In the event you’ve ever attended a gallery opening, bridal bathe, guide signing, rehearsal dinner or perhaps a bar mitzvah, you’ve got in all probability had a catering expertise. If you attend an elegantly appointed marriage ceremony reception or a plated fund-raiser with meals as tasty, if not tastier than the native eating hot-spots, you nearly undoubtedly have a catering staff to thank.

Catering appears fairly easy and easy: You cook dinner some meals and serve it, proper? That’s the fundamental concept, however there’s extra to it. An entire lot extra.

On this article, we’ll take you behind the scenes to see what catering is all about. From the preliminary client-caterer assembly to the large occasion, catering includes numerous planning and preparation, teamwork, creativity and a few fairly cool gear.

First, let’s contemplate what defines catering right now.

Meals is unquestionably the star within the catering world, nevertheless it’s just one a part of the equation. Chef Joel Dondis of Joel, a full service catering and event-planning firm positioned in New Orleans, Louisiana, agrees. Like many catering firms right now, Joel contains full occasion planning. As used catering trailers firms have moved towards the full-service, event-planning mannequin, the main target has morphed. It isn’t that meals is now not a focus, however relatively that it’s a part of a broader mission. Dondis means that catering is about satisfying all of the senses:

  • Sight
  • Listening to
  • Contact
  • Scent
  • Style

With the correct environment, you possibly can enchantment to all of those senses in a means that makes an occasion particular and memorable. In fact, fantastically ready meals can enchantment to your sense of style, scent and sight – even perhaps contact, nevertheless it should not outshine the remainder of the occasion. Caterers right now typically need each piece of the puzzle, from the decor to the glassware, to have that very same type of influence.

From flatware to flowers, lighting to linens and tables to tunes, all the things ought to complement the meals to create a unified total expertise. In response to Dondis, continuity is essential. You need each facet to be in sync with one another. For instance:

  • Does the venue match the event, local weather and group dimension? Regardless of how beautiful the encompassing gardens, you in all probability would not need to have formally attired visitors eating outdoors in 98-degree climate.
  • Does the menu match the event and tastes of the group? For a retirement celebration, the place the retiree is on the brink of embark on a 6-month sabbatical in Spain together with her partner, tappas stations can be an impressed concept.
  • Does the decor swimsuit the venue and occasion? White linen, china and crystal stemware won’t be probably the most acceptable desk setting for an informal, pool-side barbecue reception. Festive prints, corresponding to blue and white checked tablecloths and matching napkins with plain glass plates and mason jars is perhaps a greater match.

Whether or not it is a cocktail social gathering for 50 pals or a company occasion for 500, the aim is similar: deeply satisfying the visitors. So, how does a caterer accomplish this grand job? All of it begins with a couple of easy easy questions…