Five Trends from the 2013 Catersource Conference & Tradeshow


Welcome back, caterers! Here’s hoping you had a marvelous time at the Mirage and the LVCC and took away many trends, ideas and connections that can help make your business better. We picked up many ideas that we’ll use throughout the magazine and on during the year. Here are five trends that we heard on the Tradeshow floor and in our sessions.


The winning entry from the AFR Design Challenge demonstrates elegance with splashes of cool color.

Dan Smith's designs from the Harmony Party bring thematic elements to floral designs and cool colors.

Dan Smith’s designs from the Harmony Party bring thematic elements to floral designs and cool colors.

1. Colors and Design: Cool glam. Perhaps inspired by green light and cool blues of The Great Gatsby or strictly rooted in the predictions of the wizards at Pantone, we spotted greens, blues and purples all over the Tradeshow floor. Color expert Kate Kovalick Patay at Creative Coverings showed off a glamorous mannequin dressed in elegant cool colors on the Tradeshow floor and talked about combining simplicity and luxury; the furnishings at the AFR Design Challenge reflected her predictions.

2. Trendy New Ingredients: In the session Haute Food Trends for 2013, Karen O’Connor predicted sweet and savory oats would burst onto the scene. Gluten-free, versatile and delicious, O’Connor’s been experimenting with oats at the trendsetting as the executive chef at Daniel et Daniel in Montreal, QC, maintaining that they’re usable in more than just oatmeal and cookies. (We’ll start compiling some recipes in Catersource, but in the meantime, stay tuned!)

3. Hybridizing a Tablescape: Get prepared to combine hard, mechanical elements of your design into more natural elements. In many of the tabletop competition entries, as well as in some on-stage designs, the hardness of metal and ersatz human creations was nestled into an abundance of flowers. Wires and glossy metals flowed into overabundant florals. Call it Steampunk or Natural Hybrid, it’s an aesthetic that I can get behind.


An entry from the Tabletop Competition

4. Demanding Your Worth: This is always a theme at Catersource, but many sessions and speakers at the Conference focused on keeping the clients that you want– while charging them what you’re worth. With the past few years in hindsight, our speakers discouraged discounts and encouraged businesses to go after healthy profits. We know you love what you do, but it’s the going after what you love that makes it all worthwhile.

5. Slow and Low Cooking Styles: Whether it was Sous Vide or Smoking, caterers espoused styles that could keep food tastier, juicier and well preserved for longer. Get ready for an article on Barbecue and Smoking in the March/April issue of Catersource magazine for more information.


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