Whether celebrating or creating a memory, food always seems to be an important part of any gathering and is an international language that any and all can relate to. Food expresses traditions, values, creativity and comfort to all ages and is an age old tradition at the heart of any gathering.
Was there always one special cook in the family that prepared that something special when you gathered with friends and relatives that made the events memorable and very special? I will always remember my Mothers “picnic cake” and delicious fried chicken that were reserved only for special picnic trips to the mountains! She also made amazing homemade spaghetti and meatballs which was prepared for special occasions like family birthdays. My big brother was also an amazing cook and he would always create wonderful holiday meals for our whole family. He also loved preparing Shrimp Salad as an appetizer on nights that my Mother and he were to attend the opera! Somehow this signature dish made the evening more memorable.
Do you remember a big brother or sister’s wedding day and what you ate or drank? Was it a delicious piece of cake, a first taste of champagne or a delicious entree that you can’t forget? Did you travel or attend a work related event as an adult that presented some sort of special meal as part of the day’s work? I remember attending a sales event in New Orleans once as a Catering Sales Manager and being wined and dined on the finest of Southern Cajun Cuisine. It was incredible and never to be forgotten!
When selecting a caterer for special and momentous events I think people tend to lean towards a caterer who has prepared comfort food and there is a memory from the past related to that food. Delicious mac and cheese, a special dessert or favorite entrée from your past help in determining who is ultimately selected to cater your special event. What most people don’t know is that you can pretty much request anything you would like to have at your special event, even if it is not listed on a caterers menus.
Don’t be afraid to ask if the Chef can prepare a dish to order for your event either from a special recipe or just leave it to the experts once you’ve explained the vision of the dish! Most Chefs’ love to create and the artistry of preparing special dishes are their gift and passion of the culinary expression.
Share who you are in the interview with a caterer: what you love, what was your favorite childhood dishes were, what is your overall vision for your guests at your special event? Perhaps your dishes can be presented family style to help personalize the plates and the meal being served. There is something forever special about friends and family gathering around a table together to dine. Passing dishes to each other, chit chatting about how delicious it all looks, smells and tastes and of course you are creating a new memory together. This is what the gathering is about and delicious foods are something that will always be remembered over time. Enjoy the dishes and enjoy who you are getting to share them with!
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