Amuse-bouche, meaning literally ‘amuse mouth’ in French, is the term for a small savoury item of food served as a single bite-sized hors d’oeuvre before a meal. Amuse-bouche came to the fore during the Nouvelle Cuisine movement of the 1980s.
Served before the starter, they are more than just an opportunity for chefs to show off their skills. They are an extra, a bonus, a surprise, a ‘welcome’ on a plate, something unexpected and a chance to wow.
More practically, they offer your hungry wedding guests something to nibble on the second they sit down. Never underestimate the void between everyone being asked to take their seats and them all being seated ready to receive the happy couple! Amuse-bouche offer instant impact and tempting colour to the tables, encouraging your guests to take their seats quickly and begin to enjoy the feast.
I’ve had all sorts of requests, from serving shots of a couple’s favourite tipple to including some of grandma’s homemade chutney with a plated cheese course.
Some of my favourite amuse-bouche…
- Seared scallop with Thai asparagus, beetroot Carpaccio and hazelnut cream (pictured)
- Parmesan panna cotta
- Demitasse of chilled asparagus vichyssoise
- Foie gras with peach compote and caramelised fig
- Salad of white asparagus and poached quail egg
- Terrine of wild rabbit
- Spoon of tortellini of wild mushrooms with herb emulsion
- Bloody Mary oyster shots
- Ceviche of scallop with mango jelly
- Seared tuna with gazpacho pearls
Guest post by Julie Gray of Bovingdons
Image from Lloyd Dobbie