve all been to those weddings where the food is just not that impressive. It is almost expected that you will be served something quite average and that really does not need to be the case. As well as recommendations, a good caterer should offer you a menu tasting and we are lucky enough to have our shop so our couples can actually come along on a weekly basis to try our street food take-aways. Once you have confidence in your caterer and know that you will be getting the flavour and quality that you deserve, the menu selection can then be far easier as you just choose what you fancy.

So, although street food can work with a table plan it seems like the whole essence of the street food vibe is that your guests are going to have the freedom to meander amongst themselves. Street food does work well at weddings but if you are having a formal table plan, more often than not street food is chosen as the evening food and will give your guests an experience as well as some really tasty food. We’re sold. And feeling hungry! Love the idea of serving up a big fat flavour punch with some street food and how cool is it to amble amongst the different food stations soaking up the vibrant smells from each stand? Something different. A nod to the festival style. Amazing food. Another experience for your guests. Your wedding will be fun, it will be different and it will taste GOOD!

Brook Farm Cuffley