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No Day at the Beach...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to share my day with you.

We catered a small wedding (100) yesterday. Nothing fancy- a buffet of chicken, a beef, roasted potatoes, orso and roasted vegetable salad, Caesar salad, a spring greens salad, and a pasta dish; apps, 5 of them, were passed and stationary including shrimp cocktail, fruit and cheese, crudite, and crostini; punch, lemonade, iced tea, etc; cake (I don't do the cakes), and a small dessert platter.

We were lucky enough to be able to stage from the restaurant where the bride works that was only 10 miles from the site so everything could be brought in coolers and cambros and plated there.

So far so good.

I left 2 at the restaurant to plate and heat, took another with me to set up our canopy beside the function tent, and met the 2 server girls there. The wedding was to be held on the rocky seacoast of NH. It was pouring rain, but what the heck, rain is good luck for weddings and who really cares if the caterers' mascara is under their eyes and their hair is sticking to their heads? It's all about the bride anyway, isn't it?

After setting up and meeting with the wedding planner, the 2 of us headed back to the kitchen to pack up, leaving the servers behind to set up. NOt long after, I rec'd a frantic call from one of the servers saying that the florist was hanging from the center supports of the canopy because the wind was blowing it away and they didn't know how to take it down. Trying to sound unflappable, I calmly told her we'd be right back. By now the cold rain off the ocean had stopped but the wind had come up with a vengeance. At least my hair would dry out....

We hit traffic on the way back to rescue the girls, the florist, and my canopy, so when we arrived, so had many of the guests who were huddling inside the big tent. It was really heart warming to see those cute guys in their tuxes wrestling down my tent that was threatening to become a hang glider! But, rest assured, dear fellow caterers, I was STILL calm. It wasn't until a gust of wind took out 3 chafers and the table they were on, that I was truly questioning why I liked this business in the first place and was battling a really big headache.

To make a long story only slightly shorter, we ended up pulling our van and cars up to the back of the tent, creating a small wind barrier, said to h*ll with the chafers, crossed our fingers, and went for it. A lovely guest came out and offered me a glass of champagne, but knowing that I hadn't eaten all day, I feared falling on my face and politely declined. The mother of the groom stopped me and said, "We truly appreciate all you've done." We rec'd many compliments on the food, which I can tell you did NOT look like my best work, handed out a few business cards (please, please, no more functions on the ocean...)and the wedding planner, whom I have never worked with before (who am I kidding, I've never worked with any wedding planner), pulled me aside and told me she'd be honored to work with me again.

I'm off to Vermont for a couple of days to stay at a friend's B&B . I'm a little tired. :crazy:
post #2 of 4
makes a great story....offsite catering stories are equivalent to war stories.
Nothing like experiences to shorten learning curves, glad you came through it on the positive side.
Crashing at a B&B sounds like just the right medicine.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #3 of 4
You sound more like a field of wheat than a lentil. How traumatic. The bride and groom should pay for the B&B.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
It was only traumatic at first; after awhile, I just said the h*ll with it and went with the flow. I figured a caterer sobbing in the corner wouldn't get me any jobs out of that event. I did tell a new girl working with us that if she happened to hear me utter any particularly egregious swear words, i would deny it should she repeat it. Sort of a "what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas" rule of thumb.
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