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Two Brides, One Budget: One Wedding Pro Explains What Affects Your Catering Costs

For nearly 25 years, Culinary Art Catering has been making couples’ wedding-day cuisine dreams come true. Chef Yossi Ohayon specializes in crafting dishes to satisfy a range of tastes and backgrounds, even building from-scratch fusion menus or recreating sentimental family recipes for the big day. “The majority of what we do is customized,” says general manager Vivian Morgan.

“It’s a very creative process.” But what factors into the price of a dish? Vivian breaks down two similar hors d’oeuvres so you can order according to your budget.

Budget 1: Moroccan Lamb Lollipop – $4.50 per piece

Slow and Steady To achieve a moist consistency, this lollipop is cooked slowly over several hours. As Chef Yossi has a Moroccan background, Vivian notes, “It’s very authentically prepared,” but adds that in comparison to the chop, “It’s not as hands-on.” The lollipop can also be cooked in advance, saving time on last-minute preparations.

Pay Cut The lamb roast used in the lollipop is a more cost-conscious (but still delicious) cut of meat—so you enjoy the flavor of lamb for less. Culinary Art sources all cuts from the same farms, so the quality is top-notch regardless of the dish.

In the Mix In the case of the lollipop, the most costly ingredient—the lamb—is cut with inexpensive breadcrumbs, saving you some dough.

Budget 2: New Zealand Baby Lamb Chop – $6 per piece

Need a Hand? Roasting a chop is a hands-on process, as overcooking can lead to chewiness. “It has to be watched,” says Vivian. The meat must also be cut and trimmed prior and the bone cleaned after to remove charring. Such time- and labor-intensive work will cost you.

B.Y.O. Oven Unlike the less temperamental lollipop, which can be prepared in advance and transported in a “hot box,” the chop must be finished on-site, which requires transporting ovens—as most venues don’t have kitchens on premises.

Straight Up A chop is the most expensive cut of lamb, and as it’s served in its whole form, there is no filler ingredient to help offset costs.

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