By Suzanne Monaghan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Chef’s from around the country are in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the Art of Catering Food Conference, where the latest ideas in meal planning and catering are showcased.

Forget the pasta station, now there are smoking stations.

“Food is premade in the back, but then you smoke it right at the station,” says Pauline Hoogmoed, CEO of Catersource Magazine, Conference & Tradeshow.

She says many caterers are mixing sweet and salty in meals — like the mini donut sandwiches. They are also mixing sweet and spicy in desserts, even using some chili’s like Aleppo pepper.

The food is designed to have you licking your plate and…eating your spoon?

“Edible spoons in multiple flavors,” Hoogmoed says. “Which means you can put either a dessert or hors d’oeuvres in there and there is no waste because your guests are eating the spoons.”

Reducing waste is another trend in catering as the industry moves to use more sustainable products.

The conference runs through this Tuesday, Aug. 13th.

Top Content On CBSPhilly

Watch & Listen LIVE