Thursday, November 27, 2008

Welcom, Welcome, Welcome!!!!

I thought it only fitting to start this blog on Thanksgiving. This is the largest home holiday of them all. People across the US role up their sleeves and try their hands at being a chef and/or event coordinator. The running joke in my immediate family is that we simply work for free on Thanksgiving as it is tradition my sister or my mother host this feast in style. Being in the catering biz is quite useful this time of year. We bring our chaffing dishes, rod iron displays, and creative nature to the whole family and usually host a minimum of 40 people in our homes. So... here are a few ideas we use to make this a little simpler.

First of all... location, location, location. Many people ask me, "Where in the world do you put 50 at one table people in a home?" Well its quite simple... we don't! Its not common here in Arizona but back east people host Thanksgiving in a basement or a garage. I know it sounds strange but a three car garage properly decorated and situated hosts a massive banquet table quite well. We choose to situate the table in an I formation setting guests in all available areas. Owning the 6ft banquet tables and linens most definitely helps however they can be rented for about $9 per table. Linens are more expensive coming in around $13 per linen however this can easily be solved if you are willing to use plastic or paper. When its cold the garage doors stay closed, on warmer years we simply open them. Trust me, in Arizona 50 people in a three car Garage creates plenty of heat to be comfortable.

So now that we have freed up space in the house, we have ample room for a very impressive buffet! Using the dining room table for a buffet is the easiest means for space, however if you have a large enough island make use of it! Now we have space... so how do we make our buffet look amazing? This is one of the most common questions I get asked. "If I don't have all of the decorative risers like a professional does, how can I make it look nice?" Trust me is a really quite easy. Start in the center of the buffet and work your way to the ends. Levels are the most appealing thing to the eye when you go through a buffet. So, start with a milk crate, box, anything that you can cover with a linen that is sturdy enough to hold a flower arrangement. Once you have covered the riser with your linen or topper or whateve,r place a tall floral on top. You have now created two distinct levels on you buffet, people will love it! Maybe a few candles along the base of the flowers for some class and then work your way to the ends of your buffet. The serving platters and dishes should now provide you with additional heights and levels for the remaining of the tabe. I always prefer to start low at the beginning of the buffet and build up a large height in the middle where my main course will be served and then taper back down as guests make their way to the dining area.

Lastly, an easy tip to keep the dish load at a minimum. Party city has a very nice selection of acrylic dishes that come in clear, black, or white. They are heavy and actually look pretty nice. Use those for your dessert plates. At the end of the meal the last thing you want to do is spend the rest of the evening at the sink doing dishes, trust me... its my job at Thanksgiving. Nobody will even thing twice about the acrylic plate as desserts are usually eaten extremely fast and not at the main table. This simple switch will save room in your dishwasher for all of the other dinner dishes created during entree service and will really make clean up the following day a ton easier!

Well, I hope this helped and gets the ball roiling. Any questions you may have about anything event related, please ask!

From my family to yours...Happy Thanksgiving!!!