HARITHAM : IMPORTANCE OF PRESENTATION IN WEDDING CATERING

Haritham catering  in the true sense of the word not only stands for quality food cooked in the right proportions but also encompasses the proper presentation of food and the way it is served. As wedding caterers when we speak about presentation it is not about the food styling or garnishing or the lavish spread of items.

In a wedding where hundreds of guests are to be served these elements – like food styling – cannot come into play beyond a limit. For the simple reason that as guests  begin to come in to eat the only thing foremost in the mind of the wedding caterers is the prompt refilling of items, so that there is no shortage and people don’t have to wait for their fill.

In wedding catering presentation carries along with it a lot of responsibility. Right from draping of the dining tables – if it is a sit down service – cleaning of the tables, use of proper table covers, constant cleaning of spilt food below the tables to the hand wash area being properly maintained, everything is the responsibility and speaks volumes of the wedding caterers calibre and skills.

Service personnel must be in clean attire, complete with gloves and caps. Most important rule to be observed is organised service with minimum verbal communication and clock wise coordination between the team. Shouting across the distance for dishes to be brought in is almost like insulting the guest.

Cleanliness is the essence of wedding catering. Whether it is the physical appearance of the people serving or the neatly stacked containers for serving full attention must be paid to keeping things neatly and in an organised fashion. Dishes ought to be kept covered at all times to avoid unnecessary spoilage.

 


Clearing the area of pests and flies beforehand is a must.

Service Personnel need to be taught the art of serving. Serving is not about reaching all items in the menu to the guest’s plate. It is serving with care the right quantity at the allotted space without spilling or any sign of disrespect to the guest.

It is also important for the service people to know all about the dishes that they dish out. When they are asked what a dish is made of they need to answer clearly about the ingredients.

This is more so important in cases where a guest may be allergic to an ingredient and hence incorrect information could be dangerous.

Catering is a highlight in every wedding because we in India give a lot of importance to the food served for each event in a wedding and as wedding planners we are fully aware of it. Given the multitude of dishes in our cuisine it is a herculean task to bring in the right balance to suit everyone’s taste.

One golden rule that we as wedding caterers follow is to serve the dishes only after the guests are seated. In India we firmly believe that every guest or Aditi is equivalent to God. They need to be looked after well so that they pass on their hearty blessings to the couple.


Guests are present at the event not just for the food. Hence serving them should never be looked upon  as  a chore but as a service to make them feel special and wanted. In any case serving after the guests are seated also helps in giving them what they want and avoid wastage of food.

In case of Buffet,  neat arrangements of counters with clear labelling of each dish is a must. Proper planning of counters is mandatory to avoid a sense of cramptness and lack of elbow space which leaves the guests with a dissatisfied feel , however tasty the food may be.

A Wedding caterer is the representative of the host and it is his duty to make the entire dining experience a wholesome and satisfying one for the guest.  Every small gesture matters and a genuine personal touch is that which differentiates and helps us retain a place in the top wedding caterers in Chennai.

SEER BAKSHANAM – AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF WEDDING CATERING  

In olden days weddings were homely affairs. When a wedding was fixed the entire clan of relatives would arrive a week ahead of the wedding date and partake in the arrangements and pitch in on all fronts.
Wedding catering or event management were unheard of then. The family goldsmith would make the jewels. The family purohit would take care of all the religious proceedings. All the families in the village or community would happily throw open their doors to host the visiting groom’s family and relatives.

No one would wait to be invited and would consider the wedding as one in their family and extend all kinds of assistance.
In the absence of a family cook all the elders would plan and execute the food menu planning well ahead and provide timely and tasty gourmet to the guests.
Since food was and is still an important part of the Indian wedding scenario great efforts and care were taken to impress the guests. Making of the Seer Bakshanam was an important task of wedding catering.

Seer Bakshanam refers to the different sweets and savories given to the groom’s side from the bride’s family. It consisted of several varieties of sweets and savories specific to each community or religion. A certain number in each variety – 21, 51 0r 101 or even more – was expected to be given. 

 

One of the most interesting fact about these items was that all of them were home — made a couple of days before the wedding. For example in a typical South Indian Brahman Family it was common to see huge vessels containing the following sweets and savories filled to the brim – Ladoo, Adirasam, Mysur Pak, Kai Muruku, Mullu Murukku, Then Kuzhal, Maa laadoo etc.

Ladies were greatly talented and knew the exact quantity and quality of ingredients to be used in the making of these awesome delicacies. There was no question of buying anything from outside.
As modernization began this system slowly disappeared. Food and seer bakshanams are all outsourced now and it is considered to be  a painful process to undertake this job. As one of the best wedding planners in Chennai we found that there was a lot at stake as far as delivering the best and tasty Seer Bakshanams,
We as wedding caterers and event planners adopt the age old practices in the making of these goodies with talented artistes – yes thats how we call our team of mamis making all the bakshanams.. Use of quality ingredients and in the right measure goes a long way in keeping the sweetmeats fresh with a longer shelf life.
As wedding caterers  we employ experienced hands and ensure the place of preparation is spic and span and absolutely labor friendly. No compromise is made on the ingredients. Being reputed for giving great service in terms of wedding catering, we personally supervise  everything from procurement to preparation  for we believe that if the output has to be of the highest standard then even minute details have to be taken care of.
For example the process of making the Kai Murukku is an art. Right from getting the perfect rice and grinding it to flour, adding the right amount of roasted urad dal powder,  butter, warm oil and black seasame seeds every process has to be done with care and concentration to get that melt in the mouth crispiness.
When the mix is ready our catering team sets yo work. A small portion of the dough is taken and rolled into twisted strands on flat metal plates in circles.
The number of lines to the circle is generally of odd numbers – 5 , 7, 9 , 11 and so on.
The metal plate is then slid into a huge pan of hot oil. One has to do this very carefully to ensure the murukku does not break or bend.
The temperature of the oil is of great importance.
Once the Murukku is fried a bit it pops out of the plate and the metal plate remains at the bottom of the pan. It is then deftly removed with the help of a long rod . The long rod is used to turn the murukku on either side for even frying.
The fully fried murukku is removed and drained off any excess oil. Preserving the final product and protecting them from ants and pests is an another daunting task  that needs to be given full attention. The secret of it is to have a spotless and clean kitchen.
The happiness that one derives when people recognize you through your service – and products – to come back and compliment you  on the lingering taste in their mouth is the most satisfying moment.
As wedding caterers we realize that certain traditions are unique to our culture. This process of making wedding bakshanams is one such.
Our women are extremely talented and their dexterous fingers can give a lot of top chefs in the world a great complex – for even they cannot take on this challenge and come up trumps.
 To us every cook in our team is an artist whose talent needs to be respected and nurtured. We look forward to carrying forward these unique traditions through Haritham wedding catering for many more years to come..

DECIDING THE MENU : AN INTERESTING PART OF EVENT PLANNING & WEDDING CATERING

Selection of an appropriate Menu plays a major role in the success of an event. Its proper execution being the other major element. As wedding planners having our own catering team in Chennai, Haritham is  known for its innovative creations.  We find most clients are excited about choosing the menu. Only 10% of clients leave it completely to our discretion either due to lack of time or due to living away from home and not knowing the trend or simply because of a lack of interest.

In the normal course of discussion with any wedding caterer the initial enthusiasm of the client tends to include all types of dishes into a packed menu. When you are considered as one among the best wedding planners – cum –  caterers in Chennai we have a lot of responsibility in convincing are urban clients about the need for a crisp and appealing menu.

 

Clients who perform weddings in their ancestral village or town lean more towards traditional dishes whereas clients based in Chennai tend to get a bit overboard in mixing cuisines.  It is then our duty to advice on what would be an ideal choice and the best appreciated too.

 

For a recent engagement that we did the client was very clear about he menu they wanted. It was an evening event and they were particular about having only tiffin items in the menu.

The following was the menu suggested by us and agreed upon by them:

Snacks 4-6 pm
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Cheese corn ball

Musk Mellon juice

Coffee

Tiffin Dinner 7 pm – 10 pm
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Rabdi  with Malpuvaa

Kasi halwa

Adapradaman

Veg Bonda

Vegetable idly, coconut chutney, sambar,

Andra pesarat

Ginger chutney and SPL sambar,

Aapam

Veg stew

Rumali roti

Panner tikka

Panner butter masala

Beeda

Vettrilai and pakku

Going by the age group of the people attending the function – mostly middle aged and senior citizens – we were wondering how the grilled paneer dish would be welcomed. But much to our astonishment every one loved the paneer tomato capsicum grilled item. The whole menu was a hit.

Curd rice being an inherent part of any south Indian dinner menu, was not chosen here. The client was very clear that they did not want it. And a few of the guests did mention that they had expected curd rice to be a part of the menu since it is a kind of  comfort food for most people.


Expect for Payasam the client did not want ice cream as dessert. As wedding caterers, we have often found that in summer no matter what age thy are every guest looks forward to a scoop of ice cream.

We had added two flavours of ice cream as a dessert stall as a surprise to the client and sure enough it was a sell-out. Our client was so happy at the end of the day.

 

Wedding catering is all about knowing the pulse – in this case the taste – of the guests in general and providing what they look forward to. As event caterers we are duty bound to go by the client’s request, but should also be responsible enough to give a wholesome menu that would satisfy most people invited and make it a memorable event.