Bride Sues Caterer for Inadequate Menu Options

As an Event Planner who specializes in food, I was shocked to hear about this bride in Australia, and wanted to weigh in.  To quickly summarize the story, the bride was vegetarian, and sued her caterer for neglecting to serve an adequate vegetarian menu. 

My piece of advice is, if you are vegetarian or vegan, choose a caterer who specializes in that food!  Sounds obvious, but this particular bride hired a “dude food” van, who by this account, specialized in burgers.  While I am a big fan of the “late night bites”, burgers as the main offering does not quite match the occasion, in my opinion.  There are several different cuisines and menu options, whatever your budget, that could have been a better fit. 

If any guests have specialty diets, you must let your caterer know as soon as possible, and up front – these days, most diets, including coeliacs can be accommodated. 

Advice to the caterer – make it work!  No matter the event, client, or confirmed menu – always have a vegetarian option.  If you want to surpass expectations, a vegan/vegetarian option that would satisfy both is a great idea. 

 

Here are some Vegan/Vegetarian menu items that I love:

Buddha Bowl
Saffron Rice, Edamame, Beet Hummus, Roasted Sweet Potato, Roasted Broccoli, Purple Cabbage & Peanut Sauce & Thai Basil

Summer Rolls
Marinated Tofu, Vermicelli Noodle, Mint, Cashew Dipping Sauce

Gardener’s Pie
Roasted Winter Vegetables, French Lentils, Sautéed Broccolini & Kale,
Braised Butternut Squash, Phyllo Pastry, toasted Pistachios

 

To my fellow planners/readers out there - have you faced this challenge?  I'd love to hear about it! 

Why hire an Event Coordinator?

I am here to empower you, the host, in overcoming overwhelm, so you can truly enjoy the occasion you are celebrating!  I collaborate with my clients as much as they need me to – and am happy to be a part of the brainstorm, inspiration, and vendor sourcing process.  If you already have elements that you’d like me to work with – whether that is your home as a venue, or a multi-platinum artist singing ‘Happy Birthday’ – fine with me! 

Events are ultimately an expression of your hospitality – a gracious host, a gathering of people – all need food!  This element is my specialty, from menu development, to rentals, execution and service.  Whatever the occasion, big or small, there is never a missed opportunity to have great food that generates conversation and connection. 

A mentor of mine always said, “you are only as good as those you surround yourself with” – and so, for each celebration, I endeavor to put together the best team of Creatives and Artists to execute your vision.  I look forward to being a part of your special event!

The Importance of Food at an Event:

I was lucky enough to cultivate a love for food travelling with my parents from a young age – Ramen in Japan, Peking Duck in Beijing, “Barbie” Shrimp in Australia, and to this day, nothing is more satisfying than a British Sunday Roast – Yorkshire pudding and all.  This love and interest grew working alongside arguably the greatest catering kitchens in Los Angeles – and the Chef’s that commanded them.

Events are ultimately about hospitality – the earliest forms of this go back to biblical times when people open their homes to guests, even strangers and break bread.  This sharing of food is what the rest of hospitality is based around – a gracious host, a gathering of people, conversation and connections.  Don’t underestimate the power and value of the food – many events are built around what is being served – from the deliciously simple tea sandwiches at a luncheon, to the wedding banquet – who has a wedding without food?  No one.  It’s not just about feeding people – its about hosting them. 

Menu development is a joy to me – the creativity, collaboration with a Chef and then to taste it all in the end makes the process well worth it.  Whatever the occasion, big or small, there is never a missed opportunity to do something surprising.

  • A continental breakfast doesn’t need to be blasé – there’s so much room for creativity with food!  Think outside the “breadbox” – scones, artisan breads, spreads and fruits elevate a guest’s options. 
  • Instead of a plated dinner – try specialty food stations – people get to intermix, mingle, and talk about the food – what a great icebreaker!
  • This can be applied to your smaller at home gatherings too - having the girls over for “wine & cheese”?  Change it up with sake & sushi!