From done-up to down-home, these plates from some of our favorite elite Austin wedding caterers push the envelope of typical wedding food, inviting you and your guests to indulge in a truly exciting food experience. Take a scroll through the creations below to see more about each dish, learn which drinks would pair perfectly and consider the trends for Fall/Winter 2020/2021 weddings.
Spice-rubbed Texas quail, brown butter carrot sauce and spring vegetable succotash
Flavor profile: Quail with a little Texas heat, paired with a sweet earthy sauce.
Perfect drink pairing: Old Fashioned
What are your favorite dishes to make for weddings? Our whole snapper is one of our wedding favorites because it’s quite a spectacle to serve. When a couple orders it, they are typically more adventurous eaters.
What upcoming wedding catering trends do you see for the fall/winter? We are seeing more requests for plated meals as opposed to family style because of the current pandemic.
Photo: Shelley Elena Photography
Farmers beet, melon and tomato salad with butter-poached lobster, cilantro and mint pesto, pickled cucumber ribbons, micro bulls, blood sprout, brioche crisp, olive oil and balsamic “caviar”
Flavor profile: Fresh summer ingredients, citrus, herbs and a touch of spice. Simple balanced flavors — we want to let the ingredients speak for themselves.
Perfect drink pairing: Rosé all day! A nice Malbec rosé, not too sweet, with citrus notes.
What are your favorite dishes to make for weddings? I love our chilé- and pineapple-braised short ribs. The compensation of chilé and pineapple give it a natural sweet and sour flavor. Just a small twist on a classic.
What upcoming wedding catering trends do you see for the fall/winter? Due to the current pandemic, we are naturally anticipating smaller guest counts. While this is a change in some couple’s original vision, this gives them an opportunity to really focus on experiential dining and exploring new menu options that wouldn’t have been as feasible with their larger event. We are looking forward to multiple courses, wine pairings and larger emphasis on the dinner portion of the evening.
Photo: Cory Ryan Photography
Club crab cakes with glazed and grilled honey BBQ shrimp, grilled sea scallops wrapped in applewood smoked bacon and house-made lemon aioli
Flavor profile: We’ve created something simple and delicious, but because of who we are we couldn’t just leave it there. This dish to us is land meets the sea, or fire meets water. You can’t go wrong when fresh seafood meets the grill. It’s fresh, smoky and spicy. Then brightened up with seasonal citrus from our house-made aioli. With a few key twists to the classic crab cake, we’ve elevated it to something over-the-top. We are trendsetters and are obsessed with creating individualized, custom menus and experiences for our clients, and this dish exemplifies that philosophy perfectly.
Perfect drink pairing: Albarino or Chenin Blanc for wine. For cocktails, a NY Sour with a Lambrusco Float or a Mai Tai if you want to get tropical.
What are your favorite dishes to make for weddings? For spring and summer months, we love light and bright fare like a seared gulf snapper with local summer succotash and a bright citrus butter sauce. For the fall and winter months when the temperature drops, we love a grilled Texas ribeye with classic red wine demi-glace or Béarnaise sauce served with nothing other than our famous truffled mac and cheese.
What upcoming wedding catering trends do you see for the fall/winter? The fall and winter are all about served, plated restaurant-style experiences. Family style is out, and elegant affairs with the focus on safety are definitely in.
Photo: Richard Casteel
Grilled lamb and sausage topped with molasses glazed nectarines, served with a side of golden saffron rice, summer beans and carrots with herbs
Flavor profile: The lamb and sausage with their gamey flavors are a pleasant hint of smokiness yielding a rich savoriness while the nectarines with their bright plump juiciness lend aspects of tart sweetness. The carrots and summers beans help round out the dish with their subtle pops of earthy tones while at the same time adding a bit of crunch. Who doesn’t take delight in the lovely aromas of floral and the honeyed notes that saffron imparts to the nuttiness of rice. Finished with a sprinkle of cooling herbs. Yum!
Perfect drink pairing: Absolutely one of our wines from our very own Salt Lick Cellars. High Plains Drifter is a blend of Mourvèdre, carignan, cunsant, and syrah featuring grapes from the Texas High Plains. It is a medium-bodied red with bright fruit tones making it a delightful wine to pair with our dish. It also makes for a great front porch sipper, with or without the food.
What are your favorite dishes to make for weddings? Always and forever, barbeque! We also love working with our clients to make something unique and special, from customized appetizers to vegetarian options.
What upcoming catering trends do you see for the fall/winter? Earthy tones, nutty grains and smokey meats with pops of freshness.
Photo: Cory Ryan Photography
Duck confit with three-cheese grits and micro veggies
Flavor profile: Duck confit is a classic French dish that is prepared by braising the duck in fat. Duck has a rich, mellow flavor that can be closely compared to beef. Paired with the creaminess and cheesy flavor of the grits, this dish is a perfect comfort food for the fall. Adding the micro veggies lightens up the richness of the dish with fresh colors you wouldn’t typically see.
Perfect drink pairing: A lovely pinot noir.
What are your favorite dishes to make for weddings? We love to take traditional dishes and give them a modern flair. Some of our favorites are beef tenderloin with a Café de Paris compound butter, charred broccolini with heirloom carrots & herb gremolata and potatoes lyonnaise. We also love working with couples to create custom seasonal menus.
What upcoming wedding catering trends do you see for the fall/winter? Couples are choosing more chef-attended stations. Small plates that are being built by a chef in front of guests gives a variety of dishes and allows the guests to be interactive. We are also seeing a return to more classic cocktails for specialty drinks like a Negroni, Old Fashioned, Manhattans and timeless champagne cocktails.
Photo: Lisa Hause Photography
Pan-seared pork tenderloin accompanied by a roasted vegetable medley and smoked scalloped potatoes, topped with a creole mustard sauce
Flavor profile: This is a comforting dish with lots of umami up front from the pork loin and potatoes. The vegetables lighten and brighten the dish by bringing harmony to the plate.
Perfect drink pairing: The perfect pairing for this dish is an Oregon pinot noir or a crisp ice cold pilsner.
What are your favorite dishes to make for weddings? Our favorite dishes to make for weddings all fall in the comfort food category, including dishes like braised short ribs, scalloped potatoes and roasted vegetables, all of which create a family atmosphere of love and sharing.
What upcoming wedding catering trends do you see for the fall/winter? Now more than ever, we are appreciating that weddings and celebrations are what brings us together. We are expecting smaller, more intimate weddings to cater during the upcoming fall and winter seasons. We feel couples will just be happy to celebrate with their close friends and family they haven’t seen in person all year. Couples will most likely be selecting foods that give everyone a warm and cozy feeling, since this year has been filled with so much uncertainty.
Photo: Courtesy of Noble Catering
Caprese fried green tomato topped with fresh burrata, heirloom tomatoes, balsamic reduction, basil oil and micro basil
Flavor profile: This dish packs a punch in each incredible bite! What makes this appetizer such a delicious bite is that it has a great balance of all the key flavor profiles and also has an interesting contrast of textures – the fried green tomatoes have a slight sour taste or bitterness which is balanced by the rich, sweet flavor of the heirloom cherry tomatoes and also the complex sweetness of the velvety balsamic reduction. These flavors are enhanced with the saltiness of the crisp cornmeal crust and the creamy fresh mozzarella, which also balances out the acidity of the tomatoes.
Perfect drink pairing: A sparkling rose would go well because the acidity would stand up to the acid in the tomatoes and also pair well with the richness of the fried green tomato.
What are your favorite dishes to make for weddings? We love creating custom dishes that represent the couple’s tastes or style. It also pushes us to think outside the box to try out a new dish or food fusion that we haven’t executed before. It’s what makes the event that much more special.
What upcoming wedding catering trends do you see for the fall/winter? We’ll see smaller, intimate dinner parties. And we are offering appetizer cones so there is no cross-contamination with passed hors d’oeuvres, and it offers a more substantial appetizer.
Photo: Shelley Elena Photography
Is your mouth watering yet? See even more of our fave flavors from these talented Austin wedding caterers on our Instagram page @bridesofaustin! Looking for the perfect team to cater your big day? Take a look at our recommended caterers. Happy munching!