Filipino Wedding: Responsibilities of the Wedding Cook and Caterer

A modern Filipino wedding infuses traditional practices and some contemporary western influences. For the wedding feast, amidst some foreign impressions coming from the Spanish and the Americans, primarily in terms of dishes served, its elaborate Filipino presentation still highlights the native touch of the celebration.

For the one in-charge of the wedding food, this person can either be a cook who found success in the culinary profession even without formal culinary studies or a chef who obtained a professional degree to practice culinary arts. This person is usually a personal preference of the couple of their families. He or she may also directly come from the caterer the couple hires for their wedding celebration.

Wedding Menu

It is important that the cook and the catering team yield to the couple’s menu preference for the wedding. Usually, there are set packages that the couple chooses from and they can also add other dishes they want, then they match these with their food budget.

For the wedding cook, it is essential to have expertise on a specific regional cuisine, especially when this is specifically requested by the couple. This is because the Philippines, composed of many provinces and islands, have distinct regional styles of cooking. For example, cooking the popular adobo or pansit varies depending on which part of the country you go.

Kitchen Work Assignments

The wedding cook should assign the various tasks needed for the preparation of the dishes to be served during the wedding. Given the nature of traditional food offerings in a wedding, just like in Philippine fiestas and other local feasts and celebrations around the country, it is not possible to that only one person prepared the major dishes for the wedding.

While the wedding cook works on the main courses for the wedding feast, other people should take charge of the desserts and other delicacies. For instance, the Filipino-style roasted suckling pig, natively called lechon, needs a separate cooking area outside the kitchen and there should also be an entirely different team working on it. Rice cakes and some other pastries are also separately made by another team.

Program Flow and Wedding Reception Requirements

Apart from knowing whether the food will be served in a buffet or everything will be readily served on each table, the entire catering team should know the program flow and wedding reception requirements. In Philippine culture, the wedding reception is more than just celebrating through hearty meals and refreshments. It also incorporates a number of traditional ceremonies happening in between served meals.

The wedding reception program usually takes at least one hour. In cases that the food is not served buffet-style, additional food servings should also be scheduled in between various parts of the program.

Symbolisms and special practices are also very apparent in a Filipino wedding, which can extend on the types of food served and how these foods are presented. They may be widely used in a general Filipino wedding or they may be specifically practiced in a particular region in the Philippines. And so, it is essential for the wedding cook to talk about these things with the wedding coordinator ahead of time as well.

More About the Philippines:

Must-try Filipino Dishes for Foreigners
Making the Banana-que: A Filipino Street Snack
City Trip Suggestions for Foreigners in Manila, Philippines
Foreigners Traveling to the Philippines: Must-try Out-of-town Trips in Nearby Provinces South of Manila