photos by Feastivities Events
by Meryl Snow
In this crazy business logistical issues arise, and most often when there is but a tiny window of time to plan.
A case in point…
This event was for 125 guests for cocktails and dinner stations at a recently renovated venue. In order to maintain the integrity of the décor, the venue director prohibited food displays in the newly styled rooms. For her event the client wanted, no surprise, “something different” and also wanted to use all three floors. The logistical issue – the only turn out / kitchen space was in the basement.
At our weekly staff meeting solid ideas for solving this particular dilemma were not forthcoming. Granted, everything could be butlered from the basement to all three floors. This, however, would mean exorbitant staff costs for a menu this client would find less than special. Finally, someone mentioned that the venue did have an elevator and that was the spark. Using that elevator, we could take the food to the guests in quasi table service style. The Chef Cart was born!
A Simple Solution…
The concept is straightforward. Using service carts, staff would wheel small composed plates, mini meals if you will, to the guests throughout the venue. This service style is interactive, interesting and “uncommon”, and pleasing for the client. The venue was also content that their new décor remained front and center.
We purchased stainless steel carts from a home good store. They are three-tiered, allowing room for food, garnishes, plates and flatware for 60 guests. Rubber drawer liners absorb the clatter as the carts rolled through the space and just one staff is needed per performance cart. The carts can retain their sleek stainless look or be trimmed to complement a theme.
Chef Cart Service with multiple carts on the floor serving guests, and others in the kitchen being loaded with the next item, continuous food service is a breeze. These roving ‘dinners’ always look fresh. Guests do not have to stand in a buffet line, nor wait while bowls and chafing dishes are replenished. Once all the small plates are served, the Chef Carts convert to large clearing carts. A perfect round-trip.
The circulating Chef Carts further allow for the event Chefs to roam the venue entertaining partygoers with ‘cart-side’ culinary performances.
This serving style also allows the client to pamper the guests with an almost endless variety of menu items. And in tight event spaces, where stationary food displays are not allowed or too invasive, the caterer can still showcase his team’s culinary skills, stylish presentations and attentive service.
Chef Cart service is a winning solution for a catering issue and a winning innovation for a demanding client. Serendipity.