Well said Shroomgirl, maybe you ought to contact Webster’s and have them use your definition of caterer.
I will say that I have never been one for message boards or on-line communities of any sort. In all the years that such things have existed I have come across many different food related message boards and never (until I came across this one) have I felt the desire to bookmark the site and “lurk” (I believe that is the term used) let alone participate.
I was struck by the level of professionalism, the willingness to share ideas, and the fact that all types of professionals (chefs, caterers, pastry chefs, owners, writers and so on) were interacting at the same site. The food industry is so diverse and many of us wear many different hats in this field, to find a venue that encompasses so much is impressive.
I haven’t been a member very long, but visiting this site is now part of my day. In fact, not too long ago I had to assure my husband that I wasn’t having an on-line affair, I was just coming here! I check posts here before I check my e-mail.
Back to the difference between a “newbie” caterer and a “newbie” to the site:
I understand where some posts should go, i.e. venting over clueless clients, menu ideas, staffing issues, etc. are for the professional categories.
However, as a professional I like to develop my own recipes and experiment. Things that we do in a professional capacity use different techniques, certainly different quantities and have to fulfill different needs. Furthermore, there are differences in the professional world. What works for a restaurant may not work for a caterer and vise versa.
An at home cook, no matter how talented (unless they have professional experience) can’t begin to give me advice on some things. It even goes beyond the technical aspect of preparation. How will an at home cook give advice on gauging how clients might receive the dish and if the work involved in prep and expense will be worth it or pearls before swine? So where do I as a professional post ideas or ask for input on recipes? In the general categories or professional?
Then there is the issue of which professional category to post in? I see a lot of cross over and wonder what the etiquette is because I am not only new to this site but the message board world as a whole.
And is it considered poor form to be as long winded as I am? If so I will try to be less wordy.