My first catering gig

325
107
Joined Aug 7, 2013
A friend of mine is an indie chef in central Texas. A couple of months ago, he asked if I'd be interested in catering a wedding with him. "Of course!" I had moved away from the particular city he currently lives in 20 years ago, and we both started a culinary journey and had not yet had a chance to work together on the food side. Gonna be fun.

Was fun. I was seriously curious to experience cooking for 120 with a 3-man team. My friend has been doing this for a while and impressed me with the way he managed the entire event. I had anticipated a high-pressure, deadline-oriented sweat-fest. It. Was. Easy. As. Oatmeal!!! The only ways to make that much money that easily are not legal. It was my skillset that made it easy for me, no doubt.

It was a wedding between Puerto Rican man and a Pacific Islander woman and the menu reflected both cultures:

Pernil

Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Thighs

Arroz con Gandules

Steamed White Rice with Furikake

Tostones with Mayoketchup

Beef Eggrolls with Sweet Chili Sauce

Mixed Green Salad

Pineapple Vinaigrette

Miso Ranch Dressing

I made the Arroz con Gandules, which came out so good that MULTIPLE people came back just to ask if I was Puerto Rican and when they found out that I wasn't, they grilled me about how I learned to cook it like that. I shit you not: one lady proposed to me. Yes, it was a joke, but she straight up told me about the rice and said, "will you marry me?" and she laughed and laughed...

I also did the Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Thighs and Tostones. Of course, they came out lovely. The two countertop fryers did trip the circuit breaker several times, which was frustrating, but throwing a switch isn't a big deal. Also, up until that very day, I have simply refused to grill on a gas grill. I am Mexican and Texan; wood and lump hardwood coals are life. Alas, my friend only has a gas grill, which I was forced by circumstance to employ. I lived, obviously.

Another surprise hit me when Chef told me that I'd be serving the proteins. I'd rather have not, but it's what I was getting paid for, right? The meal was served buffet-style, with me at the end of the line, serving the proteins to prevent the people from exhausting the meats before everyone had a chance to get some. It's a great idea that I will employ, should I decide to start catering around here.

It was a 15-hour day, which isn't new, but the amount of waiting that went on during the day made it lonnnnnng! A few beers during the shift helped, as did the 12 year-old Singleton Glendullan scotch Chef shared with me at the end of the night.

I've been invited to participate in another catering being provided by a Chef's cooperative in January. Hell yes, I'll be there!
 
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809
Joined Feb 8, 2009
All my employees loved when I asked them to do some catering with me. The reason why it's fun is because they aren't accountable for a whole lot. I did all the planning, cooking and was responsible for everything that happens. The Employees loved watching this fine tuned machine come to life not knowing what it really takes to make it look this easy. In most cases they worked a few hours and made some good money doing something different, having a good time and working hard. I think they also felt part of a team. Now for me, if my employees felt like this then I did my job. If I was stressed and not knowing what to do, everyone would be stressed and nervous. No one would want to work under those conditions. I made sure all the pressure and accountability on my shoulders. The thing I got out of the party wasn't real fun. What I got out of it was a sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction. Successful catering's just don't happen. They are well thought out and very detailed planned events. A good caterer makes it look easy because he/she knows it needs to look that way in order for everyone and everything look relaxed and professional.......ChefBillyB
 
325
107
Joined Aug 7, 2013
All my employees loved when I asked them to do some catering with me. The reason why it's fun is because they aren't accountable for a whole lot. I did all the planning, cooking and was responsible for everything that happens. The Employees loved watching this fine tuned machine come to life not knowing what it really takes to make it look this easy. In most cases they worked a few hours and made some good money doing something different, having a good time and working hard. I think they also felt part of a team. Now for me, if my employees felt like this then I did my job. If I was stressed and not knowing what to do, everyone would be stressed and nervous. No one would want to work under those conditions. I made sure all the pressure and accountability on my shoulders. The thing I got out of the party wasn't real fun. What I got out of it was a sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction. Successful catering's just don't happen. They are well thought out and very detailed planned events. A good caterer makes it look easy because he/she knows it needs to look that way in order for everyone and everything look relaxed and professional.......ChefBillyB

Absolutely no doubt.
 
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