March 12, 2019

Why you should consider serving bowl food at your next event

Here’s what makes this growing food trend worthy of replacing the classic sit-down dinner

Perhaps you’ve seen the thousands of beautifully presented açai, poké and buddha bowls whilst scrolling through Instagram, or maybe you only came across the concept of bowl food after hearing that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle opted to serve it at their wedding.

However you encountered this ubiquitous food trend, have you ever thought about serving bowl food at your next event?

Bowl food is defined as larger than a canapé and tends to be around a quarter of the size of a main, making it the perfect compromise between just canapés and a formal meal, catering for the growing desire for informality in the catering world. It’s served in hand-sized bowls alongside a small fork. Without being confined to a particular seat, guests are free to circulate and socialise whilst still enjoying a delicious and satisfying meal. This also makes it perfect for those occasions when you’re holding an event in a venue that won’t have enough seating for all of your guests.

However, don’t be fooled into thinking that bowl food is only suitable for informal events. The idea of bowl food may connote cereal or soup, but there’s nothing preventing Michelin-standard food from being served in the humble bowl, as demonstrated by our chefs at La Belle Assiette with their high-end bowl food menus.

Bowl Food, by Chef Artan Hasa

White crab salad with baby gem, brown crab dressing and chilli lime dressing
Chickpea and feta cheese salad with black olives, cherry tomato and garlic dressing
Caesar salad with chicken fillet, anchovies, parmesan shavings and poached egg
Risotto primavera with fresh peas, asparagus and broad beans with fine herbs
Seared sea bass fillet with mango and chilli salad, sweet chilli sauce and coconut lime sauce
Fine English sausages with mashed potato, caramelised onion gravy


Furthermore, if you’ve ever tried to organise a dinner party for more than a handful of people you’ll know how impossible of a task it is to accommodate all of the various allergies, intolerances, preferences etc. Because bowl food offers a great variety of dishes, you can easily cater for all of those vegans, coeliacs and picky eaters who may ordinarily feel left out.

There’s even academic support for the benefits of this reborn trend; Charles Spence from Oxford University has empirically concluded that the weight and warmth of physically holding our food in a bowl creates a feeling of content and gives the impression of feeling full. Furthermore, because of the absence of a rim, we perceive bowls to hold bigger portions that they actually do, encouraging us to eat less.

Bowl Food, by Chef Anthony Francisco Mascarenhas

Lemongrass marinated chicken satay, vegetable rice paper roll
Green Papaya salad, mixed green salad with Thai dressing 
Chicken Thai curry
Sweet & sour sea bass with vegetables
Stir fired aubergine with rice noodles and egg fried rice
Sweet coconut and rice pudding
Citrus and passion fruit tartlets with sweet cream


We even decided to try out our own version of bowl food here at the La Belle Assiette head office with a quinoa bowl full of chicken, avocado, feta, tomatoes, mushrooms and more!

Bowl food is suitable for just about any event from informal family gatherings full of hearty food, to large fine dining events which offer a variety of exceptional dishes. You can book one of our highly experienced chefs to create the perfect bowl food menu for your next event here.

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