How to Choose The Right Caterer for Your Event-Cuisine Edition Part 1


How to Choose The Right Caterer for Your Event-Cuisine Edition Part 1

 

When the caterer provides fantastic cuisine, the event is an instant success! Cuisine is a key factor as to why many attend an event. The cuisine is outstanding at a catered event!

When the time comes to think about food options and questions, endless thoughts may arise. Well do not panic, Red’s Catering has thought of all the possible questions you may ask your caterer so sit back with a cup of coffee and relax.

Fresh & Local Ingredients

In today’s food world the fresh & local ingredients trend turned out for the better. Fresh ingredients makes while delivering a bright and lively feel to the cuisine. Fresh ingredients provides better quality of cuisine that tastes outstanding! Fresh ingredients allows the meal to leave a lasting impression on your guests as well an amazing taste. With this being said ask the caterer if they choose to use frozen or fresh. It may take a few tries to find a caterer who uses fresh food but when you do you’ll be happy!

Red’s

With fresh ingredients Red’s is able to provide outstanding quality to our customers.

Red’s supports local businesses as much as possible, and we understand the importance of supporting local businesses, being that we are a local business ourself.

The produce we purchase from local farmers is seasonal. It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavors. Shopping and cooking from the local farmers helps us to reconnect with the cycles of nature in our region. As we look forward to asparagus in spring, savor sweet corn in summer, or bake pumpkins in autumn, we reconnect with the earth, the weather, and the turning of the year and instill this connection with nature to our clients through our variety of elegant and seasonal entrées.

At the Red’s Catering you find an amazing array of produce that you don’t see in your average supermarket: red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, stinging nettles, green garlic, watermelon radishes, quail eggs, maitake mushrooms, and much, much more. It is a wonderful opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet.

Much food found in grocery stores is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. These practices may have negative effects on human health. In contrast, most produce we purchase from our farmers is minimally processed, and many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties. This is what sets Red’s Catering apart from the rest. We are genuinely committed to providing only the best food options available, and by paying attention to these details, we are able to set ourselves apart from cheap imitations.

With this said, Red’s loves using fresh ingredients and supporting local businesses. We love our customers and appreciate their business.

 

Allergenic options

Allergies and intolerances relating to food is becoming more and more common today. When interviewing or meeting with caterers, ask if they accommodate allergy options.

Red’s

From red food dye to lactose intolerance and everything in-between, Red’s understands and is willing to work with these so our customers are satisfied. Red’s ensures every customer has an meal to enjoy. Red’s Catering has a highly trained staff and thoroughly understands the seriousness of food allergies. We follows specific protocols to ensure the safety of those guests by providing safe alternatives that are prepared in separate area of our kitchen to mitigate any potential risk of cross-contamination. We take pride in sourcing wholesome ingredients, preparing recipes accurately and providing nutritional analysis and ingredient statements upon request. We are passionate about maintaining the health of our clients. From Head Chef Paul to front line servers, we work diligently to address clients’ specific needs, especially those with food allergies, Celiac disease, or special diet needs.

Food typically plays a central role in celebrations, parties, meetings and conventions that are held in meeting/reception halls, convention centers, hotels or restaurants. Catering can be complicated and often becomes more so due to the need to serve guests who have food allergies in a manner that follows regulations provided by the USDA.

Research on food allergies in eating establishments shows better communication and food allergy awareness by all people involved in the dining process. Often, patrons with known peanut or tree nut allergies who have reactions while dining did not notify the establishment of their allergy. Many of these reactions could have been avoided if the server had been made aware.

For the food allergic dining guest, alerting the caterer of allergies prior to placing an order is an important first step in avoiding allergic reactions. However, although many members of restaurant staff feel confident they can safely serve guests with a food allergy, they may not have the knowledge or training to do so. A lack of communication coupled with false confidence is a dangerous combination. Here are some examples of possible cross contaminations that can occur if the catering staff does not have the appropriate knowledge or training:  

  •    Picking nuts off a salad thinking it will be safe.
  •    Thinking the temperature of the fryer oil destroys allergens.
  •    Taking a spoon used to serve cream soup and stirring milk-free soup.
  •    Chopping nuts and a salad on the same block.
  •    Sharing mixers, pans, etc., in preparation of multiple foods.

Unlike dining at a restaurant, eating at a catered function/event is less in the control of the guest with food allergies. Event planners and caterers must be aware that they are dealing with a “captive audience”—while food allergic patrons at restaurants can choose to go elsewhere, food allergic guests at catered events may not have this option. In a sense, many important “screening” steps and decisions may be taken out of the control of food allergic guests, including not having the opportunity to assess the food allergy knowledge and policies of the caterer.

Another complicating factor in easily communicating allergy needs, is the scale of the meal or meals being prepared and served. Many menu items served at events are pre-prepared or at least “prepped” prior to the arrival of the guests. In other words, many foods are handled or prepared without being able to prevent cross contact (a common cause of allergic reactions). The best defence is a good offence. Alert the caterer about possibly food allergies as soon as possible.

Safety depends on effective communication and partnering between the event planners, the caterers, and guests. Event planners need to ask if there are attendees with food allergies and provide those food allergic attendees with opportunities to notify them of any special accommodations. This early communication can help planners, caterers and others involved in the event to plan for safe alternatives as needed. It also gives guests time to decide on acceptable and safe alternatives.

All catering staff, which includes front of the house, back of the house, management, etc., must have protocols for dealing with food allergy, as well as thorough training.  The training should include communication, label reading, knowledge of hidden ingredients, prevention of cross contact and/or cleaning techniques and processes for promptly dealing with allergic and other medical emergencies. Red’s Catering staff is highly trained to avoid cross-contamination, and exercises specific protocols while preparing for an event that entertains people with food allergies. You can rest assured that your guests will be safe and have a thoroughly enjoyable event.  Communication is key.

It is the responsibility of guests to respond to planners’ requests to alert them of  their allergy needs and follow up by always alerting the server and manager about allergies upon arriving at the function. However, safe alternatives—including outside, packaged food items or a simply prepared meal arranged prior to the event—should be made available.
We want to meet one-on-one with all of our customers who have individual dining needs to ensure that your dining experience is safe, delicious, and social. If you have a food allergy/special diet concern, please call or send Chef Paul an email before placing your order! [email protected]

 

Thanks for reading! Check back in next week for the second edition.