Q&A Justin DiBianca, Director of Food and Beverage

Posted on March 4, 2014

The Palace - Chef Justin DiBianca

Q: What’s going on with wedding food this year?

A: The typical run-of-the-mill standard pasta, carving and antipasto stations are becoming more imaginative. One thing I focused on for 2014 was creating stations that were more interactive for guests and also ones they have never seen.

For instance a dessert S’mores station returns you to that nostalgic childhood period as your roast your own marshmallows.

Q: What’s the deal with these one-bite appetizers?

A: As far as the one-bite items we have several within our cocktail hour scheme and also Viennese display. Whether it’s an individual slider, bite-sized moo shu duck crepe to French Macaroons and miniature financiers, people love them.

Q: What’s the new hot trend?

A: Baja fish taco station strong in California roots. Tacos are a huge trending item and it’s what you put into them that separate yours. For example, we do a whole roasted Mutton Snapper flaked to order with a bunch of toppings for guests to try.

Many of my new stations have incorporated the idea of offering different regional cuisines that are practical yet unfamiliar and exciting to see at a social event.

Q: What is not in style?

A: As far as plated food options, I think guests are tired of seeing egg battered chicken or the regular concept of “served with potato and vegetable du jour.” I’ve always comprised a restaurant-quality menu with different and appropriate accompaniments for each dish. I think this is what separates us.

From what I’m gathering, brides and grooms don’t want to be cookie cutter. The elaborate “smorgasbord” for cocktail hour that the Garden State has made its trademark is still necessary, but the options need to be more inventive.