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

7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
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"....
 
1,447
47
Joined Apr 3, 2008
a refrigerated truck with built-in ac power adapter wouldn't do a street fair without it.
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Gunnar, what things have you made for street fairs? which worked well and what didn't?

Thanks for sharing.
 
1,447
47
Joined Apr 3, 2008
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.
 
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1
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Joined Jun 12, 2010
The Oyster idea sounds great. How were u selling them? By the piece, 1/2 doz or doz? How much were u charging?
 
1,447
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
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.
 
523
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Joined Mar 9, 2010
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!)
 

landmcatering

Banned
5
10
Joined Jul 7, 2010
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.
 
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75
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Joined May 5, 2009
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
 

caterchef

Banned
188
11
Joined Oct 12, 2009
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"....
/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
 
7
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Joined Jul 7, 2010
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
 
1
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Joined Jul 20, 2010
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.
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
I'm thinking you'd like a ramp with that refer truck and wheeled equipment!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
 

caterchef

Banned
188
11
Joined Oct 12, 2009
I'm thinking you'd like a ramp with that refer truck and wheeled equipment!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
/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
 
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