Explore Chinese Cuisine, Stir Fry, and more!

Presidential Gourmet Fine Catering headed up five food stations serving Chinese cuisine. The dishes included dim sum, stir fry, and more. Photo: Ryan Walker

Presidential Gourmet Fine Catering headed up five food stations serving Chinese cuisine. The dishes included dim sum, stir fry, and more.

Разобранная Пино колада

A deconstructed piña colada made of coconut custard flan and baked into a dried coconut with homemade pineapple sorbet and a dark rum glaze "We are always looking for new ways to serve classic flavors." Photos: Courtesy of Shiraz Events

Music-inspired cuisine at the James Beard Awards Gala Reception. Good idea to incorporate event into every aspect, including the food (colors, names of dishes, etc.)

Music-inspired cuisine at the James Beard Awards Gala Reception. Good idea to incorporate event into every aspect, including the food (colors, names of dishes, etc.

To allow guests to roam the grounds while indulging in the food prepared by Great Performances, all the self-serve dishes were designed to be hand-held and didn't even necessarily require plates. "We kept it fun and playful, as noted by the fried chicken served in savory waffle cones," said Shaun Roberts, event director at Great Performances. "It was approachable food done in a different way."

8 Mess-Free Serving Ideas for Traditionally Messy Menu Favorites Guests appreciate easy-to-eat catering options that don't distract from the event's message or purpose.

Chicago-based catering firm Catering by Michael's offers "frozen push-ups" including the "Frozen Watermelon Surprise Push Pops."  Photo: Courtesy of Catering by Michael's

Chicago-based catering firm Catering by Michael's offers "frozen push-ups" including the "Frozen Watermelon Surprise Push Pops." Photo: Courtesy of Catering by Michael's

Mini garden boards with herb butter, pumpernickel “dirt,” and mini veggies "We wanted to come up with a beautiful way to highlight an early summer bounty of mini vegetables in a fun and innovative way. We wanted it to be whimsical, playful, and conversation-starting, but not too goofy or weird. In addition, these were on the dining tables and acted as a decor element since floral was minimal."  Photos: Gulshan Kirat

Mini garden boards with herb butter, pumpernickel “dirt,” and mini veggies "We…

Papadum crisp with braised French lentils, sweet pepper, carrot confit, toasted cumin, and fresh herb vinaigrette "We ‘paint’ stripes on the plate with honey—or agave nectar if the dish is vegan—using small paintbrushes. Then, we gently dust over each line with an array of ground spices. This plate has turmeric, sweet paprika, cumin, and ground fennel—the same spices used in the preparation of the hors d’oeuvre."  Photos: Erika Dufour/Limelight

Papadum crisp with braised French lentils, sweet pepper, carrot confit, toasted…

Among the dishes served at the brunch from Design Cuisine were mini skillets that contained corned beef hash, crème brûlée French toast, and scrambled eggs with cheese, peppers, and mushrooms.  Photo: Courtesy of White House Correspondents Insider

Among the dishes served at the brunch from Design Cuisine were mini skillets that contained corned beef hash, crème brûlée French toast, and scrambled eggs with cheese, peppers, and mushrooms. Photo: Courtesy of White House Correspondents Insider

Smoked mozzarella pearls with tomato and basil "The inspiration behind the dish was to show the guests how we make mozzarella pearls. The use of molecular gastronomy has been more prevalent in the past few years, and we try to incorporate it where possible, but still serve more traditional food that people are familiar with." Shannon Shaffer

Smoked mozzarella pearls with tomato and basil "The inspiration behind the dish…

Закуска из морских гребешков в раковинах, прикрепленных к корягам с помощью магнита и металлических штырей

Scallop hors d’oeuvres with shells magnetically affixed to metal pins attached to driftwood trays by Heather Weaver at Occasions Caterers

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