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What was I thinking?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I finally decided that it was best to admit defeat and officially hang up the “caterer” moniker for now because after we made a several hundred mile move a two years back I just couldn’t afford kitchen space in our new area.
I still do word of mouth and friends and family, just not licensed because commercial space of any kind in my area is outrageous. (Spent a year looking to no avail). Which is why I haven’t posted in the catering section in quite sometime.

A few months back a dear friend (my youngest daughter’s God mother) from our previous area called to chit chat about her oldest daughter’s up coming wedding.

She wanted my advice about the wedding cake. Sadly for her I had been the only person in a 50 mile minimum radius who could do what her daughter wanted. Not so much a brag on my part, but the closest remotely qualified bakery to that small town was 50 miles away and her daughter had her heart set on a 4 layered hexagonal fondant covered monogrammed cake. Cost and availability meant the only way she could have her cake was if I did it.

So I volunteered to drive up and as our wedding gift do the cake. The more we talked the more it became clear that the reception portion of the “ideal wedding” with the budget available wasn’t going to come off with the local caterers.

So being the insane person that I am I am now driving up the week before the wedding and not only doing the cake, but 90% of the food as well.

I’ll be prepping in the MOB’s kitchen (which I’ve been in) and doing the cakes there as well. There are other nutty volunteers to help me transport to the venue the day of (which has it’s own kitchen) and set up.

The Mother of the Bride (MOB) works at the hospital and their dietary department has agreed to order all the supplies at cost. We’ve got the menu and I’ve made her a “master list” for food. The hex pans (which I didn’t have but get to keep when its over) and the Satin Ice fondant are already at the MOB’s house.

The reception will be heavy ho dos buffet style. The Uncle of the bride is a designer and will handle table décor and set up. I only have to worry about getting the food out.

I’m pulling all of my chaffers and serving trays out and the MOB is going to stop by tomorrow on her way home from the Gulf to pick them up. (The wedding is in 2 weeks)

I’ve already put together a “recipe” book of everything I’m responsible for on the menu. Most of them I know by heart but I’d rather have a reference if my brain falls out while I’m there.

I’ve also got a “go bag” list of materials and equipment that aren’t found in most people’s home kitchens. I’ll be many, many miles from my stash of equipment and in a rural area where I might not be able to make an emergency run to get something that I forgot because I took it’s presence for granted. (Off set spatulas, my knives, pastry tips, giant plastic wrap dispenser, parchment paper, mandolin, extra mixing bowls, etc)

What am I forgetting?
post #2 of 4
Business cards.....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #3 of 4
For sure, the following small tools: Chef's fork. Board knife. French wire whisk. Baloon whisk. 4 in 1 screwdriver. Needlenose pliers. Whetstone(s) (knives chip, knives dull). Honing rod (aka sharpening steel).

Plus, any and all other small tools you might conceivably need -- otherwise you'll be stuck with a half-melted plastic spatula as the only turner in the place; and everything else she owns will either have a melted handle, be dull, bent or some combination. Home cooks' bateries de cuisine suck.

Fish scaler and bone tweezers if fish is on the menu. Shrimp zip, ditto.

Extra sheet pans -- can't have too many for a wedding

If neither of you have hotel pans, large roasting pans (or buy aluminum there) for holding prepped food.

Any skillet 12" or larger you own.

Commercial cling wrap -- amateur cling wrap is the bunk

Box of wooden matches. You never know.

Microfiber towels.

Burn and Cut First Aid Kit

Insulated cooler(s) to serve as "poor man's Cambros." I didn't appreciate this as much as I should have when still catering. It took comp 'q to l'arn me.

Not least: At least one full-size cutting board (Under similar circumstances, I'd bring two). Nylon is portable but wood is better. Not only does a cutting board add a station (allowing you to work an extra "nut" into the kitchen, having your own station is invaluable.)

Good luck with this. Congratulations! And best wishes! as appropriate.
post #4 of 4
Call me when you get to town! If I can help, let me know....
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