At Panateneas we have already started with the first menu tests of this season and everything indicates that this year the welcome reception served after the ceremony will be very different.
They began to change years ago, but we all know how difficult it is for trends to prevail. To the classic canapés such as croquettes, foie or cod toast, prawn skewers, salmon bites or stuffed mille-feuille, little by little more modern appetizers have been added. In addition, of course, to the famous live corners. In the same way, the duration has been increasing, in turn reducing the time and number of dishes for lunch or dinner.
One of the aspects to be highlighted is the evolution of the miniature kitchen that has made it possible to serve dishes that used to be part of the banquet in the form of canapés or bites. Among my favourites, there is a long list: the tartars, the octopus skewers, the salmorejo cups, the minicanelloni, the mushroom volovans, the crispy egg with truffle, the vegetable tempuras… I also love the bao bread stuffed with salmon, the mini txangurro crepes or the brioches with roast beef.
Secondly, the development of live cooking allows, in addition to serving it freshly made, to enjoy the spectacle of watching the chef at work. The live cooking corners range from the simplest, such as Iberian ham, cheeses, anchovies or gildas, oysters and shellfish, to the most elaborate ones. The stations of rice and risottos, stews, grilled products such as skewers, ribeye, etc. stand out. International corners such as the Sushi bar, the Peruvian corner or the Mexican one are also very fashionable, to name just a few, because the options are endless.
And we must not forget about the drink, because more and more this aperitif is washed down with themed drink corners, such as mojito bars, caipirinhas, prepared vermouths, craft beers, etc.
As you can see, the concept of the cocktail before the banquet has completely changed. Delicate snack food that allows you to try many more things and more time to enjoy this informal little while before sitting down to enjoy lunch or dinner.