Are you thinking of having a party, but just not sure where to start? The thought of cooking makes your head spin, or maybe you like cooking, but the party has just grown a bit much for you to do all the cooking by your lonesome???
Have no fear...I know a little somethin' about food and I've got you covered with this list of experts in New York and the surrounding areas.
Food is and always has been such a big thing for me. Growing up in the south having a party was just having people over...having people over was just a party. I was surrounded by great entertainers. My Grandma Bea spent the entire day every Friday cooking to have us over every Friday night. If you called at the last minute and asked if you could bring a friend she'd say.."I'm setting a place right now." My father was the ultimate foodie and that was before the term even existed. The joke always was - he would start talking about where to have the next meal before we finished the one we were eating. He loved to travel and explore restaraunts and I had the great advantage to go to many of the best in prime time!
As far back as I can remember I always was interested in cooking. I walk thru the farmers market and get excited and start dreaming of things I want to make. Without a grand plan I started a catering business approximately 20 years ago when my kids were very young and I was cooking from home. It lasted a good 10 years, but event planning became increasingly demanding and I found I couldn't do both- just not enough hours in the day!
As an event planner, of course, I plan all the details of every event and I work with MANY caterers. Living and working in the New York area I work with the BEST of the BEST!!!!
I still LOVE to cook but more than anything I love to be a guest too and I love to get to experience working with so many different caterers and their various styles and cuisines. Every party and every client is different and each caterer is fantastic in their own way. I wanted to share some of my faves. Seriously I always tell people you just can't go wrong, these people are so detailed and in the know as well as their staff. I would have ANY of them cater in my home!!
In no particular order here...I love all of these catering companies!
The master of mini and WOWZA Peter Callahan Catering . One of the very first Bar Mitzvah's I ever did, 13 years ago, was in a home and Peter catered this amazing luncheon for us. I was blown away when he showed up with trays with the boys name embedded into the tray!
While Peter is known for his show stopping hors d'oeuvres and desserts...don't be fooled. A seated dinner is a perfectly executed and delicious.
An assortment of a beautifully presented plated dinner. mini smores, and assorted flatbreads.
At a recent party in the Hamptons, Peter wowed us with these mini bites and sips.
Presentation is stunning at any Peter Callahan event. It's all in the details! Look at these scallop bites presented in beautiful shells.
Cloud catering starts with hospitality and attention to detail from the moment the party concept begins. They "take care of people" you somewhat feel they are part of the family. They not only make planning your event a pleasure to plan they provide the most excellent food and it is presented like a work of art!
Look how gorgeous and delicious all their dishes look! Sometimes I feel like the plates presented by Cloud Catering look like paintings.
MARCIA SELDEN CATERING & EVENTS
Marcia Selden is a family affair. Mama Marcia started this way back when which kinda leaves a little soft spot in my heart...I just love hearing stories like this. We still see her present ALL the time. Even tho MASTER chef ( daughter ) Robin runs the kitchen these days. She is always creating new and fun things when the party calls for it yet look at all these elegant plated items she creates from her kitchen.
Son, Jeffrey, leads the way with the most creative ideas enhancing all their parties and provides such a great touch of hospitality in all that he does. It is so much fun working with him and his innovative and fun approach is obvious in all the events he produces. Look how fun these "turnovers" were that Robin created in the kitchen and Jeffrey shared with us at a recent event.
Here's a close up ...does this totally remind you of your childhood and all those "pies" you could get in a "PACKAGE". I was cracking up when I saw these!!
Every Marcia Selden event ends with a candy tray. What a sweet way to end the evening!
ON THE MARC
When you collaborate with On the Marc Catering you always get innovative ideas and delicious food. They are constantly creating new presentations and while they are on top of all the culinary trends you will find mouth watering classics as well. The menus are always in tune with the season, fresh and tasty. Their catering and expertise is right "On the Marc!!"
Whether a cocktail soiree, a party with buffet stations or a seated dinner- On The Marc has a vast repoitoire of menus to choose from.
We did a fabulous cocktail station of assorted tacos at our last event with On the Marc. Look how delicious these mini tacos look! Just one of the many assorted tacos we had at our event.
They also happen to be great bakers. I know a great baker when I see it...
I have worked with Abigail Kirsch in many of their venues where they are the in house caterer and have had many off premise events with them as well. They always update their menus with each season and the variety and abundance on their buffets is really impressive!
One of my favorite things from Abigail Kirsch is their "cart" service. They have many to choose from and they have also created custom things as well for a particular event.
See below the burger cart, one of my favorites. Not pictured, but another hit we have had is the taco station. SO fun and works for a cocktail OR dinner station.
I think my most favorite was a Bloody Mary cart they concocted for a luncheon I hosted for a client....so fun and creative!
One of my other favorites is this pie and ice cream board. So fun and guest love it so they can take a "bite" with all the guilty pleasure of a big ol piece of pie!
I think I'm just partial to pink...but I love this presentation of drinks. Not only do all the best caterers provide the most delicious food, but all of these professionals will help craft a cocktail to coordinate with the last and mood of your party.
COMPANY CATERED EVENTS
You are in good company with Company Catered Events. They use imagination and inspiration to enhance all that they do. From a farm to table dinner to an elaborate, mouth watering Tuscan grazing table everything they do is with precision. You will truly feel like you are "company" at your own party as they come to each event with warm hospitality both professionaly and personally.
Each bite is more delicious than the next!
Andrea Correale at Elegant affairs has a vast repertoire of tasty things to offer. One of the things I particulary love is the many vessels and presentation that Andrea brings to the table each time. From bite size to large scale. Each dish is uniquely presented. Some of my favorite bites are right here!
How cute are these cheese boards?!! At a recent party I attended Andrea had these mini cheese boards, it was the perfect bite and not only that you didn't have to fiddle with a crazy little toothpick in your hand ... or touching cheese at a party too!
LAURENCE CRAIG CATERING
It is always a special affair when Larry from Laurence Craig Catering is in attendance. Not only is everything beautifully prepared but Larry uses the finest ingredients and goes that extra mile.
You have no idea where catering and decor overlap when you see a buffet table from Larry Craig. Look how magnificent these tablescapes are. Larry styles the food as beautifully as an interior designer decorates a home.
Great Performances is a favorite for many. Everything is amazing and the service is outstanding. The only warning I have is that they are so on top of you and pour that wine so fast...You can barely look up and before you know it your glass is being refilled as you dine at one of their beautifully presented dinners. ( and without thinking you might just keep drinking it:)) The night is so enjoyable...just make sure you have tylenol at home for the next morning!!:)
UNION SQUARE HOSPITALITY Union Square Hospitality comes from the group that provided New York City with some of the most known restaurants. Growing up my Dad took me to Union Square Cafe, it was a tradition. Every trip we made from Memphis to New York, it was always a destination for us. I loved the salmon in red wine sauce they had, my Dad was fond of the crispy duck....needless to say many memories were made eating their delicious food. They have so many good spots and I feel like they are a New York institution. Of course, Grammercy Tavern is one of the most fantastic places to gather for drinks and food. Just a hint but if you happen to order the mini burger from their catering menus, well guess what .... you're in for a treat! If you didn't know, these are the people who started the FAMOUS Shake Shack. They happen to have a great little hors d'oeuvres. Dinner is pretty tasty too:)!!!
Neumans Kitchen is truly a gastronomic experience. They know it well Whether a intimate dinner party beautifully presented or an event for 1000 guests they do it with stlye, flair and present the food as a gourmet experience.
PINCH FOOD DESIGN
Pinch Food Design is an experience that leverages the most unexpected approach to food with the most unique design and presentation at the same time providing a delectable bite in every dish.
I literally was blown away when they did a “crudite table” at a party they catered for one of my clients. I wasn’t sure if I had gone to a furniture store that displayed some food or I was still experiencing a catered event!
They think out of the box and it shows in every thing they do. Not only are they amazing caterers, they have a beverage service that is the chicest cocktail station you will ever see!
Whether planning and intimate or grand affair I can attest that all of these fabulous catering companies are the best of the best. Not only do they make great food, but each and every one of them are true partners in the planning experience and they go the extra mile.
I think so many people are sometimes afraid to "HOST" an event whether at home or in a venue. I know it can be intimidating. Trust me, I have cooked for MANY people - it ain't easy, but don't let that deter you from entertaining. Entertaining can be fun and no better way and or reason to celebrate good times...just call one of these pros, they will handle the food and all the details.
Hope you enjoy all these tips. Trust me, you can...
These are the best of the best and all of these caterers will help make your event a top 10 celebration!