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Local & in Love

Melissa Buote asks caterers about planning menus with seasonal food.

When Unni Simensen’s daughter got married, she walked down the aisle with a bouquet adorned with blueberry branches. “I often go out and pick blueberry branches and decorate the cake,” Simensen, chef and owner of Scanway Catering, says. “Our blueberry pound cake with blueberry buttercream is very popular, if you’re having a very local theme.”

Local products have become an increasingly popular consideration for wedding dinners and buffets.

“We’ve used a lot of local products from when we started 30 years ago,” says Simensen. “I think everybody’s becoming more aware of it. People are very cost conscious when they have a wedding. But it’s very nice when we have young couples who want to be sure that all the food they use is local.”  “It’s definitely been on the minds of more people in the past year or so,” says Tania Laba, the general manager at Local Source Market, Bakery & Catering. “It reflects the way people are eating---season to season---and they want to support that through their catering choice.”

The two things you might wonder about are price and what food is available when. “I know for a fact that if you go to hotels that have catering within the facility, our price per head per plate is at par with theirs,” says Laba. “And the only thing that is really not available during the winter is fresh fruit, but there’s meat, seafood and vegetables year round.”

“Local growers grow things for all us all spring and summer, but it definitely wouldn’t be hard to do a wedding in the winter,” says Simensen. No matter what time of year you’re getting married, whether it’s a blueberry branch or a twig of holly in your bouquet, “everything natural is beautiful.”

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