What "catering" equipment really makes a difference to you?

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by shroomgirl, May 17, 2010.

  1. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    67
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    A couple of pieces come to mind:

    A large cambro on wheels made catering larger events so much easier

    Cold/Hot beverage cambros...what did we use before?  followed up with why the heck did a 10 gallon even make sense....that sucker is so heavy when full.

    Distinctive platters...the large fish for seafood aps, the antique wood cutting boards that have a rustic charm, the wood shallow trench that makes everything look great, the stacking pedistals that create height, the chalkboard, the antique shtuff that makes a local food buffet feel "right"....
     
  2. foodpump

    foodpump

    Messages:
    5,007
    Likes Received:
    560
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    Welded steel hand truck with pneumatic wheels, and stacking plastic bread trays....
     
  3. quelper

    quelper

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    The wheel.
     
  4. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    67
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    Isn't that the truth!!

     boxes with lids too
     
  5. gunnar

    gunnar

    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    47
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    a refrigerated truck with built-in ac power adapter wouldn't do a street fair without it.
     
  6. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    67
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    Gunnar, what things have you made for street fairs? which worked well and what didn't?

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  7. gunnar

    gunnar

    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    47
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    oh all kinds of stuff...corn dogs, turkey legs , fish and chips, hot dogs, fries, onions rings (hand made fat ones) some deep fried crap my buddy just got from a vendor and once all we did was grilled oysters at the Polk Street Festival about 20,000 in a day (at least that's what it felt like). 

    Turkey legs don't really work except at country fairs and renaissance fairs.

    Hot dogs were the easiest as we just needed a cooler and grill basically to get the job done.

    Deep fryers at a street fair are a bit of a issue but you do make money, every one loves fish and chips and fat beer battered onion rings. one place made us place cardboard under our fryers ( I couldn't believe the fire guy allowed them) so we wouldn't stain the asphalt with oil, then we weren't allowed back, cause the asphalt got stained anyway. We just didn't get it, there was already a stain the size of a pickup from some engine blowing but oh no it's those rowdy fish and chips guys/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif

    You would think that Grilled Oysters would be pretty  simple. open bag, grab oyster slap on grill till it pops open, shuck the top,  splash with tequila garlic butter from squeezy bottle when the flame dies back plate and hand to expediter. we couldn't keep up, we were paying a guy who was sleeping on the street to run us 50lb bags of oysters from the reefer truck.  Course they were Monterey Bay oysters and flipping delicious. but 2 guys and 2 gas fired grills 3'x6' filled with oysters were not fast enough, the cashier had a line of paying and already paid customers 10-20 deep and expediters quit waiting for us and started plating fr themselves as soon as I said it was ready so  I could load the grill as soon as there was a space free. I went home with heat exhaustion and a migraine about ten hours later.

    The truck just helps keep supplies cold without the need for as much ice (not to mention it hauled all the equipment in one load) , it idles and keeps the reefer going. Running a heavy duty power cord off it we could run a small drink dispenser, the cash register and a tiny little condiment station my buddy owned.

    all in all some of the hardest work I have ever done.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
  8. nycolt

    nycolt

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    The Oyster idea sounds great. How were u selling them? By the piece, 1/2 doz or doz? How much were u charging?
     
  9. gunnar

    gunnar

    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    47
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    It was a while a ago, but I remember selling them in plates of 3 and 5. They were big oysters a single one taking up my palm or more and some people were intimidated by the size of them. You had to do them in two bites. I think it was 5 bucks for 3 and and 5 for 8$. I think cause my buddy drove to the  Monterey bay hatchery he got bags of 100 for 50 cents a oyster. That was easily 10-12 years ago though so I am sure the price has gone up.
     
  10. gypsy2727

    gypsy2727

    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    18
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I love catering jobs that require stations!  Oyster Shucking , Sushi ( I usually do that one)  ,Vodka Caviar ( Grey Goose of course) , Pasta, Omelette, Saganaki is so fun! , Mash Potato , Gravlax , Beef Carpaccio, even shots of cold or hot soup! Oh the list goes on.

    I love your Oyster idea Gunner that sounds fun.

    Defiantly a good Cube Van with a ramp is essential Cambros on wheels (we used  "Hot Boxes" back in the day Shroomgirl...literally insulated boxes!), Tool boxes , Bartender kit ( keeping it in a brief case does the trick) Those bread racks really are great for stacking. Lots of fuel...never want to run out of any of that may it be for the BBQ or your chafing dishes......alot goes into catering ,There is always last minute add ons and something is always playing on my mind that I have forgotten something!.....(My cell phone probably...don't wanna forget that on a job!)
     
  11. landmcatering

    landmcatering Banned

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    A big staff to help carry everything in and out, I have found through the years just tack on a few extra bodies to the bill and you do not feel like you were just run over by a train at the end of the event.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  12. cabotvt

    cabotvt

    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    I'm not a full timer but I've done a few wingdings and the truck we used had a good transportation system inside the back box. Rubber mounted shelves, good tie downs, built in ice machine

    As a baker WOW them with dessert. I've been to many more fine parties then I've prepared and desserts is always an after thought.

    IT IS THE LAST THING YOU EAT n THE FIRST THING YOU REMEMBER  

    Did I say I'm bias
     
  13. caterchef

    caterchef Banned

    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gifCambro hotel pan size transporters and Crest Cor sheet pan transporters.
    10 gal. cambros contents only weight 80lbs. plus the weight of the Cambro.

    In fact that is one of my test for drivers, if he can't load it I send him on down the road.

    I couldn't get by without mine and before that, we used the 5gal. stainless steel Curtis

    which I still use along with Wear Ever G I roasters Oh, the Cambro deep food boxes are a must have.( Now if I could just find some young people who like to work hard) /img/vbsmilies/smilies/frown.gif
     
  14. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    67
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    I'd rather have 2 five gallon cambros than one 10......
     
  15. cycle1667

    cycle1667

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    If you can, downsize some old bread racks and lock them in place in your catering van.  If you can rotate them after loading so that they are facing horizontally to the vehicle so much the better.

    _________________

    Wood Fired Oven
     
  16. foodygoody

    foodygoody

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    The weight of the Cambro carriers are a bit of a turn off for me. I went with the pan carriers from thermohauser. They are a unbelievably light, but very sturdy, and are also cheaper. They hold temperatures longer then many of the carriers on the market today.
     
  17. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    A good reliable refrigerated truck and 90% of everything on casters and wheels.
     
  18. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    67
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    I'm thinking you'd like a ramp with that refer truck and wheeled equipment!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  19. caterchef

    caterchef Banned

    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gif  I would rather have a hydraulic lift tailgate, a ramp is only good for two wheeled  carts,

    using a ramp for 4 wheeled Cambro's and Transporters is not a good idea./img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif
     
  20. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    67
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    good to know