When it comes to wedding menus, a classic three-course sit down meal may not be your style. But what about freshly made tacos or delicious artisan ice cream for dessert? It’s your big day, so when better to let your creative culinary flag fly? Here are four fabulously fun wedding food ideas we can’t wait to try.
According to Toby McConchie, founder of Melbourne-based Nica Tacos, a specialty taco caterer, couples are really starting to let their imaginations run wild when it comes to deciding on the menus for their big days.
“I think there’s now a bigger focus on having fun at weddings,” says chief Taco Slinger Toby. “We’ve even seen jumping castles at weddings – and they’ve been for the adults!
“People want to relive their youths or just have a really fun day that’s anything but formal and the landscape for everything with weddings is changing, not just food” he says.
“Weddings are so much more relaxed, which allows for couples to think outside the box when it comes to what food will be served – and couples are no longer assuming they have to provide guests with a traditional three-course meal.”
Here are four alternate wedding food ideas Toby says every couple should consider when planning their menus.
From the fresh ingredients to the ability to pick up your meal in just one hand, tacos are all about having fun and are perfect if you’re looking for a casual vibe at your wedding.
“The concept is about having a good time and having great food, rather than the wedding looking prim and proper. It’s like a fiesta. It’s about having a party and it’s about a carnival,” explains Toby, who whips up between 500 and 1000 tacos a week.
In 2010, Toby and his partner Kate Tory decided to take a break from their hectic jobs as restaurant managers in some of London’s top gastropubs and headed for a seaside town in Nicaragua in Central America.
During the trip, the pair befriended am affable local, who taught them how to cook authentic tacos, which is, basically, food wrapped in a soft flour tortilla. Using his own recipe and a unique rotating Nicaraguan army stove, the man introduced Toby and Kate to the country’s fresh herbs and spices, as well as their astoundingly tasty meat dishes.
Fast forward to several years later and armed with mouth watering recipes, the pair returned to Melbourne to launch Nica Taco, which now serves hungry people at festivals, markets, parties and of course, weddings.
They cater for myriad diets, from meat eaters (their 12-hour slow-cooked beef is to die for) and vegetarians to vegans. Most everything is made in-house, including Nico Taco’s mouth-watering chipotle and El Salvadorian BBQ sauces.
In addition to the fun factor of tacos, couples don’t need to worry about the logistics of dealing with plates and cutlery, as vendors usually supply their own disposable sets for the day.
In fact, Kate explains that Nica Taco was designed so the whole concept could be walked in through a doorway into any event – all that’s required is a 3 x 3 metre space. The pair don’t even need a kitchen, as they bring in their own stove and water.
“We come in, we cook everything fresh on the premises and then we leave and you don’t have to wash a single thing. The only thing you have to worry about the next day is your hangover!” says Toby.
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These fried nuggets of sugary goodness are very much on-trend at the moment and they can actually be used in a number of ways for weddings.
“Consider a huge tower of doughnuts in lieu of a traditional wedding cake or a bountiful doughnut dessert bar,” says Toby who, increasingly, sees couples ditching the traditional wedding cake for less conventional fare such as doughnut towers and doughnut platters.
They could be popped into favour bags for your guests or paired with milk for a sweet late-night supper.
“You could even serve cute little doughnut holes or on skewers – with sprinkles to suit your wedding’s colour scheme, of course,” adds Toby, who has been running Nico Taco for four and a half years now.
Everyone remembers the familiar tinkle of Greensleeves as the ice-cream truck swung by when you were a kid. Now you can relive those fond memories by hiring a sweet retro ice-cream van for your wedding.
Whether you choose to have the van roll up between the ceremony and reception or as the dessert option for your wedding, it’s bound to put a smile on your guests’ faces.
“Ice cream as a dessert at weddings is pure fun, but we’ve seen a marked increase in the number of artisan flavours on offer,” adds Toby.
“Among my favourites of late has been creme brulee ice cream and, wait for it, baklava flavoured ice cream. Yes, baklava ice cream!’
“Picnic meals are the perfect way to feed guests attending a beautiful summer garden wedding – and they’re fun, relaxed and informal. Plus, they’re a seriously kid-friendly option, too,” says Kate who has worked in some of London’s top eateries.
“You could organise to have blankets spread on the grass and guests could enjoy picnic baskets filled with delicious antipasto treats and bottles of wine – with tacos as the main, of course.”
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