Great Caterers Are So Much More Than Their Food

I just had to share a little local talent today. Jim and Cheryl Hagy at Chef’s Market & Take Away have to be some of the most creative caterers I have ever met. Their culinary creations are out of this world, but it’s not just the food that makes them so special. Nobody in Nash/Vegas can bring a room and a look together like this team!


The first time I encountered this talented staff was many years ago, I was still doing cakes so it had to have been bask in the dark ages. I was doing a cake for a wedding at, of all places, the church I attended and the reception was in the parish hall/ cafeteria where my kidlets went. I won’t say the room was ugly, it just had to be one of the coldest places ever. Not sleek and modern, just cold, too high ceilings, too much glass and too much neutral tile, even the wood trim seemed cold.


When I went to install the cake I was amazed, that cold space had been transformed into slice of New Orleans! Over the years, Jim & Cheryl have just gotten better and better. Their work still amazes me.


Since I can’t give you a taste of their marvelous food, enjoy the pictures in their gallery and check out their blog, Chef’s Dish (Love that name, 😉 ) Shannon Bate, Catering Director does a wonderful job a sharing her inspiration.
I love finding spectacular talent in my own back yard. Sometimes you need to look closer to home.

Coolest New Find


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I found the coolest new product at The Special Event. No, literally. How about amazing ice sculptures delivered to your door?

Ice Caters has developed a line of ice sculptures and service pieces packaged in special no freezer needed packaging. Everything from elaborated custom pieces to ice shot glasses or martini glasses can be shipped anywhere you happen to be. We had the best time playing with the martini glasses. You can even order the martini luge to go with it. Love that!

The also have partners around the country that can order then for you and handle the set-up. That’s’ really the thing to do to save a bit of sanity on your wedding day. I mean really, who wants to lug a block of ice around while in a lovely wedding gown? Just find what you want and tell your caterer where you found it and let them do the rest; ice and easy.

I told you it was cool.

The Greening of the American Wedding

One goal of most every engaged couple is to find ways to express themselves in their wedding; to make it a truly personal representation of who they are as a couple. To do this more and more couples are bringing their social consciousness to the party. From environmentally friendly weddings to ethical jewelry to charitable donation registries, today’s couples are seeking out ways to proclaim their love for the planet and its inhabitants as they proclaim their love for each other.

Going green doesn’t mean wearing hemp and taking your vows in a field of daisies while munching on organic tofu. In 2007 you may not even see much of a difference on the surface. This means that you can do your part for the planet without freaking out Granny.

The key factor in having a green wedding is to make conscience choices and to ask questions. Many vendors in the event industry are catching on to the different options available and jumping in to fill the need. From when and where you decide to get married to the invitations to your honeymoon there are ways to lessen the impact your wedding has on the environment.

As you start to plan your wedding consider the time and place. A ceremony and reception held in the spring or fall will require less energy to heat or cool the space. Host your wedding in a location central to most of your guests to minimize the miles traveled. If possible have your ceremony and reception in the same location or you can provide transportation between the two.

Invitations

If you think about it weddings require an amazing amount of paper goods. This is also one of the easiest ways to go green. Recycled paper has come a long way from the brown rough texture of the early days. Now you can get beautiful invitations printed on recycled papers from most of the major manufacturers. You can also find printers that use soy ink.

Take it another step further and you will discover all the beautiful handmade papers now available for the bride that want to make her own invitations. There are papers that come with embeds like flower petals or seeds. The seeded ones are especially nice to use for your program; guest can take them home and plant them after the wedding. No waste and a new plant in the bargain. Anything you need for your ‘paper wardrobe’ can be found in an ecologically friendly format.

Décor

When you talk about decor the first thing most people think of is flowers. Even though flowers are a natural product they are one of the hardest places to have an impact. Unless you live in an area with a long growing season it can be very hard to find the kinds of flowers you want locally and organically grown. Don’t despair, there are still thing you can do. If you get married in a garden you have flowers all around you. For your table centerpieces you can use a tablescape of small potted plants, maybe a combination of flowers and herbs. Pot them up in a moss lined basket or put them in pretty little pots and have you guests take them home for their gardens. If you still want a more traditional look you can order organically grown flowers on the internet from Organicbouquets.com. Even if you go with completely traditional flowers you can make arrangements with your florist to donate your flowers afterwards. Perenity is an all volunteer organization that will pick up your flowers after the wedding and use them to make arrangement that are delivered next day to patients in hospice care. Harriet Karo of the local Perenity group told me that this trend has grown in Nashville to the point where they quite frequently receive enough donations to not only cover Alive Hospice but the Ronald McDonald House as well. Way to go Nashville brides! Not only that, but the florists love it too. Vicki Sanders owner of Branching Out said “not only are we doing something worth while but we don’t have to haul the leftover flowers back to the shop afterward.”

This is just the beginning of ways you can do your part as you celebrate your marriage. Tomorrow I’ll take a look at fashion and jewelery. Stay tuned.

The Reality of Reality TV

I know you watch them; those shows like “Who’s Wedding Is It Anyway”. You do know that those are only real in the loosest sense of the word don’t you? I mean they are real brides and real vendors but that pretty much is the end of it.

Let me tell you about what goes on behind the camera. In the real world that planner is on the phone with her favorite wedding pros the minute she/he got the call from the TV show. So everybody knows just how important this wedding is to their reputation and marketing. No one wants to be on National TV putting anything but their best foot forward.

Take for instance the florist. If you ask for a mock up of your centerpiece or bouquet you might very well either meet with resistance or be told the specific date they can do it. Here’s why: it will only take a few of each flower you are using to make the arrangement but the florist still has to order the entire box or bunch multiplied by the number of flower types used; very few can be ordered as a single stem. The florist now either has a huge investment or they will try to set it up on a date when they already have the same types of flowers ordered for another event. The smaller the florist the harder this is. If on the other hand that same florist knows that a camera crew is going to be showing up for the trial what do you thing they are going to do? I’ll tell you what they do, they beg, borrow and steal what ever is needed to make sure that those arrangements are gorgeous at whatever time or date the planner wants to see them. They will call in every favor from ever supplier they have to make it perfect. Heck I have even know a couple to paint the workroom.

The same goes for caterers, they hate tastings. It isn’t because they don’t think there food is great; it is because it costs them a fortune. In order to get the kind of prices and quality they need they have to order in bulk. Now what are they going to do with the other 2.5 pounds of extra large shrimp they had to thaw out to get the 6 they put on your plate? If the camera crew is there they are going to feed them and most definitely the producer. Why do you think the caterer always gets so much air time??

It is not that the wedding professionals you are interviewing are treating you badly, they are treating you normally. It is just that you don’t have a camera crew in tow. Those are the ones that are getting spoiled.

They may call them reality TV but you need to take them with a real big grain of salt.