Q: DO YOU USE LOCAL FOODS?
YES! There’s a wonderful campaign called “Eat Your View” and that’s what we focus on. We use ingredients that are growing in our own backyard – or the yards of our local farmers. Local food should be able to be sourced within our own are. Local means reducing the carbon footprint. As part of our Green Certification, we strive to source everything within 90 mile radius. We continue to use local harvest through the harsh winters by processing and preserving much of our spring, summer and fall bounty.
Q: WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY “SEASONAL” COOKING?
Just like our commitment to local – our commitment to seasonal is just as important. Our menu design ebbs and flows with the season. We don’t feature fresh strawberries in January and we don’t highlight fresh pumpkin in July.
A seasonal farm-to-table menu must remain flexible and be able to react to availability that may fluctuate due to weather, environment, storms, crop infestations and more.
Q: DO YOU HAVE PRE-DETERMINED MENUS WE CAN CHOOSE FROM?
We don’t. Why not? It is our opinion that a wedding should speak to who you are and should be a reflection of you. We want your guests to leave saying “that was SO them”. Every wedding design is unique. Every season is different. Every palate is different. Every client is different. Embrace that. It’s what drives us and fuels our passion. It’s your event – the entire evening should be a reflection of that.
Q: WHAT IS THE MOST COST EFFECTIVE MENU – SERVED, STATIONS OR BUFFET?
You may be surprised to know that for buffet, stations, or family-style meals, the caterer needs to prepare a greater quantity of food. Therefore the food cost and staffing is higher than for a plated meal. We never know how many times Uncle Albert will want to be served seconds…or thirds or fourths or fifths….
For a pre-selected entree or paired plate, the caterer knows exactly what the portion size is and how many of each portion they will need to plan for, helping keep the costs in line.
Q: WILL OUR FOOD BE COOKED DAYS IN ADVANCE AND MICROWAVED OR REHEATED AT THE EVENT?
Food should be fresh. Food should be served at the proper temperature. We create a field kitchen wherever we go. Our chefs travel to the event and the food is cooked fresh, on site at the time of service. Straight from our field kitchen to your table!
Q: DOES RESTAURANT FOOD TRANSLATE TO CATERING?
In any good restaurant, a chef is working in the back preparing dishes to order, for each guest as each order comes in. In the world of event catering, we are often preparing meals for up to thousands of people at the same time. Off-premise caterers must deal with issues of temperature, sanitation, transportation, establishing and organizing equipment and the logistics of a field kitchen. That, however, does not preclude us from providing a ‘knock your socks off’ dining experience.
Q: HOW DO YOU DETERMINE THE NUMBER OF STAFF NEEDED AT AN EVENT?
Great question! We use our 30+ years of experience and familiarity with our local venues to determine the number of staff necessary for each event. Think of the wait staff and bartenders you see in the room as the tip of the iceberg. Event Planners, Admin Support, Drivers, Loaders, Scullery, Designers, Chefs, Runners, Servers and the list goes on and on. We factor all in to ensure your wedding has all it needs.
Q: HOW DO YOU CREATE YOUR PRICING?
Another great question. We look at multiple factors including; logistics of the venue, guest count, food costs, equipment needs, style of service, labor in the production kitchen, design and coordination. Because every wedding is different, we cannot give you a good estimate until we’ve met with you and listened to you vision of your day.
Q: MUST OUR VENUE HAVE A KITCHEN TO ALLOW FOR CATERING?
We use the term ‘field kitchen’ to describe how we cook on-site. We bring only the necessary equipment. We bring the crew. We bring the water and the power if we have to. We have literally created a kitchen in the middle of a field …. a parking garage… an airport hangar… a dirt basement… the dugout at Dodd Stadium…
Q: DO YOU OFFER A TASTING BEFORE WE MAKE A DEPOSIT?
Absolutely! However, we hope to meet with you first. As we stated before, the entire evening should be a reflection of you – and that includes the menu. A good tasting, one designed to really let you experience the first flavors of your big day, should allow you to sample foods you are considering to be on your menu. Tasting a random selection of foods, some of which you may not want at your celebration, can be a waste of your time and definitely a waste of food – a big no-no for us and our certified Green status. After we work together to create your menu, we would love to have you join us at the Cookery for a tasting!
Q: ONCE WE GIVE OUR DEPOSIT, IS OUR MENU SET IN STONE?
Absolutely not! Menu flexibility is key to a successful catered event. Seasonality and crop availability are huge parts of menu planning. A good menu design, and a good culinary team, should be able to go with the flow and be able to adjust to whatever Mother Nature has in store.
A menu design in August can’t always anticipate what crops will be at their peak next June or how your ideas may change. Flexibility will assure the best quality culinary experience for your guests.