The most important part of a christening is undoubtedly the meal. It is the part that requires the most attention, the most effort, but also the part that brings together all the family and friends around the table. It is therefore easy to understand why the meal is the most stressful of all the preparations for a christening.
At your child's christening, you will be faced with the choice of menu. And this menu will depend as much on your culinary skills as on the option you decide to take. In fact, there are several possibilities available to you. You can make your own menu, hire a caterer or decide to have lunch in a restaurant.
The typical restaurant menu
Of course, it seems impossible to single out a typical menu that would outshine the others. But we can give you a few ideas, and make your mouth water with a few dishes. Starter, main course, cheese, dessert; here are some of the most commonly served foods.
For starters, you will find the traditional foie gras and salmon in various forms. Cooked or raw, foie gras goes very well with fruit, such as figs or red fruit. For those who have built their theme on the sea, you can opt for a salmon tartar, for example, or a lobster cassolette, or even, more rarely, a carpaccio of swordfish breast. Fish is a very common food on christening menus.
As for the dishes, meat is more common. Fillet of beef, tournedos, pork loin, duck breast and the inevitable leg of lamb. Although chicken is also part of the menu, it is sometimes less common to find it on a christening dinner table. That said, there are no rules. For fish lovers, monkfish and sole are common on christening menus.
After an assortment of cheeses (we particularly recommend sheep's cheese with black fig jam), you can move on to dessert. The pièce montée remains one of the most common desserts. But verrines, chocolate mousses and fruit salads are also part of the menu. And you don't have to choose a complex pastry. There are many fruit tarts available. An assortment of mignardises is usually very popular.
In most cases, christening receptions are held at home. You have the choice between having a caterer come and prepare the food yourself. This is the most time-consuming part of organising a christening. But if you like to cook, it can be fun and rewarding to cook for an entire party. In order to keep it simple while offering different flavours, we can suggest mixing classic toasts (foie gras, salmon...) with kebabs made of tomatoes and mozzarella or shrimps and pineapple for example. This sweet and savoury mixture generally goes down well as an aperitif. You can also combine Parma ham with melon and prepare small puff pastries or other filled bites.
The ideal way to avoid spending too much time in the kitchen during preparation is to create a buffet of various salads for the starter. In this way, everyone can have lunch to their own taste and according to their wishes. Another advantage of this presentation is that you don't need anyone to serve it and you can spend time with your guests. Verrines, stuffed courgettes, vegetable tartars, mixed salads, but also shrimps, prawns, quiches, charcuterie and terrines are all welcome.
When it comes to dishes, think simple and plentiful. If the sun is shining, light up the barbecue, for example. But there's nothing to stop you from going for a large dish like paella, especially if there are a lot of you. In the same spirit, you can stay in buffet mode and present a buffet of pasta carbonara or bolognese. A good free-range chicken is also very popular, especially if the children can eat chips with it. Seafood is still a must, especially in coastal areas.
Desserts are much the same as those you would find in a restaurant or caterer. However, you can also prepare them yourself. A good fresh fruit salad is a must in summer. It can be a perfect accompaniment to a special christening cake. Don't forget that your entire menu can be combined with a more generic theme. A theme that will remain the guiding element of the day.
The menu as seen by a caterer
A caterer is often the best solution. Firstly, because it allows you to get closer to a restaurant's menu. And secondly, because in this case, the restaurant comes to you. Or, to put it another way, you invite your guests to enjoy a meal prepared by a restaurant owner in your home. All choices are therefore permitted, from the simplest to the most complex, from the cheapest to the most expensive. And best of all, you can even ask your caterer for his opinion on the theme you have chosen for your special day.
His or her experience is sure to speak for itself. Depending on the menu choices you have made, you can also ask them to take care of the service. But despite everything, and in order to reduce the cost of the service, prefer the buffet when you can. There are many advantages to using a caterer. Apart from the fact that you are dealing with a professional home caterer, you will appreciate the fact that you have little or nothing to do. No hours of preparing food. No stress about the time it takes or the results your kitchen produces, and time to spend with your guests on the day of the reception.
And being able to experience those special moments with your loved ones to the fullest, without having to worry about anything, is what will fuel your memories later. If an emotion is only worth sharing, then enjoy these moments. They are unique.