by Vrej Sarkissian, CEO of Anoush Catering
You’ve picked a date, picked your venue, and now it’s time to pick the plates. (And no, not the plates for your registry!) Crafting a menu for your wedding and the subsequent tasting sessions with your caterer contenders is literally the most delicious part of the wedding planning process.
To get the most out of your tasting sessions and make the best food choices for your event, I’ve compiled a list of my tips on what to look for, what to ask for, and how to keep track of it all.
1. Request the caterer’s specialty
Your caterer’s best and tastiest dishes might not be something you would normally consider. But one taste might blow you away and have you rewriting your potential menu. Ask the caterer which dishes they think they do best!
2. Pay attention to presentation
Your caterer should present dishes as they would be plated on the day of the event. Are edges of the plates clean and free of splatters? How are dishes garnished? Edible flowers, herbs, or no garnish? Attention to detail during the tasting is a good indicator of how smoothly things will go at your event!
3. Bring a camera and take notes
You’ll taste so many dishes you might forget what you liked (and didn’t like) about each. Take pictures of each dish you taste and jot down a few notes. A simple 1 to 10 rating system is another effective way to keep track of your taste buds’ preferences.
4. Don’t eat alone
Tastes differ, and dishes that taste fantastic to you might not to your partner. If your tasting fee allows it, bring a few people to help you taste and rate the dishes. Just keep your tasting group small to avoid too many competing opinions that may cloud your final judgment.
5. Dish-to-dish comparison
If you’re deciding between caterers, ask for the same or similar dishes from each one. When all other things are equal, this final taste test will be the deciding factor.
6. One final tip: arrive hungry!
Don’t schedule two tastings on the same day, or right after lunch or dinner. A full stomach will dull your sense of taste and reduce your ability to discern flavor nuances. Plus, you’ll be so busy on your wedding day this might be your only chance to eat the food you’ll be serving (not that we’d recommend skipping dinner at your wedding)!