Caterers will often include a tasting session in their clients' catering packages, as these appointments can make it easier for clients to select their menu items. If the catering business you've selected has booked you in for one of these sessions, these tips should help.
Don't worry about offending the caterer
It is vital not to be so concerned about offending the caterer that you don't speak up when a particular dish is not to your liking. For example, if you are presented with a sample of some garlic ciabatta that you feel is much too garlicky or which you feel needs several more cloves, you should politely express this to the caterer. Likewise, if you feel that a chicken dish has been presented too plainly and that you would, for instance, like the caterer to drizzle some sauce over the chicken in a decorative manner, then you should say this.
Any good caterer will welcome this polite feedback with open arms. Their aim is to make the food they provide for your event as perfect as they can and so they should be happy for you to give them a detailed critique that will enable them to fine-tune each dish so that it looks, tastes and smells just how you'd like it to. If you spend the session telling them everything tastes nice, when in reality, there are a number of changes you'd like to make to each dish, you'll end up with a catered meal that is pleasant but not particularly memorable.
Taste items in the order in which they'll be eaten at your event
It's best to try each dish in the order in which you would eat it if it were served at your event, as by doing this, you'll be able to determine which dishes work well together. For example, if you taste the caterer's creamy prawn cocktail starter and then follow it up with a sample of the main course, which is carbonara, you might find that these two dishes, both of which are very rich and feature egg (in the form of mayonnaise for the starter and the sauce for the carbonara) makes you feel too full and slightly nauseous, even though each of these dishes individually tastes delicious. If this happens, you might decide to opt for a lighter, more refreshing starter, such as melon and parma ham.
Similarly, if the catering team offers you a sample of the main course of basil-pesto pasta, followed by a basil-and-white-chocolate mousse for dessert, you might find that having a sweet dish that uses this herb, after having eaten it in a savoury dish, feels unpleasantly jarring. In this situation, you might decide to just have the dessert and opt for a tomato or red pepper pesto for the main course instead.
For more information, contact a catering service.