HELP - NEED EXOTIC MENU FOR HUGE CATERING JOB

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by [email protected], Jan 21, 2006.

  1. Hi there all! My name is Jane. I own a small catering service for
    cocktails or small power-lunches. I am doing well but wanted to expand
    a little, possibly for private parties, weddings, etc.

    So, I signed up with The C Channel. I got my first enquiry for a
    cocktail after about a week but never received a reply. Days later, I
    received an enquiry for a wedding!!! Wohooo! I was so excited. I
    exchanged 2-3 mails with the bride's mother and we agreed to meet.

    The meeting went great and was that very day contracted to cater for a
    small private party, which was easy enough - 60 guests, buffet. No
    problem. I guess this was my test!

    The next day, the assignment was confirmed. I am to cater for an
    engagement party for 250 guests and the wedding reception 1 month later
    for 700 guests (I have never done such a huge assignment).

    But, here's the catch.
    The bride wants me to propose up to 10 different menus that, in her
    words, are "exotic". No cute little mini-cakes or sausage rolls. She
    wants "exotic". I've been looking into Indian, Chinese, even Medieval
    European cuisine.

    Any ideas will be much appreciated.
     
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  2. modom

    modom Guest

    On 21 Jan 2006 15:35:48 -0800, [email protected] wrote:

    >Hi there all! My name is Jane. I own a small catering service for
    >cocktails or small power-lunches. I am doing well but wanted to expand
    >a little, possibly for private parties, weddings, etc.
    >
    >So, I signed up with The C Channel. I got my first enquiry for a
    >cocktail after about a week but never received a reply. Days later, I
    >received an enquiry for a wedding!!! Wohooo! I was so excited. I
    >exchanged 2-3 mails with the bride's mother and we agreed to meet.
    >
    >The meeting went great and was that very day contracted to cater for a
    >small private party, which was easy enough - 60 guests, buffet. No
    >problem. I guess this was my test!
    >
    >The next day, the assignment was confirmed. I am to cater for an
    >engagement party for 250 guests and the wedding reception 1 month later
    >for 700 guests (I have never done such a huge assignment).
    >
    >But, here's the catch.
    >The bride wants me to propose up to 10 different menus that, in her
    >words, are "exotic". No cute little mini-cakes or sausage rolls. She
    >wants "exotic". I've been looking into Indian, Chinese, even Medieval
    >European cuisine.
    >
    >Any ideas will be much appreciated.


    Southwestern would be an avenue of exploration. Little masa cups with
    black bean salsa, various quesadillas (caramelized onions, say, or
    smoked chicken), taco bar, guacamole, etc. Drinks could be Champagne
    punch spiked with flavored mescal. Stephan Pyles has a recipe
    somewhere that involves steeping pineapple chunks, piloncillo sugar, a
    serrano chile and a vanilla bean in a liter of mescal for a week or
    more. A shot of the resuling liquor in a flute filled the rest of the
    way with champagne is mighty tasty.

    Southeast Asian also comes to mind. Vietnamese or Thai beef salads,
    spring rolls, banh mi sandwiches, satays of various sorts and a big
    chile-spiced fruit salad.

    How about Creole NOLA foods? Etouffee of one sort or another,
    grillades and grits (okay that's probably technically Cajun, not
    Creole), muffaletta sandwiches, marinated crab fingers, maybe even
    tiny finger food po boys with one fried oyster in each.

    Then there's sunny Provence. Salade nicoise, herbed gigot d'agneau
    (sp?), baguettes and chevre, charantais melon slices, Provencal
    pizzas, etc. You can find some really interesting but inexpensive
    Cotes du Rhone reds without too much trouble to serve along side.

    Or how about the Midi-Pyranees with all those fine things they do with
    duck. Fois gras, of course, but also cured duck breast and duck leg
    confit and the like. I was there over the holidays and enjoyed an
    astounding salade de Quercy for one meal. And the little "crottins"
    of goat cheese with thin slices of cured duck breast were delicious,
    in spite of their name. I don't think you can get much of the local
    wines from there here in the USA, but if you can get ahold of the
    "black" wine from Cahors, jump on it. And may of the Gaillac wines I
    tasted were wonderful, too.

    And let's not forget what the middle east and north Africa have to
    offer. Tagines and cous cous and more wonderful things to do with
    lamb than i can shake a stick at.

    modom
     
  3. Steve Wertz

    Steve Wertz Guest

    On 21 Jan 2006 15:35:48 -0800, [email protected] wrote:

    >Any ideas will be much appreciated.


    If she wants 10 different menus, I'd get a big deposit first.

    -sw
     
  4. Stan  Horwitz

    Stan Horwitz Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] wrote:

    > Hi there all! My name is Jane. I own a small catering service for
    > cocktails or small power-lunches. I am doing well but wanted to expand
    > a little, possibly for private parties, weddings, etc.
    >
    > So, I signed up with The C Channel. I got my first enquiry for a
    > cocktail after about a week but never received a reply. Days later, I
    > received an enquiry for a wedding!!! Wohooo! I was so excited. I
    > exchanged 2-3 mails with the bride's mother and we agreed to meet.
    >
    > The meeting went great and was that very day contracted to cater for a
    > small private party, which was easy enough - 60 guests, buffet. No
    > problem. I guess this was my test!
    >
    > The next day, the assignment was confirmed. I am to cater for an
    > engagement party for 250 guests and the wedding reception 1 month later
    > for 700 guests (I have never done such a huge assignment).
    >
    > But, here's the catch.
    > The bride wants me to propose up to 10 different menus that, in her
    > words, are "exotic". No cute little mini-cakes or sausage rolls. She
    > wants "exotic". I've been looking into Indian, Chinese, even Medieval
    > European cuisine.
    >
    > Any ideas will be much appreciated.


    Exotic is a relative term. In my family, Italian food is exotic! That
    being said, how about adding the option of a Hawaiian theme to your list
    by proposing a pig roast with all the trimmings?
     
  5. aem

    aem Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Hi there all! My name is Jane. I own a small catering service for
    > cocktails or small power-lunches. I am doing well but wanted to expand
    > a little, possibly for private parties, weddings, etc.

    [snip]
    > But, here's the catch.
    > The bride wants me to propose up to 10 different menus that, in her
    > words, are "exotic". No cute little mini-cakes or sausage rolls. She
    > wants "exotic". I've been looking into Indian, Chinese, even Medieval
    > European cuisine.
    >
    > Any ideas will be much appreciated.


    You have a catering business, but you give us no clue about the breadth
    or depth of your knowledge or experience, nor what you've told your
    prospective client about your expertise. Is it your plan to present
    these exotic menus as though you actually know how to make the dishes?
    Without credit as to the origin of the ideas? Somehow I get the
    impression that hundreds of guests are going to be guinea pigs for your
    first-time experiments. Seems like a perilous way to try to expand
    your business. Wouldn't you be better off going through your
    repertoire of things you have expertise in? If that doesn't extend to
    ten exotic menus, wouldn't it be more honest to say so? -aem
     
  6. Kathy in NZ

    Kathy in NZ Guest

    On 22 Jan 2006 11:23:52 -0800, "aem" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >[email protected] wrote:
    >> Hi there all! My name is Jane. I own a small catering service for
    >> cocktails or small power-lunches. I am doing well but wanted to expand
    >> a little, possibly for private parties, weddings, etc.

    > [snip]
    >> But, here's the catch.
    >> The bride wants me to propose up to 10 different menus that, in her
    >> words, are "exotic". No cute little mini-cakes or sausage rolls. She
    >> wants "exotic". I've been looking into Indian, Chinese, even Medieval
    >> European cuisine.
    >>
    >> Any ideas will be much appreciated.

    >
    >You have a catering business, but you give us no clue about the breadth
    >or depth of your knowledge or experience, nor what you've told your
    >prospective client about your expertise. Is it your plan to present
    >these exotic menus as though you actually know how to make the dishes?
    >Without credit as to the origin of the ideas? Somehow I get the
    >impression that hundreds of guests are going to be guinea pigs for your
    >first-time experiments. Seems like a perilous way to try to expand
    >your business. Wouldn't you be better off going through your
    >repertoire of things you have expertise in? If that doesn't extend to
    >ten exotic menus, wouldn't it be more honest to say so? -aem
    >

    I had the same thoughts as aem.

    Glad you're not catering for any do I'm having.

    This is not a time to experiment. You should "do what you do do well,
    girl, do do what you do do well." (song lyrics)

    And what is exotic anyway? To some people, raw oysters are exotic.

    Kathy in NZ
     
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