need creative menu suggestions for bid

Joined Jul 18, 2002
I am a NYC caterer bidding on a open house party for a luxury apartment building opening in August approx 150 plus guests - perspective tenants, real estate people, mayor of major CT. town, other VIP

Open house from 5-8pm Passed h-d and some stations. No idea of budget yet - still going thru pre-lims and haven't done a site inspection yet (next week)

I am thinking stations like international quesidilla and probably pasta (since it stretches well)

and other clever ideas. Basically want to use the event to market the idea that they are upscale, innovative, cutting edge. Presentation and unique displays.

I like to do fun things like pass shrimp shooter but instead of cocktail sauce do a shot with Absolut with Caribbean seasonings (really amazing)
Dumplings passed on chinese spoons, etc.
Truck load full of flowering crudite

any other cool ideas you may have used would be appreciated.

You guys should take a look at a website called - it is a foodie site and the message boards are awesome - it is a non professional site - mostly from a customer prospective - but boy do these folks love food and it's a fun place to hang out.

thanks again in advance for your suggestions
also any ideas for food that stretches well - as the final numbers will never be known

here was a reply I've already had from a poster on - another interesting catering website.

"We have always had great luck doing an elegant Dim Sum Station. Set up a buffet with Asian linen, props etc. butane burners, woks and Chinese stacking bamboo steamers. Fill each layer of the staeamers (at the shop!) with napa or bok leaves and pile in assorted handmade little dumplings (peking ravs, shui mai, potstickers etc.). Highly garnish with julienne veggies, dried cranberries, scallions, black sesame etc. and steam right at the buffet, removing the layers as guests finish them off. Have plenty of chopsticks and unusual dipping sauces."
Joined Dec 12, 2000
I would definetly suggest getting creative with canapes. If you want to do quesidiallas, here's one I've been thinking about trying , just to see if it works.

flour tortilla
mozzarella cheese
pizza sauce

melt the cheese on the tortilla
put all other toppings on a fold over
brown on both sides and serve

Joined Jul 18, 2002
hey dude - cute retro idea but doesn't quite cut it for this type of event. Here's another one that you might want to try that is excellent and rather retro - I call it American Gigilio Quesidilla - since you use american cheese, crumbled bacon, sliced ripe tomato and scallion melted into a tomato flour tortilla. American cheese is one of those foods that
a. tastes good melted
b. tastes good with bacon
c. people hate to admit they eat

Oh thanks for the reply -
Joined Jul 18, 2002
sounds like a great all american bbq and if you break it down to smaller components - some of it might make for some h'd ideas or even a mini station - eg a mussels marinara or clambake station - but please re-read my post - this is an open house and most people are going to pop in and out - need to do this on a reasonable budget and for mini sized portions but lots of them. And believe it or not you can have fru fru food that tastes good and looks good too.

I am looking for h-d and station ideas that are out of the box. Think outside the bun...

Your menu would be great for the ultimate tailgate party...
Joined Jul 18, 2002
P.S. You might want to re-read your replies all over the board -because they are all a bit edgy - and while you may not mean to be offensive to anyone when I read your response to me and others I found you seem to be talking down and it was not fun, productive or helpful.

"Not exotic, not expensive, not neurotic, not fab-chic, but good for the time of year."

that seems to imply that my clients are looking for something neurotic and fab chic

and by the way - as for not expensive - where do you shop and what size portions do you give - because the menu you suggested is by no means inexpensive...
Joined Feb 6, 2002
Errr...Gee Whiz,

Im not sure about the menu you've given. :confused: From what I have read, this event will be catered to VIPs. I don't think serving hot dogs and burgers will make a good impression on the part of the caterer.

The first part of your suggestions was fine, the second sounds like what we used to serve at our block parties in Brooklyn. Great food. Just not sure you'd want to use it to impress a bunch of VIPs. Doesn't suit the occasion.


Do you thing a few jazzed up mini sandwiches/wraps would work? I actually liked the quesidilla idea. My old job hired a caterer for the launching of our new catalogue and I remember:

Tofu Burgers (had no clue what these were then)
Salad (i dont think lettuce was used, the greens had a bite to them)
A curried rice dish for the few West Indians and Latinos :)
A few mini dessert selections

This event also happened around this time a few years ago. I think they got it catered from the vegetarian restaurant at 14th street Union Square East. I cant remember the name of it.

Is crab very expensive? How about crab cakes with a horseradish dipping sauce? I dont think Ive been much help either. :(

Joined Aug 11, 2000
Wild shrooms....I'm doing black trumpet duxelle on hot buttered crutons for 600 in Sept.
Dried chilian bolete sprinkled crouton with spicy tomato jam
morels are cheap now, possibly risotto cakes with morels and I'd make um small and creamy rich

***Sounds goofy but check out Martha's hd book, she's got some good ones in it.
Joined Jul 18, 2002
not goofy at all - her early books are full of great ideas too - just don't trust the actual recipes...

If possible, can you email me some recipes - I like your suggestions - like what is the spicy tomato jam - is it like a tapenade or a thick tomato paste?

Risotto cakes or polenta too-

Have you ever used h-d made by Dufour - they are local in NY and I use them on large events to suplement - they have a yummy truffle mushroom risotto in filo - reasonably priced too (at least here in NYC where we get direct distribution from them)

Over the years I've become business friendly with their main sales guy - Jon - so tell him I sent you. We're not a big customer as we are a little business but we are loyal and I always recommend them as they have good and even great products at reasonable prices and it seems homemade...


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
You can't trust Martha Stewart? Like she's going to sell you short or something? (pun intended)

1) If you have nothing nice to say, don't say it. We get the point.

2) I'm violating (1)

3) You're a professional and you can't figure out how to modify Martha's "recipes" which means you're just plain lame.

4) Your food cost should be around 10% for something like this. Which means you don't cheat your customers by purchasing premade rubbish. Where is your integrity?

5) We know about chowhound

Joined Oct 13, 2001
Again this needs to be said ,
RELEASE THE GOOD .....................................
Now I personally dont think the Stewartmiester does not even belong in this thread but Kuan I will try to remember # 1 .
Oh yes and little Nicky also , Release The Awsome ........
Popeys chicken might work ?
Your friend in food , Doug .........................:D
Joined Feb 6, 2002
:lol: Im sorry....that's just too funny. :lol: I never said I owned the place! Not that I don't want to own my own restaurant someday. You are reading your posts wrong. If you had read them the way they were written you would have seen that I said my Mother- in - law owns the place. Ive always said Im just the Pastry Chef who doubles as secretary (when Im home), delivery person and sometimes line cook. :rolleyes: :D So you got it wrong.

Just one question: Why are you trying to cause trouble? You are not as blatant as some who have passed through but that is what I am picking up from you now. I haven't done anything to you personally or formally for that matter, so what are you trying to prove?? :confused: I also think Tigerwoman could care less whether I own the diner our not..Its the family business and everyone (including our kids) chip in to help.

Oh...BTW: Everyone on earth will be a student until he/she dies. Maybe we will be students after death also. Who knows...
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