The Good, Bad and the Ugly of Halloween Catering - Merlin Venues

The Good, Bad and the Ugly of Halloween Catering

01 October 2015

The nights are drawing in, X Factor has begun and the morning bus to work is once again full of school children. This can all only mean one thing, winter is upon us! This can either send you into a complete depression and you can spend the next 8 months hibernating, or you can embrace the festivities of the winter months. Before we get ahead of ourselves and start talking about the dreaded eight letter C word, we have Hallows Eve to contend with! Yes, Halloween has become increasingly popular in recent years so here is the definitive guide to cater for your Halloween event whilst trying to avoid those typical Americanisms.

Firstly, you really do want to resist the urge to paint every item of food with images of pumpkins and witches. Black food dye isn’t always a winner and will affect the taste of any catering. Furthermore, the look of a badly drawn spider’s web on a dessert canapé isn’t overly appealing. There are ways to add a creepy and mystical element to your catering without cracking out the illuminous food colourings. An example would be to dress food stations with a spooky and dark theme. This will give your guests the theatre of an event at Halloween without jeopardising the quality of the food. Using dry ice, fake webbing and pumpkins to dress the station will give the event a Halloween twist. A fun and exciting idea could be to hollow out pumpkins and use them to serve your food in!

Another easy pitfall when catering a Halloween event is to offer as many sweets and chocolates as humanly possible. The ‘trick or treat’ element of Halloween does not need to infiltrate your event and there is more to Halloween catering than laying on a spread of ‘pick a mix’ and hoping for the best. Why not try serving canapés which look like one thing but taste like something else? This continues the ‘everything is not as it seems’ concept that is synonymous with Halloween. Food by Dish have previously catered an event at the London Dungeons serving hybrid canapés which were both sweet and savoury. This offered a unique talking point and a bit of drama to the reception!

Hybrid Canapes


Halloween is also all about thinking beyond our own earthly life and what else might be ‘lurking in the shadows’. Following this trend of thinking outside the box why not excite your guests with hidden ingredients in the catering? What better way to use this tool than in desserts, adding popping candy into your sweet treats will certainly take people by surprise!  Another option to keep your guests guessing is to offer edible soil to make a dessert station look like a graveyard! This is really interactive and will leave a lasting impression on all guests.

Theatre plays a massive part in the authenticity of an event and how effective the food can look. Having trained actors serving the food will increase the effectiveness of trying to scare your guests. The London Dungeons’ actors will be sure to spook and fright all party goers into a memorable night.


Actor at the London Dungeon

Actor at the London Dungeon


In a nutshell, the cornerstone of an amazing event is amazing food so make sure all the food you pick it delicious and work to incorporate your theme through the theming of your food stations, room, hidden ingredients and the people serving the food. Follow these simple tricks to ensure you’re the Regina George of your Halloween Party!

Written by Food by Dish


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