Saturday, May 7, 2011

Test Drive Software Before You Buy or Lease

I suggest that you test-drive software before you buy it. Let the staff members who will use it test-drive it as well; if they don’t like it, they won’t use it. Many companies that sell catering software now offer a web version of their application, which is less expensive and quicker to get up and running. You can get a listing of catering software vendors by visiting

Friday, May 6, 2011

Michigan Caterer Enters Film/Movie Catering

Eric Carlson, of Carlson Catering in Belleville, Michigan shared with me info on his new film/movie catering division “Michigan Crafty”. They invested $150,000 purchasing six customized cooking and support trucks. Eric told me that the investment has returned very significant profits and was a great decision. The current problem is that the state government has done some things that have turned away Hollywood from using Michigan for filming. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Scared To Ask For Food

I just love this! A caterer/owner explained to me that he has stopped directly asking the culinary team for foods for his own entertaining needs at his home for friends and family. He related to me that the staff didn't seem to enjoy the fact of working on "catering" for the boss.

So, now the owner just creates a fake order with a fake name and marks the order "Customer Pick-up" which infers that the catering food will not be delivered. Since he is the last one to leave on the day the catering is needed he tells the staff that it will be a "late" pick-up and he will wait for the client himself so staff can go home. After they leave, he just loads up his SUV and brings the catering home! Cool? I think so.

A Wonderful Culinary Dinner

Last evening, Bernice (my wife) and I attended an annual dinner we attend each and every year in our home town of Chicago. It’s a charity dinner cooked and served by the students at Chicago’s famous Washburne Culinary Institute. Over 300 culinary students, ranging from 15 to 60 years in age, made the evening special. Washburne, which opened in 1937, is part of the city of Chicago’s culinary school program.

The official title of the event was the 13th Annual Culinary & Hospitality Showcase Dinner and the theme was Great Farms, Great Food. The food and ingredients were all secured from local farms. Yes, there are farms very close to Chicago that supply caterers and restaurants.

Before the dinner began, the 400 guests, attended an award ceremony that provided $90,000 in scholarships for education to the current students. During this ceremony dozens of Chicago’s finest working chefs were introduced, all of which were past graduates of Washburne.
Three of Chicago’s finest caterers volunteered their services to help train the students in catering such a large event. It was fun to watch the room be “swept” with the student servers each carrying two plates. They are the future and the future looks just wonderful! 


Mini Brioche Sirloin Burger with Port Caramelized Shallots
Golden Tomato Bruschetta with Micro Basil
Spring Pea Soup Demitasse
Mustard and Brown Sugar Glazed Bacon Bread Sticks
Chicago Goata Gouda Grilled Cheese Panini
Koval American Oat White Whiskey Cocktail
Goose Island 312:Urban Wheat Ale

Roasted Red Beets with Al Caprone Goat Muenster Cheese
Baby Wild Arugula and Frisee Salad with Organic Beet Sprouts
Asparagus, Tomato, Corn, and New Potatoes with Mustard Vinaigrette

Chicago High School Of Agricultural Science Raised
Tilapia Paupiette with Herbed Mousse
Roasted Red Pepper Buerre Blanc
Fox Valley Traminette 2008
Goose Island Matilda: Belgian Style Pale Ale

Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Thyme
Bushman’s Garlic Smashed Potato
Glazed Baby Rainbow Carrots
Wild Mushroom Jus Lie
Fox Valley Heritage 2006
Goose Island Pere Jacques: Belgian Style Abbey Ale

Rustic Rhubarb Tart
Maple Cream and Laced Tuile

For more information on Washburne visit