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Chef Maezaki's Favorite Small Party Catering Tips: Trends, Etiquette, Menu Ideas, and more!

a small party with lots of sushi catering

Throwing a stylish and intimate small party can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be with proper planning and preparation. Who better to provide insider tips than Chef Maezaki, renowned for his elegant catering tailored specifically for small gatherings of up to 30 guests. With over 20 years of experience catering exclusive events, Chef Maezaki knows how to craft a memorable menu using seasonal ingredients that will delight your guests.


In this blog post, Chef Maezaki shares his favorite tips on the latest trends in small party catering to help you plan a sophisticated soiree. You’ll get advice on catering etiquette for small gatherings, creative signature dishes perfect for intimate occasions, menu ideas for different themes, and practical tips for hosting a seamless event. Read on for Chef Maezaki’s wisdom on elevating your next small party with delectable catering.


Trends in Small Party Catering for 2024

If you want to stay ahead of the curve with your event, it’s important to keep up with the latest catering trends. Chef Maezaki incorporates exciting new styles into his small party catering services while staying true to his refined aesthetic. Here are some of the trends he loves working with:


Fusion Dishes

Blending international flavors is huge right now. Chef Maezaki enjoys experimenting with dishes like Korean-inspired tacos with kimchi, or Swedish meatballs with miso. These fusion foods add diversity and sophistication to a small party menu.

Sustainably Sourced Ingredients Locally grown, organic ingredients are priorities for conscientious hosts and chefs. Chef Maezaki sources many of his ingredients from nearby farms. Menus spotlight seasonal produce and humanely raised proteins for delicious, eco-friendly dishes.


Personalized Offerings

Tailoring menus to guests’ preferences adds a thoughtful touch. Chef Maezaki provides options for different diets and works with hosts to incorporate favorite flavors of the group. Customization makes for satisfied guests.


Catering Etiquette for Small Gatherings

Mastering catering etiquette is key to creating a comfortable vibe your guests will appreciate. Chef Maezaki recommends:


Choosing a Menu with Broad Appeal

Unless the event is honoring someone’s specific tastes, opt for crowd-pleasing dishes with wide appeal. Satisfy meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans with small plates they can mix-and-match.


Paying Attention to Portion Sizes

When catering for a standing reception, bite-sized pieces make mingling manageable. For a sit-down dinner, moderate portions allow guests to sample several dishes.


Arranging an Appealing Display

Artful presentation enhances enjoyment of the meal. Chef Maezaki suggests elegant platters, towers, or individual servings to showcase each dish attractively.


Creative Menu Ideas for Different Occasions

The catering menu should suit the occasion’s vibe and purpose. Here are Chef Maezaki’s suggestions for excellent menus tailored to various small parties:


Casual Get-Togethers

Shareable appetizers encourage mingling at relaxed gatherings of close friends. A crudite bar, bruschetta, and tapas allow easy snacking and conversation.


Formal Dinners

For an elegant dinner, start with a composed salad before plating seared scallops or beef tenderloin with sides like risotto and roasted asparagus.


Birthday Parties

Celebrate with the guest of honor’s favorites, like mac and cheese bars, sliders, and a decadent birthday cake.


Holiday Soirees

Incorporate seasonal delights into holiday menus, like roasted turkey and pumpkin pie for autumn gatherings.


Practical Tips for Hosting Small Parties

the host of a small party, checking the catering and the guests

Executing a flawless event requires care and teamwork. Chef Maezaki shares his best advice for working with your caterer:


Collaborate on a Timeline

Map out schedules for prep, delivery, setup, and service. Allow time for inevitable hiccups.


Assign Roles

Decide if servers will pass dishes or place on a buffet. Who will clear plates and refresh drinks?


Prep Ahead

See what can be prepared offsite days before, leaving only finish cooking and plating for the event.


Use Checklists

Stay organized with lists for rentals, equipment, ingredients, and decor. Share with caterer.


Relax and Enjoy Yourself

You handled logistics, so try to be present at your event and appreciate the fruits of your labor.


The joy of gathering dear friends and family together over exquisite food and drink is what makes small parties so special. By partnering with an expert caterer like Chef Maezaki, you can create an intimate, celebratory affair filled with beautiful memories. Get in touch with Chef Maezaki through his website chefmaezaki.com to bring his signature elegant catering to your next small gathering. With his keen eye for detail and knack for delighting guests, you’re sure to have an event to savor.

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