Written by Kon-Tiki Taco
Let's face it. Sometimes you want a taco. And sometimes you want the whole fiesta.
Gourmet taco catering is becoming more popular at a variety of events because interesting tacos have near-universal appeal. The events where they are served include corporate occasions, weddings, store openings, family parties and even pricey-ticket fundraisers.
This is because the appeal of tacos in the gourmet version is largely about taste, convenience and what this style of dining lends to an event. Attendees can choose the ingredients and salsas they want – with or without chicken or beef or fish, with lots of healthy vegetables in every one – and eat in a manner of dining that is flexible, friendly and fluid. Taco-style meals evoke Latin American themes, but that ranges from the foods of Mexico to Jamaica, Argentina, Brazil and Spain.
In Southern California, where taco cart catering first was transformed from worksites to black tie events, the interpretation on what a taco is moved up as well. On today’s taco catering menu, it’s just as possible to get a grilled tilapia filling as grilled tofu, Jamaican chicken and Caribbean carne asada, as well as the traditional 4-inch corn tortilla, with refried beans, chopped cilantro and tomatillo salsa.
For a corporate lunch event, that may be exactly all that’s required. But for evening soirees or anything where guests have time to have fun, gourmet taco carts can be a launching pad to music, entertainment, a bar set up and theme décor. Why not create an island-themed party? Why wouldn’t you bring in music that evokes a Mexican hacienda celebration? Who doesn’t enjoy a Latin American cerveza or rum mojito?
Event planners find the catered-taco carts fit a few rules of successful events. This includes:
- Make your event memorable – Everyone has had chicken dinners, hamburgers (including the sliders) and wrap sandwiches. But offer taquitos, quesadillas or ceviche stacks and your guests get a rare treat. Add a sangria bar and event attendees will note the fun was well planned.
- Make your event exclusive – There should always be an entertainer, a band or a gift-giveaway that establishes the experience as a one-of-a-kind party. This is the touch that keeps people talking about the event weeks, months and years later.
- Carry the theme through from start to finish – Maybe the event invitation has a piñata toy enclosed, which attendees redeem at the party for their first beverage (anticipation is half the fun, after all). Or maybe you send everyone home with a real piñata. In every event, the continuity of the theme – from food to drinks to music to entertainment to décor – helps immerse guests in an environment.
There is no reason the event planners themselves can’t have fun while doing