Catering a red carpet event

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by chefpli, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. chefpli

    chefpli

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Hello: I'm one who just read the forum mostly but I want to venture and ask for your help.



    I've been asked to cater a Hair Salon Inauguration; they want to go all out; Red Carpet Style. So it will be all pass hors d’ouevres and champagne, petite fours and what not.

    I have some ideas of the HdO I am going to make but I would like your input; I would like also ideas to decorated the plates to pass the HdO and any other thing that comes to your mind.

    Should I do an ice sculpture? If yes of what and presenting what kind of food by it or just by itself.

    This is very important to me. I got the job because the event planner is a dear friend but I want to keep the business by my own merits.

    A lot of people assisting to the event are always doing events of their own so it could mean lots of business.

    Thank you in advance for your advice
     
  2. matthew henry

    matthew henry

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Culinary Instructor
    The fun of catering important events.

    While I might not help you a lot, I can tell you a couple of things I have found out about these types of events (you have probably done all of them already). First, know the client. It's useless if you don't have an idea of what they like and would expect to see. I always take tours of where I'm going and get to know people (seeing where they live is of great benefit oddly enough...types of decor). That, by itself, lets me have an idea of what they want and what I have to work with.

    Next, I look at the event and the reason behind it. For your situation, go to this Hair Salon (if it is finished)...or ask if you can see the architect draw-ups (or finished sketches). Chances are, if they are spending this amount of money they have this stuff. That is what I would use to draw my inspiration for the HdO and platter decoration.

    As for your ice sculpture...oh yeah, (and hopefully you are awesome at sculpting), but I would do a female head with hair that just flows out on the table. Should be fairly easy until you get to the "flowing on the table part." Plus, I would definitely have some type of food by it (or, in my mind...just HdO in amongst pockets of hair on the table).

    Sorry if I didn't help. But, good luck!
     
  3. chefpli

    chefpli

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    OMG of course you helped. I am going to see the saloon and meet the owner on tuesday. I love the idea of the head that's what hair saloon are all about right?

    Thanks a lot and I hope more ideas keep coming
     
  4. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    66
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    A lot depends  on the budget, # of guests, timing, & your style......

    I'm more of a take a twist of what the stylists do....ie, curls...maybe a bed of root curls for a dish or twist puff dough around a tube and form curls.

    Petit Fours? Pli it looks like you are into old school catering.....are these made by you or are you buying prefab?
     
  5. chefpli

    chefpli

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Hi shroomgirl: The number of guest is between 120 and 150 I'' have the right amount on Friday. I really like the curls theme idea thank you.

    When  say petit fours I mean all the little desserts we now make, like mini cups of Raspberry mousse or Tiramisu; bananas foster mini empanadas. And you are right petit fours are all school and they used to be a lot more than little candies like today.

    Thanks a lot for your input and answering one of your questions I do make some of my mini desserts and hors d'oeuvres but I have an excellent local company that makes them for me and they are superb.

    about timing they'll be coming in waves of who knows how many at the time.
     
  6. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    66
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    It'd be fun to have a hair salon theme......use some of their equipment to rift on hdo.....style it like the salon.
     
  7. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    What do they want to spend? What do you want to charge. Need this info first. Most clients want this and that untill they hear the price .Then its Champagne taste and a Beer budget. Mushroomgirl am I right or wrong.>?  Example I get $250-300.00 for a carved block of ice depending on what they want . some carvings take 2 pieces  or more.
     
  8. tigerwoman

    tigerwoman

    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    38
    I am having visions of platters being placed under old school huge hairdryers like the blue set ladies would have sat under but my mind has been on retro lately.

    I also like the curls them and perhaps some manq. heads - once saw a crudite skewered into a maniquins head - very cool concept.  Could also do hats with food on them.  Get one of those benerimer Japanese veggie cutters to make nests of carrots and diakon to assimilate hair without being too realistic (eating hair isn't really that appealing) its more to appeal to the salon peeps.  Another thought is base it on their style - if they are cutting edge or warm and fuzzy - cutting edge could be very cool.  If you want to be avante garde look at some of the interesting presentations companies like Pinch in NYC do - or Creative Edge in NYC is a bit less avante garde but still out of the box.  Ikea is a good source for inspiration.  for example you could pass h-d on modern sculptured stainless steel wall clocks with spoke like designs - or repurpose some piece of furniture like the square box bookcase to make a short plate library - - something showy and unique will gain attention.  

    what are you thinking of serving and what sort of budget do you have to work with.  Ed has a point, but sometimes you can excite the client enough to let them "upsell' themselves.  Love those sort of clients - they do exist.  Want what they want or like and don't give a hoot about costs per se - as long as you are fair (whatever that means?)

    anyway, hope that gives you some food design inspiration  - if you visit some of my blogs you will see a lot of good ideas that are fairly executable - but often clever - It's one of my favorite parts of the job - designing - I call it my zen moments when I just get into the groove.  Julie, shroom girl is fab - she is one talented chef and a good eye for design as well.  it's part of our mutual love and passion for all things FOOD.
     
  9. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    66
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    Budget is a starting point, upselling is what we all live for...... you need to know what they are thinking before you start working on menus....ED is so right, no tenderloin on a burger budget.

    thanks Lisa.
     
  10. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Mushroom girl you are so right .

    In the multable caterng facilities in NY.  Russo's. Leonards, Terrace on the park etc. The concept of sales was to  lo ball so you get the gig .Let them leave the building thinking they got best price posible so they tell their friends .  The when they come for final arrangements upsell all the what we called Gold Menu Xtras, Deluxe Cake, centerpeices, lace tableclothes. Premium wine service, chair covers, Topiaries on tables, French Service, Chef Carving Roast in Room from the flaming Silver Chariot, Deluxe Sweet Table after dinner and on and on. Like car dealers do. Thats where the $ is.
     
  11. chefpli

    chefpli

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Hello all! I am so glad I asked the forum; all these ideas are pretty amazing. About the budget they told money was not a problem so they gave me room to come up with anything :) Now when they see the price tag that may change I know; that's why I'm gonna start low to up sell like you guys recommended. When I say low I don't mean cheap.

    Tigerwoman I would love to visit your blog but you didn't leave the link. Shroomgirl do you have a blog as well I'd love to visit.

    The idea of using some of the thing in the salon is very good. 

    Well tomorrow I am presenting the food estimate and we'll talk about all the rest. I'll get the chance to look at the place already finish. Let you know if I got the job. Thanks a lot for all your help.
     
  12. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    66
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    "money is not a problem" is a red flag to me....anyone else?
     
  13. cheflayne

    cheflayne

    Messages:
    4,144
    Likes Received:
    513
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    yeah it is to me too, usually the person that utters that phrase, evidently winds up having a different opinion than me, on what exactly constitutes a problem...
     
  14. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Can't tell you how many times over the years I have heard this said. The other one is the check is in the mail.?
     
  15. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

    Messages:
    1,373
    Likes Received:
    190
    Exp:
    Sous Chef, Event Manager
    "You're the professional, we want the best so whatever you come up

    with is fine by us, price doesn't matter."

    Mmm-hmm. Riiiight.
     
  16. tigerwoman

    tigerwoman

    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    38
    here's a red carpet style event I blogged about recently.  

    It was a blow out Bar Mitzvah in a restored theatre in New Jersey.   

    complete with Paparazzi and police cars to simulate the experience.

    This was not a budget event (nor was I the caterer, just the catering photographer in this case)

    http://caterbuzz.blogspot.com/2012/03/encore-catering-nj-bar-mitzvah-party.html

    check it out - super cool theme!
     
  17. chefpli

    chefpli

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Well here is what happened: The client accepted my proposal but he was more interested in how the food was gonna look than taste; which was okay with me. Then he told me he wanted models to  pass the HdO. Which I didn't like because , IMO the food has to be presented by somebody who is not going to say green thing when ask what is that. But well I agreed but then he wanted to make over the people working with me and I guess me too and a lot of other ridiculous details one after another. So I started thinking that this was gonna hurt my business instead of helping it as I thought originally. And I told the event planner to find somebody else. I know I should have embraced the challenge but you didn't meet this man.

    Thank you all for your help

    next time it'll work.

    Tigerwoman I'm gonna read your blog now.
     
  18. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

    Messages:
    3,207
    Likes Received:
    156
    Exp:
    Private Chef
    Chefpli,

    From everything you said, it looks like you made the right decision. Anyone who is more worried about the look and the presentation of food without considering  all the variables that go into pairing good food....well, it is better to  protect  the integrity of your name as he was obviously not interested in  the quality. I know for myself , when I bring a team in to help, they are there for a reason, reliable and efficient. For someone to come along and change that on me, just doesn't work.

    @ Tigerwoman : Terrific pics , you captured the moment,  enjoyed the whole post, from the smoked salmon lollipops to the unique tabletops, the taco holders were so cute. Thanks for sharing.

    Petals.
     
  19. tigerwoman

    tigerwoman

    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    38
    Sometimes you do have to say no - getting the right fit between customers and caterers is important on both sides!   And if you are not comfortable or embracing the clients vision then  it sounds like you made the right decision.

    Thanks PetalsandCoco and ChefPi for checking out the blog.  This is my "Exit Strategy" from catering - not that I am ready to give up catering yet but as you get older ... well let's just say, like sports, catering is a young person's game at least from the physical aspect.  Putting my vast knowledge and catering experience to good use by writing about it, and doing food event photography keeps me in the game without as the same physical toll.   And I have had the opportunity to travel, get paid for it, and be involved with other caterers who have become good friends, supporting them in their endeavors while capturing the important moments for them.  Pretty cool!