Exotic cuisines, live stations, sugar-free desserts. Food at weddings has moved from the typical dal makhni, shahi paneer and pizza to something much more challenging and intriguing.
Mexican, Italian and Chinese cuisines at the wedding feast are passé. The emphasis is no longer on the popular, but on the exotic, says Ramesh Dang, CEO of Seven Seas Foods.
“The idea is to offer authentic delicacies from across the globe,” says Dang. “Risotto stations, mezze counters and spicy feta salad stalls are popular. Chefs are incorporating cultural diversity into food, transforming simple traditional flavours into something more delectable. So a simple aloo gobi changes into curried cauliflower puree with roasted potato cups, and traditional cheelas are served as brown rice pancakes.”
Ice sculptures at salad bars
Conventional dessert favourites like gulab jamun and ras malai have been replaced with panna cotta and tiramisu. Risotto and empanadas have replaced aloo tikkis and seekh kebabs.
"Even Italian has gone beyond pizza and pasta to raviolis and polenta," says Ishan Gupta, director, Tivoli Group. "Live stations even include an elaborate spread just for eggs, offering dishes like frittatas, quiches, Eggs Benedict and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon."
Buffets are a complete no-no. Instead, a more personalised French, Italian or Japanese style of service is preferred.
Health and festive
“Sugar-free and gluten-free are key words,” says executive chef Nishant Choubey from Dusit Devarana. Farm fresh and organic are also top priorities. Nothing beats the taste of fresh, fully ripened tomatoes for your bruschettas or pastas and hearty seasonal Michigan apples for your fresh fruit bar.
Sushi platters are making waves at weddings
Alcohol-free weddings are also in vogue, with bars serving a variety of flavoured drinks, such as cardamom-cinnamon scented hot chocolate, mint citrus and so on instead. "Quinoa, oatmeal and first- pressed coconut oil are in demand," says Choubey. "MSG and even regular salt are out. Himalayan red salt or sea salt are trendy instead."
The portion sizes are perfect and the amount of creativity they encourage is unlimited. “Filo dough ‘cupcakes’ offer sweet and savoury in one plate. Think booze-laden cupcakes for adults for an extraordinary bite of flavour at the table,” says Dang.
The emphasis is no longer on the conventional but on the exotic desserts
Few guests stay for the actual wedding rituals, which tend to take place long after midnight. So small cakes or snacks for guests who do stay on late is the new trend. Should the wedding rituals take place so late at night that it’s actually the next morning, champagne brunches are high on the list.
From HT Brunch, November 16
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch