Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I love parties!

I love to plan parties, host parties, and cook for parties. Getting together for the simple reason of celebrating life is enough for me to start planning. So when Lady Chef asked me if I wanted to help her cater an event -- without hesitation, I said, "YES!".

Last night I participated in my first catering event and I loved it! Sometimes I can't believe I get paid to do what I do. Really. Truly. The event was a two hour fundraiser in a private home on Lake Michigan for about 40 people.

I arrived at the restaurant about 11:30 am to discover the store was really busy. I was afraid Lady Chef wasn't going to make our deadline it was so busy. I started by making cookie dough, (which we both knew should have been made ahead, but so be it) then onto making crostini, and even made mini twice baked new potatoes. YUM. Lady Chef worked on lamb chops, roasted duck and passionfruit mango slaw. Our newest cook (lets call her Protege') helped out with grating vegetables, baking brownies, and making phyllo cups.

We prepped all we could then, with the help of a few of the servers and dishwashers, we packed up the van and off we went! It was not a far drive, thank goodness, and I also found out we would be working in the basement - score! It was extremely hot and humid last night, I swear we would have melted on the main floor! Anyway, we had plenty of room to work with -- it was a full kitchen in the basement that was larger than our entire house! Lady Chef's husband (Winespert), our bartender, and one of our servers worked the party upstairs. They said it was really hot and they were wiped out by the end of the night! I suppose it was our little treat for the summer since we are used to working in a hot kitchen and they get the cool dining room. :)

Crunch time arrives! I started by working on assembling mini BLT's (YUM!), then cucumber and radish mini sandwiches (YUM!) then baked chocolate espresso cookies (YUM, YUM!). Lady Chef worked on the lamb, twice baked potatoes, shrimp, hummus and cheese plates. Protege' garnished the cheese filled phyllo cups, helped me with assembly of sandwiches and put all the brownies in cups. After each assembly we would arrange on trays and place a garnish in the center. Plating is one of my favorite things to do, so I was really enjoying myself. Protege' also did a great job and I am really grateful Lady Chef picked her to work with us. She kept telling us we had "attention to detail" and I joked and said, "you make it sound like a condition". Haha. She said "Well, it really is and a good one to have!"

As quickly as we started, we packed up, cleaned up and were out the door! We made sure to thank the hosts and headed back to the restaurant. After just a few minutes of unpacking we headed home.

Shower, feet up, glass of chilled wine. Ahhhhh.


colfin said...


For a party of 40, how does she know how much of each item to make?

Amber said...

I am not sure about the exact science of it, but we made 70-80 of most of the items and 40 of the lamb chops. :)