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With springtime (and wedding season!) right around the corner, we reached out to one of our favorite Cape Cod caterers, Olive Chase of The Casual Gourmet, for some feedback on current coastal trends, incorporating personal touches into your menu, and eating locally procured foods in style. Click {Read More} to check out her interview! 

What is your number one piece of advice for brides who are looking to plan an extraordinary menu on their wedding day?

Stay true to your character, think about who you are as a couple. Give some thought about who your family and friends are and what kind of food they would like. Then choose a caterer who has the style and food that best matches who you are and what you would like the day to feel like. For instance, if you are planning a formal black tie evening wedding, even the world’s best clambake caterer can have a hard time meeting your expectations.

What would you suggest to couples looking to incorporate their background or heritage into their wedding day menu?

I am not in favor, for the most part, of a completely ethnic menu. It is best to pick one or two items that are an important part of your heritage and incorporate those items into a menu with a more mainstream feel. For example, you might choose the pasta dish that your grandmother always made for family gatherings or hors d’oeuvres that are unique to your heritage or perhaps spice up a simple dessert with the flavors of your heritage.

“Vintage nautical” seems to be a very strong trend on the Cape. Are there any other up-and-coming trends that you’d recommend to Cape Cod brides looking for a unique and special wedding design?

Vintage Nautical is a very strong trend on Cape Cod right now. Instead of sea shells and hydrangeas more and more brides are choosing a look reminiscent of the elegance and glamour of the era of the transatlantic ocean liners of  the 40’s and 50’s. Another trend involves a more contemporary look which incorporates lounge areas and quiet gathering spots where guests can move away from the action and converse in smaller groups. We are seeing fewer and fewer brides looking to fill a tent with round tables around the dance floor. They are picking long tables, square tables, high tops and anything else that might induce the guests to get up, move around and interact with each other.

What are some menu suggestions for spring/summer couples looking to utilize as many fresh, seasonal ingredients as possible?

Here on Cape Cod we have a fabulous shellfish industry, we love oysters and littlenecks from Barnstable Sea Farms, freshly made jams and chutneys from the Thorton Burgess Jam Kitchen, and Chatham haddock available all spring and summer fresh caught from the boats of Cape Cod fisherman. As we move to the beginning of July we love Native Striped Bass, fresh caught, pan seared and topped with a relish of local heirloom tomatoes and fresh corn

“Station-style” dining seems to be becoming more and more popular. In your opinion, is that a good direction for brides to go? Should they stick with  more formal seated dinner, or does it really depend on the style and design of the reception?

As caterers we love the way that stationed parties allow us to be creative and show diverse styles and flavors of food all in one event. Stationed events tend to be less structured than plated meals and appeal to many brides and grooms who want a fun non-traditional party. That being said, I do not believe that the tradition and elegance of a formal plated meal will ever truly go out of style.