Tasting Till They Drop

A few weeks ago, we hosted our annual tasting for all of our couples who plan to hold their receptions at our place this year.  Of all of the events that we host, I think this one requires the most amount of preparation time.  Our couples are allowed to request foods that interest them.  Each couple can bring up to six guests to help them decipher what they enjoy the most.  This behind the scenes organization takes me several weeks to prepare.  Then, once everything is organized, I pass all of my information on to my mom, the kitchen guru, where she and her team start organizing how they are going to map out and prepare each item.  We host our tastings on two back to back nights to ease with the set up, but it’s an exhausting two days.  The one good thing about it was that I was seriously cranking out the steps on my FitBit.  It’s especially exhausting for our kitchen staff who basically spend the entire week preparing.  Mom maps out when what food items must be prepared.  She separates them into what requires baking, sauteing, frying or last minute prep work.  Then, she writes up who is preparing what.

Here’s a shot of one of our last minute items.  Individual seven layer dip cups.  Earlier in the week, mom and her staff spent time cutting up all of the fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs to make everything run smoothly.


On the design front, we display all of the items that we have available for rent.


We also number each table and seat each table according to what the couple has requested.  On each table, we have a list of the items that the couple requested.  It helps as a gentle reminder.  When they begin tasting, they sample their requested items.  Once everyone has gone through, then we open it up to everyone to try anything they thought looked good.


Theresa and I have a lot of fun with this process.  It’s our goal to help our couples envision what the room will look like for a reception.  This really helps couples and their parents envision what preparation needs to take place.  Here’s a shot of our fake cake that we have with our toad bride and groom.


Fred and her staff prepared nearly 25 different hors d’oeuvres options each night, plus almost 20 different entrees.  Her kitchen was hopping.  When I came home from the event, I sat down and told my husband, “I have absolutely no idea how my mom does that.”  Here are the taco cupcakes getting assembled.


It’s truly amazing that she is able to have all of that food up at the designated time and looking great, more importantly, tasting fabulous.  The beef tenderloin gets grilled just before being served.


Here’s a final shot of the seven layer dip that was being prepared in the kitchen.  It’s beautiful and tasty!  The best kind of food.


I still didn’t get as many pictures as I had wanted to take, but I definitely did better than last year.  Here’s a shot of the room as viewed from the head table.


Here’s a shot of our mock head table set up.


When we serve the food, we bring up the hors d’eouvres first.  They are displayed on a food station table, then that gives the kitchen staff 30 more minutes to put the finishing touches on all of the entrees.  The entrees are served at the opposite side of the room.  Here’s Theresa sporting our new uniforms for our events.  One of our staff members made all of us these awesome aprons!  She’s clearly super excited about lighting the sternos.


We have new up-lights that are available this year.  They’re LED, so we can turn them into any color imaginable.  These lights are blue, but they are showing a little purple-ish in these photos.


There you have it.  That’s a small glimpse at our food tasting.  I’m happy that I remembered to take a few more pictures this year, maybe I can even take a picture of all of the food on display for next year.  I might have to tie a rope around my arm to keep me from getting distracted.  Would that be weird?  Wait.  Don’t answer that.




Post by Allison

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