The following is an interview of Jim Hagy, owner of Chef’s Market with the Nashville Event Planner Group where he discusses catering trends.

Vendor Spotlight-Chef’s Market

September 13, 2012 Posted in Vendor Spotlight

We had the honor of talking with Jim the owner at Chef’s Market. They offer such a wide variety of foods and catering options for today’s brides. Check out more info about Chef’s Market below.

How did you get into catering?

Growing up in a restaurant, I developed a real love for the business and naturally pursued this profession. While in college studying hospitality management, a pastime of mine was designing restaurants around buildings or locations that caught my eye. For fun I would write menus, layout the building, and imagine the décor down to the staff uniforms. Later, after leaving a career in restaurant concept research and development, opening an out of the box restaurant and catering company was naturally the next step. The catering biz is similar with each new event an opportunity to create and design a new look and menu. For me, and like every wedding planner I have the pleasure of knowing, making people happy is very gratifying.

What are some different options for catering that you offer brides?

At Chef’s Market, we offer an endless number of options. After a consultation with the bride and planner, we take pride in designing a customized menu and service plan. The personal taste of the bride and groom, the season (which dictates what foods the freshest and best), the style and logistic specific of the venue, the décor and the budget are all considered by our sales staff.

What are some new things you are working on for 2012?

In the last quarter of 2012 there will be several exciting new venues opening and Chef’s Market will be the exclusive catering company for a couple of them. Look for announcements soon.

What are you’ll seeing popular in catering in 2012?

Couples today have more sophisticated palettes, yet still desire a causal comfortable environment for their guests. This trend mirrors the gastro-pub explosion in the restaurant business and dovetails perfectly with what we have been doing at Chef’s Market for years- providing affordable, chef quality, re-engineered classics presented with flair. Bold flavors will continue to be a trend with brides bravely going more and more out on the limb. To continue pushing the envelope, we will see an almost retro like return by chefs to fusion offerings. … a move not to the over-worked, mixed up fusion mess of the 90s, but to a simpler more thoughtful approach to bumping up and re-inventing dishes by mixing cooking methods and cuisines.

Other miscellaneous trends: Food presented on kraft paper lined wooden boards

Warm presentation, baked plates

Lush colors in linen and lighting.

Dessert carts instead of dessert tables

Fun mini desserts offering guests more variety and fun interaction with a smaller cake for the bride & groom to cut.

Artisan cocktails service: Hand-crafted cocktails trumping cutesy mixed drinks for signature drinks.

Classic seated dinners coupled with a modern spin on classic design but more contemporary menus

Grooms more centrally involved in the planning.

What catering trends do you wish would die?

It’s sure to outlive me, but I wish for the demise of fruit and cheese tray.

Tell me why brides should choose Chef’s Market.

At Chef’s Market our food is amazing, our service fine tuned, and our tablescaping and food presentation are second to none, but our best attribute is that we really LISTEN to what our planners and brides want. Although it is more work for me and my team, we try to never use cookie cutter packages, are constantly searching for new approach in food and presentation and sincerely enjoy helping planners create the perfect custom event plan. After many years, this is still my dream job.

Some personal questions about Jim:

Mac or PC PC at work, Mac at home

Tea or Coffee  Coffee

iPhone or Blackberry  iPhone

Favorite Song Right Now Alabama Shakes “Hold On”

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