Image: Duncan Nicholls for Alison Price
Those of you in the know will have no doubt heard of Liesl Lamare from Lamare London, today’s guest blogger. She has created a brilliant bespoke wedding planning service tailored specifically to reflect luxury brides and grooms, and their vision for their wedding day.
She prides herself on going above and beyond to help her brides and grooms, and today she’s going to do just that for you with her advice and mouth-watering menu ideas for those of you that are choosing a ‘kosher-style’ or “non-offensive’ menu for your wedding, rather than a strictly kosher affair. Take it away Liesl!
Food for thought
It is fair to say that catering often plays a big part at a wedding, and can take up the bulk of your wedding budget too! Catering can contribute to your guests’ experience and enjoyment of your wedding — you can take it from us that well fed guests are happy guests! Critically, when planning a Jewish wedding, you may be considering whether or not you should hire a Kosher caterer.
The importance of having Kosher catering may depend on your family beliefs or the strict dietary requirements of your guests. Equally, you may need to consider whether Kosher catering at your chosen reception venue is even an option.
There are several venues that offer Kosher catering or have a relationship with a preferred Kosher caterer who is familiar with your reception venue’s kitchen. Often, in cases when opting for Kosher catering at your chosen venue, the contract is between the couple and the caterer as opposed to the couple and the venue.
A ‘non-offensive’ menu by Alison Price — see menu 1 below for details on each dish). Imagery by Duncan Nicholls
One of the key Kosher rules is not to mix meat and dairy. Should you choose a Kosher-only venue, there will be a meat kitchen separate to a dairy kitchen. But if your venue doesn’t have a separate catering facility, the caterer will need to go into the kitchen to sterilise it to conform with the regulations of kashrut (Jewish dietary law). Catering staff will also only use food products that have been supervised by a rabbi. Kosher caterers will also need to bring in and use all their own equipment as they are unable to use the equipment at a non-Kosher venue. This includes not being able to use the venue’s dishwashers (!), unless they are for Kosher use only, meaning all the equipment must be washed back at the caterer’s own kitchen or by hand in bowls.
Kosher v Kosher-Style or “non-offensive’ catering
With all these regulations to follow, it may now make sense why hiring in a Kosher caterer can often sky-rocket the price per head to an eye-watering level when planning your Jewish wedding. But we are delighted to let you know that there is a more budget-friendly alternative for the Jewish Bride and Groom – Kosher-Style catering. This is also sometimes called “non-offensive catering”.
A ‘non-offensive’ menu by Kalm Kitchen — see their menu below for details on each dish). Imagery by Kalm Kitchen
The alternative to a kosher menu at your wedding is called kosher style catering. This is also sometimes referred to as non-offensive catering. A kosher style wedding reception is simple. Meat and dairy are not combined. The chef will not cook with cream sauces and place over the beef dish. A fish entrà©e is parve. Parve is neither dairy nor meat and therefore is a neutral dish. Often therefore fish will be the main course. The kosher rules allow anything that has fins and scales but excludes seafood like lobster, shrimp, prawns etc. All fruits and vegetables are kosher. NB. Kosher style does not make the food kosher or the kitchen where the food is cooked kosher.
Generally, Kosher-Style food does not include forbidden animals (e.g. pigs or shellfish) and meat and dairy are never combined. You will often therefore have the option of a parve (neutral) dish such as fish as a main course, as it’s neither dairy nor meat. Kosher rules allow fish that has fins and scales, and therefore strictly excludes shellfish such as lobster, mussels, prawns etc.
A ‘non-offensive’ main course and dessert by Alison Price — see menu 2 below for details on each dish).
Imagery by Duncan Nicholls
It is worth noting that Kosher-Style does not make the food or the kitchen where the food is cooked Kosher.
Kosher-Style is a great option for the Bride and Groom that may not use a Kosher caterer but don’t want to offend their family and guests.
As self-confessed foodies, we asked two of our favourite caterers, Alison Price and Kalm Kitchen to prepare several non-offensive menus consisting of canapés, starters, main courses and desserts, boasting delectable goodies to tantalise your taste buds!
‘non-offensive’ menu 1 by Alison Price
‘non-offensive’ menu by Kalm Kitchen
‘non-offensive’ menu 2 by Alison Price
‘non-offensive’ Vegetarian canapé ideas by Zafferano
‘non-offensive’ fish canapé ideas by Zafferano
‘non-offensive’ main course ideas by Zafferano
I hope this has given you plenty of inspiration and food for thought! Thank you so much Liesl from Lamare London for navigating through those Jewish wedding catering waters.