Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Special Events Make Us Smile

There is an 80-20 rule to most things in life.  In our catering business, that translates to this:  80% of the guests order 20% of the items we put on our very extensive catering menus.  Most people do not want to stray far from normal, so we find ourselves cooking pretty much the same things over and over and over again.  It is that way in the restaurants as well as functions.

So, when we get a client who enjoys letting us be creative, we really spark to that challenge.  We go all out, and work extra hard with and for them, to produce a very special event.

One such client is Catholic Charities of the North Shore.  This organization even lets us create the theme for their event, and as part of our support for their good works, we handle all of the decor for them as well.  The theme this year was the Four Seasons.

Here are some photos of this year's event which took place last week:
Staged decor, ready to be deployed, show hints of things to come.  Fall and Winter in the foreground, and a hint of Spring in the background.
Ice Carving for the Spring Gala 2014

As part of Winter, a Christmas "Giving Tree" welcomes guests into the Grand Ballroom

Winter was half of the Grand Ballroom
Winter trying not to be denied.

Spring took over the back part of the Grand Ballroom, trying to nudge Winter out of the way!

Spring is lovely and light!

Fresh asparagus had centerstage for Spring.

Our plant supplier, Nunan's Greenhouses of Georgetown, provided all the live plants that helped us stage this event.  Thank you, Steve!

Beautiful special micro-salad station

Geoff, one of our cooks, manning the micro-salad station

Yummy salad of wheat berries.  It was very tasty!

Cheese station

Summer featured a special lemonade stand by the "beach"

A made-to-order guacamole station was a big hit.

Signs of Summer were everywhere, from graduations to beach scenes

Terrific summer salads

Light yet full of flavor, the summer salads hit the spot.

Luke Healy did the honors carving the steamship round of beef

A winter salad

Springtime chicken stew

The finished product from the micro-salad station

Individual portions of "vegetable ceviche" which was crunchy, fresh and light.

Individual giant prawn cocktails with gazpacho dip and sip

Vegetable ceviche, prawn cocktail, and chilled sweet pea soup with bacon

Salmon "pastrami" on toasted baguette rounds

Edamame hummus. . . mmmmm!

Warm green lentils with duck confit, cranberry drizzle and creme fraiche

Chef Rhiannon Nowak "mans" the guacamole station

Guacamole and blue corn chips

French fries dusted with truffle salt, served in paper cones

Crisp filo-wrapped asparagus

Mini cheeseburger sliders with bacon.  

Individual mini tiramisu

Here is the full menu:


Wild mushroom beggars purse
Sweet potato tots, lavender honey dip
Tuscan roasted vegetable, garlic, ricotta risotto cakes
Chicken, spinach, prosciutto fontina meatballs, pomegranate molasses dipping sauce
Action Station
Carved steamship round of beef, horseradish cream, eggplant pomegranate relish, shallot marmalade, chimichurri sauce and assorted dinner rolls

Crunchy winter vegetable salad, with, broccoli, fennel, celery root, escarole, olives and capers BOWL
Lamb and sweet potato shepherd’s pie
Wild rice, dried cherry and chestnut rice pilaf
Whipped butternut squash, toppings and mix-ins
Spiced pecans, maple sugar, applewood-smoked bacon crumbles, Parmesan cheese, toasted pepitas, brown sugar and cinnamon


Chilled creamed pea soup with leeks, snap peas and crisp bacon
Salmon pastrami creme fraiche croutes
Asparagus wrapped in filo with asiago cheese
Fava beam hummus crostini, pea shoot garnish

Action Station
Chiffonade salad, small cut tender spring -greens, mini herbs and edible flowers, Vermont goat cheese crumbles, creamy  home grown chive dressing

Stewed chicken, spring vegetables, carrots, leeks, spring garlic, and peas
Salmon filets, rhubarb marmalade
Marinated chilled asparagus salad, balsamic glaze and shaved Parmesan


Caprese salad skewer, sweet 100 tomatoes, basil leaf, fresh mozzarella, balsamic reduction and sea salt
Spicy summer gazpacho, cilantro, shrimp cocktail
Beef and cheese sliders
French fries in cone
Summer vegetable ceviche, vegetable salad cut small and lightly pickled

Action Station
Hand-made guacamole station, jalapeños, sour cream, pico de gallo, and a mountain of home-made corn chips

Watermelon and feta salad, balsamic drizzle
Spiced and grilled skirt steak
Panzanella salad
BBQ pulled pork, with slider rolls, Alabama BBQ sauce, Jack Daniels BBQ,
Grilled pesto-marinated summer and zucchini squash kabobs


Butternut squash tartlet
Apple chutney and brie filo
Swordfish bites, sweet soy glaze , sesame seeds

Action Station
Warm green lentil salad, duck confit, cranberry chutney, crème fraiche

New England cheddar cheese board, grapes, artisan breads, Jams , honey, mustards
Roasted Autumn vegetables, squash, turnips, carrots, parsnips, fresh sage, and brown butter
Baked cod, lobster Newburg sauce, fresh chives    
Harvest wheat-berry salad, dried cranberries, pecans and tart apples


Warm Pumpkin pie-croissant-bread pudding, whipped cream
Caramel-apple kabobs
Mini vanilla and chocolate cupcakes
Chocolate-dipped strawberries. Some with white chocolate drizzle
Seasonal cookies
Raspberry filled shortbread cookies
Cranberry sensation cookies
Molasses-ginger cookies
Triple chocolate chunk
Lemon bar bites
Tiramisu tastes

I hope you enjoy seeing how creative our team members can be, and of course, I hope to see you here.


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