Whether you are organising an elegant dinner party, hosting a casual get-together, or even running a professional catering business—autumn is a great time of year to get inspired.
With vibrant colours, smoky aromas and chillier days, hearty comfort food and fresh seasonal produce are the order of the day!
Below, we explore five ideas for autumn catering that will help get you inspired for the new season.
- Seasonal Produce
It is a great idea to use seasonal fresh produce all year round where possible, but in autumn this can be especially exciting! The fiery colours, earthy flavours, and endless array of spices in both food and drink can ignite the senses.
If you have the option of using local produce too, such as from a local grower or farmers’ market, even better. But if not, simply using fruits and vegetables that are appropriate for the time of year will suffice.
Apple pie with cinnamon, a hearty root vegetable bake or stew, and a roast dinner are all favourites—along with the highly seasonal pumpkin spice! Whether you and your guests prefer sweet or savoury, light or filling, autumn has an array of appropriate ingredients and flavours to choose from.
- Bonfire Night
The popular British tradition of Bonfire Night is a great opportunity for a variety of autumnal flavours. Toffee apples, hot chocolate, sausages, and Parkin are often favourites.
Throw your own party from home—however big or small—and make it family-friendly with a fruit punch for children and a themed cocktail for the grown-ups. You could also pack and take your own autumnal picnic to a local bonfire. Tasty toasted sandwiches, granola bars, and a flask of coffee would all hit the spot.
However you choose to celebrate, autumn can be a great time to take a bit of inspiration from the holidays and festive traditions happening all around you – including Halloween and the Harvest Festival. See what you can enjoy in your local area, and also create an event of your own!
- Plant-Based Options
As seasonal produce is so distinctive and enticing at this time of year, there has never been a better time to explore plant-based options. Make the most of your fruit and vegetables with fresh, flavoursome recipes and do not hesitate to seek resources online if you are unsure.
More people than ever before are reducing their meat intake and increasing their vegetable consumption. This can have very beneficial effects on both your health and the planet. Why not start by making one of your own personal favourites more plant-based—such as a hot dog, burger, or chosen soup? There are more plant-based options available than ever before—even for your favourite styles of meat and cheese!
If you are catering for guests—or running a culinary business—offering a plant-based option is always much appreciated. It is not only for vegans, vegetarians and those with allergies either. Plant-based eating can be healthy, vibrant and exciting; perfect for meat-eaters who are feeling adventurous!
This autumn season, why not take some inspiration from abroad? Celebrations such as Germany’s Oktoberfest are becoming more commonplace—London celebrates its very own version!—and they often have wonderful food ideas.
Sausages (including plant-based options), pretzels, fresh bread, high-quality beer, and more are all to be found—often by a roaring fire or within a cosy pub. Create your own celebration outdoors over a barbecue, or in the cosy confines of your lounge.
As the nights are closing in, celebrations and coming together over food is a great way to keep the spirits high in the darker months. Food has long been known for its many mood-boosting properties and autumn is a great time to make use of them!
- Speciality Hot Drinks
A certain famous coffee producer launches their Pumpkin Spiced Latte at this time of year – so why not make your own? A wide variety of autumnal flavours are perfect in drinks, even if you don’t have time to cook an elaborate meal.
Adding cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg, for example, can instantly help a drink to feel more warming and soothing. You could take inspiration from autumnal favourites such as apple pie, spiced cider, hot chocolate, and pumpkin dishes. Be as creative as you dare!
Warm drinks are a great way to cuddle up and connect with loved ones on cooler evenings too, as well as endlessly inviting to guests and customers!
By Alex Belsey