Food of Love

Reception food can become boring. Getting married is an event itself and the reception is the second most important event after the ceremony. Food plays a huge part in your wedding day. Make it fun...make it entertaining...turn it into a food savvy event.

There are only so many wedding receptions that a person can attend without it becoming predictable. Believe it or not, I haven't attended a wedding reception that I was not catering in over 13 years. Each reception I cater is different and unique. Food is comfort. It stimulates memories and happiness. 

The plated meal is making a comeback. It needs to be more than just a salad, entree and dessert. Right now, the trend is all about creating a personalized and tradition dining experience...plated. Your guests will appreciate the course by course event. A typical experience would consist of the following.


This course is a gift from the chef, a so called "palate teaser." It's a one-bite or sip tingle for the taste buds. This is usually not on the menu card.


Traditionally, the soup course. But, it doesn't have to be! Put a twist on this course and make it a trio of soup shooters.


Be creative! Add fruits, nuts, cheese and a variety of greens. Have fun with the presentation, implementing  unique vessels. This is the perfect time to introduce bread or lavish crackers with infused butters or EV olive oils. 


This is used as a palate cleanser before your entree. Traditionally the intermezzo is a sorbet. This can be served in so many creative ways and flavors or as a granita. 


With today's health craze, there are so many different choices. Offering a duo of beef or fish is always popular. Be adventurous! Lamb, veal, capon or even bison are great choices.


The wedding cake is always a given. It's becoming more and more popular to serve an alternative dessert to your guests. Individual pies, doughnuts or pastries will make everyone happy. Another idea to consider that is trending right now is the tasting station. 

Food Stations

Food stations are very popular and add entertainment to the mix. Some food stations require action chefs, while others are "take and go." We are offering some wonderful suggestions this time around: chicken & waffles skewered with saw mill, gravy and Anaheim chilies, taco stand tempura, tuna carving station, bbq or short ribs in a jar, truffle mac & cheese in small iron crocks, pickled and raw vegetables in a mason jar, milk and cookies station with liquid nitrogen or sliders served in take-out boxes. Add a twist on your favorite go-to fix such as a "dingle dog," mini pizza, Golden Doughnuts or a bacon station.

Wedding Cocktails

Parties are offering petit bites of menu items, often paired with specialty drinks, mini servings of beers liquors and bourbon. Let's not forget about the beverage station. Speciality cocktails are the trend. His and her drinks, shrub cocktails, classic martinis, craft beers, there are so many different avenues. Signature drinks can be developed by a mixologist based on personal preference and passed as your guests arrive to the reception. Mocktails presented at a separate bar or a make your own station has and will continue to be a hit for all ages. 

Want to try some fun recipes at your next wedding event? Check out these below, provided by Chef Keating. 

Crab Salad


1 lb jumbo lump crab, 4 avocados, 3 oranges,  9 limes, 1 branch cilantro, 2 jalapeños, 2tbsp olive oil. To taste: Ancho chili powder, salt, pepper, mayo and tabasco. 


Pick cilantro from stems and rinse in cold water. Chop half of cilantro and keep half whole. Thinly slice jalapeños in to hold moons. Zest two limes and reserve. Squeeze three limes and reserve juice. Put jumbo lump crab in a bowl and toss with remaining ingredients. Don't over mix or break the crab meat.


Take the avocados and cut in half and remove pit. Use a large soon to remove from skin in one whole piece. Brush with fresh squeezed lime juice. Cut off top and bottom of oranges and limes. Peel rind and pit with knife, cut segments from fruit. Season peppers with salt, pepper and oil. Char on grill and reserve for service. 

Coconut-Cucumber Martini

Rim martini glass with coconut rimmer. In a sheer filled with ice combine: 1 oz. Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Run, 0.5 oz. Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka, 1 oz. simple syrup, 0.5 oz. pineapple juice, 0.5 oz. orange juice, 4 slices of cucumber muddled, 1 dash sour mix, 1 squeeze lime. Shake for 10 seconds and strain contents of shaker into martini glass and serve. 

Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay Rum is a perfect mixer for your spring and summer cocktails. With flavors like coconut, mango, orange, strawberry and pineapple, it is sure to bring the feel of the tropics to your next gathering. It is a great alternative for those who prefer rum over vodka.  Special thanks to Brad Bush, Georgia Crown Distributing Co. 

Event and Food Stylist Jamie Keating, CEC is well known in Columbus, Georgia for his exquisite cuisine and amazing events. He is the owner and chef of the premier catering company, Jamie Keating Culinary, Inc., which manages The RiverMill Event Centre. Let JKCULINARY & The RiverMill Event Centre rewrite the predictable pattern of a traditional wedding reception. It's about the element of surprise, the change up and the unexpected food concepts designed to create a memorable event.