Kitchen Matters

By Sara Perez Webber

A look inside the heart of the business, where one size doesn’t fit all

Do you and your kitchen have a happy relationship? For many, the heart of the business is fraught with growing pains. Start out with one too big, and your expenses may outweigh your profits. Work out of one too small, and you may have to decline business because you can’t keep up with production. Continue reading »

Paying It Forward

By Sara Perez Webber

As Robin Selden becomes president of the International Caterers Association, she explains how the group enhanced her career and what others can gain from joining

When Robin Selden—managing partner and executive chef of Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning in Stamford, Conn.—joined the International Caterers Association (ICA), “it changed my entire career,” she says.

Robin recently took over as president of the ICA, after serving as a board member and on the ICA’s Culinary Council, and she praises the association for the benefits it bestows on its members. “What I love is that it’s a noncompetitive networking opportunity that creates invaluable forums for sharing and learning from fellow caterers who understand this crazy, amazing business that we all love so much!” she says. It’s been a busy year for Robin, who in addition to taking over the ICA reins recently won the Chef of the Year CATIE award from the ICA. Marcia Selden Catering—founded nearly 40 years ago by Selden’s mother—was in the running for the CATIE Caterer of the Year award, and last year it was the first catering company ever inducted into the Connecticut Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame. Continue reading »

Smoking Hot Starters

By Deanne Moskowitz

The focus on seasonal ingredients may have sparked interest in ancient preservation techniques, but their ability to fire-up flavor has fanned the flame—particularly in the appetizer and hors d’oeuvre category, with its mission to kick-start the taste buds. The perceived health benefits of pickled and fermented foods has helped to stoke the fire. Ignited by the roaring popularity of charcuterie and kimchi, now the trend is being fueled by new ingredients. Continue reading »

Station Nation: Caterers Across The Country Share The Innovative Ways They’re Serving Food To Guests

By Sara Perez Webber

Successful catered events these days often involve all the senses. Not only do event guests want their taste buds tantalized, they enjoy seeing imaginative presentations, hearing the sizzle and smelling the aroma of their food being prepared, and holding clever vessels that put the standard white plate to shame. Rising to the challenge, caterers across the country—including the four profiled here—are finding new ways to serve food at station set-ups that showcase their cuisine and their creativity. Continue reading »

Setting the Table for 2016 – Experts Predict the Flavors and Trends That Will Shape the Culinary World This Year

By Sara Perez Webber

Now that the new year is upon us, it’s a good time to take a look at what experts think we have in store for us in 2016. According to the various trend reports we’ve assembled here, prepare for a hot-and-spicy year, with lots of veggies and much less waste, and a greater inclusion of global cuisine even while customers clamor for local sourcing. Continue reading »

Weddings on Trend

By Sara Perez Webber

Experts share some of the latest styles and customs that are catching on with their clients.

An intimate event that gives a glimpse into the marrying couple’s lives through its food and décor, with rustic, romantic touches and guests who feel like they’re a part of the celebration. That’s the kind of wedding that’s trending these days, according to the experts who shared with Catering Magazine which styles and customs are being embraced by their bridal clients. Continue reading »

Taking the Cake

By Sara Perez Webber

As a judge on Cake Wars: Christmas, Sherry Yard draws on her illustrious career, which is growing in new directions as she plans restaurant openings across the country Continue reading »

How Sweet It Is

By Sara Perez Webber

Dessert buffets are taking the cake at weddings, as the mini trend gets bigger, and couples say “I do” to new tastes and traditions

A tale of two wedding cakes: At one end of the spectrum, there’s a five-foot show-stopper evoking a full set of Louis Vuitton stacked luggage, completely edible, with chocolate cut by hand into 200 logos and expertly molded to create a leather-looking texture. At the other end quietly stands a single-layer cake with smooth white frosting topped with fresh berries. Continue reading »

Key Talent

By Sara Perez Webber

In 1971, Norman Van Aken answered a want ad for a short-order cook in Libertyville, Ill. Although his mother worked as a restaurant waitress and hostess, Van Aken had no kitchen training. The job paid just $3.50 per hour, but at least he knew he was qualified. “No experience necessary,” read the ad—three words so fateful that they became the title of Van Aken’s memoir 43 years later. Continue reading »

Incredibly, Kosher!

By Deanne Moskowitz

Some of the best events now are farm-to-table, interactive, fun and—surprise!—kosher

The staff of the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, Calif., watched in awe as Los Angeles-based 5 Star Kosher Catering (a division of Someone’s in the Kitchen) unloaded hors d’oeuvre trays for a glatt kosher wedding. Continue reading »