That’s entertainment

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With dancing servers, 12 courses and food prep on a stage, this corporate event was anything but staid

CATERER: D’Amico Catering (damicocatering.com)

VENUE: Aria, a former warehouse and theater that’s now an event venue in downtown Minneapolis’ Warehouse District

EVENT DETAILS: D’Amico Catering pulled out all the stops—including 27 chefs, 26 service staff and six event management team members—to orchestrate an imaginative 12-course dinner for the top producers from RE/MAX in Minneapolis. The chefs were on a stage, preparing the food in front of the guests to the beat of a playlist ranging from “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars to “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. The chefs occasionally broke out into dance, as did the servers, who performed the Macarena.

 

Also choreographed was the service for each course. For example, for the soup course, the servers brought out bowls with the “dry” ingredients (sugarcane shrimp, king oyster mushrooms and abalone carpaccio), followed by the chefs, who poured hot-and-sour broth into the bowls. For the bao course, servers painted each plate with apple miso and then presented Asian steamer baskets with the Alsatian-flavored bao, filled with pork choucroute, fried pork belly, purple potato, pickled mustard seed, carrot and salt-pickled cabbage. Before the fish course, servers sprayed Yuzu mist in front of each guest before they ate so they could enjoy an olfactory experience to enhance the course. And for the palette cleanser before dessert, guests, carrying white Chinese spoons, walked up to the lined-up chefs at the stage, and each chef added an item to each guest’s spoon (to create crème fraiche panna cotta with black pepper berries, aged balsamic and crisp prosciutto).

MENU HIGHLIGHTS: Other courses included an amuse bouche of savory poutine served in round fryer baskets; a duck course with a duet of pulled duck confit and sliced glazed duck breast; and an array of desserts, including handmade chocolate truffles passed in cigar boxes, candied bacon s’more tarts, malted chocolate mousses on chocolate almond cake, coconut mascarpone cheesecake-filled strawberries, and a last bite of sweet poutine—mini churros, warm Mexican chocolate gravy and sweet cheese crumble served in fryer baskets

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THE BEST-LAID PLANS: Although this was a complex dinner—requiring the serving of multiple small courses off-site, with no kitchen, for 200 guests—it went off without a hitch. “Rachel [Bruzek, D’Amico Catering’s senior creative event and trend specialist] and the D’Amico team did a fantastic job of taking my crazy out-of-the-ordinary idea and making it come to life,” says Shannon Hicks, RE/MAX events manager. “From concept to execution, they were enthusiastic and creative while maintaining the professional feel needed for our guests. Onsite during the event, the D’Amico crew took it over the top with their vibrant energy that got the crowd going and made the night interesting while each surprise was introduced. The feedback from our guests was phenomenal.”l

Have a good candidate for Event Spotlight? Send details to Catering’s editor, Sara Webber (sara@cateringmagazine.com).