Raising the Bar

By Sara Perez Webber

As we head into the holidays, guests will be toasting the season at dinner parties, office events and social soirees. To help you add extra cheer to their “cheers,” we’ve rounded up 10 ways catering and event pros have made sure their drink presentations left a lasting impression. Continue reading »

Feasts for the Holidays

By Sara Perez Webber

Last December, Chowgirls Killer Catering’s co-founder, Heidi Andermack, hosted a Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner party for close friends at Workshop, a tech design studio located in a restored warehouse in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. She had adopted the Sicilian tradition after attending a Christmas Eve seafood feast at a friend’s house during college. Her friend’s mother cooked up “a mind-blowing spread of seafood dishes” for the family. “There were a lot of big voices and big personalities,” she recalls. “The characters, the atmosphere, the food. I ate it all up!” Continue reading »

Don’t Leave Your Catering Profits Up to Chance

By Sandy Korem, The Catering Coach

Feedback is so important! It helps you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and improve what you have to offer. This is true of catering, and it’s true when speaking. For example, I recently spoke at a national conference for caterers and restaurant owners, and as is the usual practice, the show organizers provided me feedback from the audience after the show. I read every one of the comments because it helps me figure out what the audience liked and what they didn’t. Overall, the feedback was really positive. Continue reading »

Chow, Bella!

Some caterers seem to have bid arrivederci to Italian food, but studies suggest that this beloved cuisine is worth revisiting

By Deanne Moskowitz

Despite the rapid acceptance of evermore exotic cuisines by American diners, recent studies still rank Italian as the most preferred or second-most preferred food in America. It may not be the hottest global cuisine, but it is beloved for its comfort, familiarity and perceived healthfulness (perhaps thanks to its Mediterranean underpinnings). But some caterers, judging from their menus, seem to have given Italian food the boot, limiting their global offerings exclusively to trendier imports such as Mexican, Middle Eastern and Asian. Continue reading »

The Tech-Savvy Caterer

Tips for choosing the right digital tools for your business

By Connie Jeske Crane

The digital revolution is here—bringing with it challenges as well as benefits. Whether your catering operation is small or large, old-school or tech-savvy, today it’s hard not to feel a constant pressure to stay on your toes technologically. From ordering and delivery to advertising and accounting, the questions swirl: Am I doing OK? Should I rejig this part of my business? What will I gain? What’s the best solution? What will it cost? Continue reading »

Creating Joy

A colorful rebrand marks the 30-year anniversary of Joy Wallace’s Miami-based catering and design company

By Sara Perez Webber

Joy Wallace has always loved throwing parties. “I love making people happy,” says Wallace, president and CEO of Miami-based Joy Wallace Catering & Design, celebrating its 30th anniversary. “I love food. I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces because we have made their dreams come true.”

Before becoming a caterer, Wallace pursued her passion by frequently entertaining at home. “My husband did not feel as ‘joyful’ as I did about throwing parties,” she quips. “When I found a handbook from Florida International University that showed me the way to get paid for parties that were not at our home, my husband was so excited for me to go back to school and get this degree, he went out to FIU and signed me up for classes with Professor Steven Moll, my mentor through all these years.” Continue reading »

Taste of America

Inspired by regional favorites, catering menus throughout the country reflect the local bounty and the U.S.A. melting pot

By Sara Perez Webber

What’s American cuisine? You might get different answers in all 50 states. While a precise definition is hard to pin down, caterers throughout the land are pleasing customers by serving up regional favorites and utilizing local ingredients. These four examples show how the result is uniquely American—not to mention downright delicious. Continue reading »

More Fun in the Sun

10 ways to add extra fun and flair to your outdoor events

By Sara Perez Webber

Spring and summer are here, bringing more events to the great outdoors. With their carefree ambience, occasions under the sun and stars invite fun activities and whimsical décor, as shown in these 10 winning ideas from caterers, event planners and venues. Continue reading »

Lifting the Lid

In their new book, brothers Matt Lee and Ted Lee share their undercover experiences—the good, the bad and the ugly—in the high-stakes world of New York catering

By Sara Perez Webber

“What kind of person chooses this as a nightly drill?” That’s the question Ted Lee asks himself as he’s helping to plate entrees for a $2,000-a-head gala for 465 guests. It was “the most extravagant party of New York’s fall social season that year,” he writes, a high-stakes event for caterer Sonnier & Castle. But the pressure reaches a boiling point after complaints of lukewarm food, prompting Chef Patrick Phelan to demand that servers start sprinting back to the kitchen to get the plates out faster. Continue reading »

Spicing Things Up

By Deanne Moskowitz

You may be surprised to learn that the state with the fastest-growing Latin American population between 2000 and 2015 was Georgia, according to the Pew Research Center. That demographic change has spurred demand over the last 10 years for Latin American cuisines at Talk of the Town Catering & Special Events in Roswell, a suburb of Atlanta, according to Andrew Brackner, executive chef and owner. As people see so many different cultures living next door, he says, they are “naturally curious” about every aspect—“most importantly, their food.” Continue reading »