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September 27, 2023 | catering, milestone events, holiday, corporate, budget

Choosing the Perfect Menu for Your Theme Party

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.
— Katharine Hepburn

Yes, It's that time! Summer is gently winding to a close as the "official" party season beckons! Fall and winter can be demanding. Once again, we are faced with the challenge of throwing Halloween, Thanksgiving, office, Christmas and New Year's parties. If you're the planner, it may feel like you're stuck in a cycle of: "wash, rinse, repeat". But, fear not! A well-planned theme can breathe novelty and inspiration into your celebration and Caroline's Fine Food is here to help!

Dream It and Theme It

Creating a theme can add dimension and color to almost any gathering. Themes work well for: Halloween, team-building exercises, staff appreciation days, office parties, Christmas, New Year's, birthdays, engagements, bachelorette parties, sweet sixteens, reunions, fundraisers, showers and graduations.  As adults, we still crave imaginative, interactive play. A great theme party addresses these often neglected needs. An inspiring theme heightens anticipation and generates excitement. In this way, your guests begin collaborating with you as soon as they accept your invitation! These events don't follow traditional rules and are bound only by imagination and budget. Over the years, Caroline's Fine Food has partnered with a variety of amazing clients to create unforgettable themed events. We'd love to share what we've learned with you!

The Basics

Answering these four questions will provide the framework for your theme:

  1. What is the occasion? Is it a holiday party? A business event? A fundraiser or a personal milestone?
  2. How many people do you want to invite and who do you want to invite?
  3. What is your budget?
  4. What theme would work best with the occasion, this group of people and your budget? What do they have in common? What inspires them? What do they find enjoyable or humorous? If it is a larger, less intimate group try to think of themes that are universally appreciated.

The Fun Part

After you have your basic framework and theme, you'll be well-positioned to fill in key details:

An excellent menu is the centerpiece of any memorable event. You'll want to take particular care to align your menu to your theme and to the tastes and sensitivities of your guests. Whether you are providing the food yourself or delegating the work to a trusted caterer, you'll want to make sure the logistics are mapped out and that the food is well-executed and presented.

After you have decided on that all-important menu, you are free to add the flourishes that will breathe life into your theme. Some general suggestions might be:

  • Themed decorations
  • Costumes
  • Tailored playlists
  • Games
  • Themed drinks
  • Creative invitations

It's important to always strike a balance. Your goal is to inspire but not overwhelm. Your guests should feel they have the option to participate to their level of comfort.

Caroline's Can Help

Placing your theme party in the hands of an experienced and well-reviewed caterer has obvious advantages. It takes the guesswork out of the logistics. It saves you time and labor and guarantees a high standard of execution and delivery. A good caterer will give you a clear picture of what your timeline, menu and budget will look like. They should also offer a variety of creative menu suggestions that complement your theme and should schedule a tasting so that you can make an informed decision.

Our chefs and event managers love themed events because they showcase our creative chops! Over the years, we've designed and delivered all sorts of exotic possibilities: Chinese New Year's, White Out party, 1940's Casino Night, Bayou Mardi Gras, New Year's masquerade, Faux Destination engagement party, Day of the Dead, Graduation Rave, Great Gatsby, That 70's party, Kentucky Derby day, Superbowl, Seance party, Mexican Fiesta, Soprano's party, 1920's murder mystery, royal wedding tea and a Hawaiian Luau are some of our favorites. When you bring us your idea, our event managers will walk you through the process step by step to realize your vision. We will guide you through the practical logistics and design the right menu for your theme. We will also offer suggestions for other creative elements like themed beverages and decor. Our goal is to create an unforgettable event that will be enjoyed by all and serve as a high-watermark for future gatherings.

If you'd like to explore possibilities for your theme party, hear about specific menus we've created for past events or have any questions at all, reach out to us.

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Party Theme and Menu Ideas

  • "Hawaiian Luau" Theme Party Tropical fruit skewers, Hawaiian BBQ chicken, grilled pineapple, macaroni salad, and Mai Tai cocktails.
  • "Mexican Fiesta" Theme Party Tacos with various fillings, chiles rellenos, enchiladas, guacamole, Mexican rice, and margaritas.
  • "1920s Gatsby" Theme Party Shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs, Waldorf salad, oysters Rockefeller, champagne cocktails.
  • "Mediterranean Escape" Theme Party Greek salad, hummus and pita bread, falafel, paella, baklava, and sangria.
  • "Italian Trattoria" Theme Party Caprese skewers, various pasta dishes, risotto, tiramisu, and Italian wines.
  • "Bollywood Bash" Theme Party Samosas, butter chicken, biryani, paneer tikka, mango lassi, and chai tea.
  • "Southern Comfort" Theme Party Fried chicken, cornbread, mac n' cheese, collard greens, peach cobbler, and mint juleps.
  • "French Bistro" Theme Party Quiche Lorraine, coq au vin, ratatouille, crème brûlée, and French wines.
  • "Asian Street Food" Theme Party Dumplings, pad Thai, pho, sushi rolls, bubble tea, and sake.
  • "Caribbean Carnival" Theme Party Jerk chicken, plantains, rice and peas, coconut shrimp, rum punch.
  • "Halloween Spooktacular" Theme Party Pumpkin soup, "mummy" hot dogs (wrapped in pastry strips), "bat" wings (spicy chicken wings), caramel apples, and "witch's brew" punch.