?LAIDBACK, CASUAL, NO FUSS,”
SAY PROPRIETORS AT THE PREMIER
RESTAURANTS AND CATERERS IN THE
USVI. WHEN IT COMES TO CATERING
YOUR WEDDING IN THE CARIBBEAN, LESS
IS MORE. CONTEMPORARY CARIBBEAN
BRIDES OPT FOR CASUAL FOOD SERVICE.
Randolph Maynard owns Amalia Caf? in St. Thomas with his wife Helga. Their Spanish style cuisine is certainly traditional, but changing times have the Maynards redesigning their style.
?People are not so formal anymore; they like platters, they like things laid out, and presented?easy, individual things that they can just pick at,? he says.
Randolph noted that couples are more frequently serving buffet style and small bites.
The owners of Nibbs Catering, LLC have also noticed that today?s USVI bride prefers a casual style. Chef Larry Nibbs estimates that there?s been roughly a 40 percent increase of beach weddings, suggesting that maybe food service isn?t the only thing that?s becoming more laid back about USVI weddings.
His wife Samantha, also a chef, notes that in the hot sun, drinks are just as important as food. She mentions that brides consider guests? needs by offering water upon arrival to the ceremony or reception site, particularly lemon water, mint water, or other fruity, herbal infusions.
After dinner is served, traditional wedding cakes have fallen by the wayside as there has been a growing trend for couples to serve cupcakes, or a variety of baked goods, candy, and other sweet treats at a candy bar.
It?s not just what you serve, and how you serve it, though. The success of your wedding food ultimately depends on the quality of the flavors. Once you?ve selected how you?d like to serve your wedding food, you?ll want to start searching for a caterer as soon as possible, as most trusted sources recommend that you cement your wedding food plans a year before the event. Pick someone who caters weddings, not just a venue that serves great food. An experienced wedding caterer will consider how many guests you?ll be serving, and where you?ll be holding your reception as they assist you in your plans.
?See how long they?ve been in business, see their consistency, check their website, send an email, look at how fast they respond to you,? says Larry.?That way, you?ll get a sense not only of the quality of the food, but also the experience of working together. If it is at all possible, schedule a tasting in advance of your wedding.??Looking at a picture on the website is different than tasting it when it?s in front of you,? says Samantha.
If you can?t quite seem to hone in on what you?d like to serve, one option is to consult the St. Thomas Restaurant Group, or a similar restaurant management group. STRG Events Manager Jessica Hume notes that most brides are still undecided when they come to her to brainstorm cuisine options for their big day. Jessica reviews the options from the six restaurant menus at their disposal, and learns about the couple and who will attend the wedding, and begins to design a menu to match their vision.
Another plus to working with a bigger organization such as the St. Thomas Restaurant Group?streamlining.??We have an event packet that we send them,? Jessica says, explaining their simple process. ?It has plated options, buffet options, liquor packages, and any extras.?
Certainly, this sort of packaging makes communication easier, especially with brides from abroad.
Whether you should decide to hire a traditional restaurant, island style caterer, or streamlined restaurant group, the Virgin Islands has a bevy of experienced chefs to help make your day delightful and delicious. – by Amanda Williams, Photo By Life with a View