May the Catering Gods Be With Us

I’m a few days away from catering a wedding this weekend. I’m working with the chef friend who catered my wedding as a barter arrangment, so this is my opportunity to pay her back for the wonderful work she did at our reception. She has organized this Columbus Weekend event and aside from going over amounts and recipes on the phone with her, I’m just going to show up on Sunday and put in a twelve hour day, with a bit of cooking on Saturday at home.

What started out to be kind of a hellish event has mellowed into something quite easy. The numbers were 250 but have diminished to a comfortable 125 and after much searching, my friend found a professional kitchen to work out of (she was going to have us use her home kitchen and the neighbor’s down the street–imagine the schlepping!)

The bride and groom are gluten-free exercise fiends who are obsessed with protein which explains the menu they’ve chosen.


Gluten-free Flatbread Roll-ups with Three Spreads: feta/black olive, roasted red pepper/hummus, and basil pesto

Nori Rolls (from a local Asian restaurant)


Baked Mediterrean Chicken Thighs Spread with an Olive and Sundried Tomato Pesto

Oven Baked Beef Stew with Burgundy, Bay, and Wild Mushrooms

Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Sweet Potatoes, Cardamom, and Cinnamon

Steamed Rice (from a local Asian restaurant)


Flourless Chocolate Torte (from a local bakery)

Coffee and Tea

Late night snack:

Pizza (being delivered)

I’m making the curry at home the day before and the chicken at the rented kitchen the morning of the wedding. She’s making all the spreads and the stew the day before the wedding so they can develop in flavor overnight. The event is happening on the top floor of the Center for the Arts building with three flights of stairs and no elevator. Should be invigorating!

One of the best things about this job is that the clients seem to have no budget. Hence my friend has charged a good hourly wage for the both of us and won’t skimp on any ingredients or staffing help. This is world’s apart from most of the jobs I’ve done where I bid it out and then that’s what I get paid regardless of the cost of prime rib when it comes time to buy the food, or how many pine nuts burn and have to be purchased again.

The main challenge is that there is no kitchen on site, so everything has to kept hot in Cambros from the time we leave the rented kitchen 30 minutes away to the time it can get into the chafing dishes. My friend plans to use a super clean cooler to hold the hot stew–she’s going to literally just pour it in.

It’s a buffet set-up and there’s going to be a lot of time between “courses”, maybe too much, but that can be changed as needed. Dinner will be served on rented china, but dessert will be on paper plates so clean up will be easier as the night wears on. May the catering gods be with us!

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            3 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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            1 Program(s) Found

            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.