From Chef Adam Byrne: Of The Season – Time for the Holidays

The following is an archived post

Holidays bring family and friends together but it is the food that makes them stay. With that being said, the menu planning becomes a major priority.

Planning goes above and beyond just the food. You should consider timing of not only the dining event but the prep and setup. Equipment and décor come next, so remember to engage all five senses. Finally. the guest list needs to be considered and invites must go out.

As you plan your menus, speak to the local harvest and infuse these seasonal treasures to complement your staple items. The focus should always be about creating a wow experience for your guests while featuring well balanced and flavorful offerings. Whether you are planning a full dinner, brunch or just cocktail party, try to make the menu interactive so the guests enjoy the full culinary experience.

After the menu is finalized, the prep and execution begins. A smart host ensures the menu can be prepped in advance and finished quickly to allow time to mingle with the guests.

Some menu suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:

Starters Local Artisanal Cheeses, Seasonal Fruit Purees, Spiced Nuts, Bread Crisps Seasonal Soup Shooters – Butternut Squash or Wild Mushroom Bisque Chickpea Fries, Roasted Pepper Aioli

Salads Baby Spinach, Endive, Roasted Pear and Walnut Salad, Pomegranate Vinaigrette Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, Potato and Goat Cheese Tart, topped with Arugula Salad

Entrees Steak and Mushroom Pie, Peppercorn Demi Roasted Turkey Breast, Cranberry Ginger Chutney, Cornbread Dressing Fennel Pollen Crusted Wild Salmon, Roasted Tomato Olive Relish

Sweet Endings Mini Pumpkin Pies, Vanilla Bean Gelato Caramelized Apple, Ricotta Cheese and Pistachio Croustade Poached Fall Fruits over Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

Additional tips for success:

  1. A smaller portion encourages sampling and lively conversation.

  2. Think about guest flow and set up a designated area for used service vessels.

  3. Implement seasonal décor and ensure you are identifying any special dietary needs.

Nothing celebrates the season more than food. So remember, when getting ready for the upcoming holiday season, always Eat, Learn and Live food and you will leave behind satisfied, happy and smiling faces.

#holidays #menuplanning

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