Whether you and your fiancé have your hearts set on a lavish selection of truffle-infused haute-foodie delights or a cozy comfort-food buffet, or maybe even a hip and fabulous food truck (hint.. hint… nudge… nudge!!) you’ll want to start doing your research on the many choices and do it soon. As you may or may not know, a caterer and/or venue should be one of your FIRST choices since it will determine the look and feel of your wedding. So… without further ado.. here are some of our favorite tips on finding your perfect caterer.
Recommendations should ALWAYS be welcomed: Your wedding, well… it’s a big deal, and unless you are in the special event industry, this maybe the first time you’ve planned something of this size and magnitude. If this isn’t your first time, you may know professionals you can reach out to. If it IS your first time, reach out to your family and friends who have recently planned a wedding. Or, if you have attended weddings where you fell in love with the food and the presentation, don’t hesitate to contact the bride and groom to ask who they used. A good recommendation may just lead you to your perfect caterer!
Decide on your reception design, guest list, and BUDGET: Not every caterer is perfect for every type of event, and many caterers themselves openly admit this. Before contacting caterers, it’s best if you finalize some important decisions like the style of wedding, the feel of the reception, the amount of people you will invite, and of course, the most important, your BUDGET!! Since these are the questions your caterer will ask you during your interview, to make sure they are right for you and your event. You need to be specific about the type of event you are planning and the type of food and/or presentation you are expecting. Otherwise, you may end up selecting a caterer who simply isn’t a good fit for the type or style of your event.
Responsiveness is KEY: Your experience with the caterer during your interview process can be reflective of the way they will respond during your wedding planning. So if they aren’t very responsive or enthusiastic when you initially speak with them, this could be a sign of things to come.
Consider the way you serve the meal. A plated dinner will require more waitstaff than a buffet, thus it will naturally be more expensive to serve a sit down dinner. Serving the food family style is an option that is in between buffet and sit down dinner. It requires waitstaff, but not as much as the sit down option. And then of course, there’s the AMAZING food truck (yes, we’re biased) which can add a different and fun dynamic to traditional catering styles. Your budget will vary greatly, based on the options you choose. So, consider the way you want your meal presented, served and experienced!
Find out what’s included. As always, it’s good to find out what’s included with your catering package. Do they provide linens and china or will you have to rent these items separately? What about glassware and serving utensils. Knowing these facts will affect the overall food budget.
Complete explanation of the contract, cancellation policy, and contingency/insurance. A well written contract which goes over all the details is “key” for any professional arrangement. Make sure that there is a clear and written understanding of what is expected of them and of you. This way, there are no last minute surprises!
The proposal was beautiful and you are ready to head out on an unforgettable adventure together… full of intrigue, happiness, sadness, challenges, and of course, excitement… Oh, did we mention that we are talking about setting the date for your wedding?!
Who knew that setting the date for one of the most special days of your lives can be so challenging? If you are ready to set a date, check the below list of dates you may want to steer clear of.
Make sure to take note of any personal events you may have on your calendar. Such as other people’s weddings, family reunions, anniversaries, or other big events both personal and work related. Also, check your area for big conventions and festivals. Depending on where you would like your reception, scheduling on a busy day can make it harder for parking, commuting, and even accommodations for out of town guests.
We love the holidays, but when you have to schedule a wedding around them, things can get a bit tricky. Make sure the logistics make sense. A Christmas or New Year’s Eve wedding is beautiful and many venues may already have everything decorated, which means you can save a lot of money on event design. However, traveling can be brutal and hotel costs can skyrocket at this time. You may find more guests would be willing to miss your special day so that they don’t have to incur more expense during an already costly time. Or, a Valentine’s wedding can be stunning, but pay attention to the floral bill, especially if you want red roses, they are the most expensive during this weekend.
Other dates to think about:
Mother’s Day (always a Sunday) Talk with your mom to make sure she’s okay sharing this weekend with your special day. And consider if you may want your anniversary to fall on the same weekend as Mother’s Day if or when you become a mom?
Father’s Day(always a Sunday)As with mom, talk with your dad about doubling up on this day. And grooms, make sure you’re okay with celebrating your anniversary the same weekend as Father’s Day if you decide to have kids.
Halloween Avoid it if you’re terrified that someone might actually show up in costume (and embrace it if you want them to!).
Days of Remembrance We’re talking about historically significant days (like the anniversary of September 11) that may be off-limits if you come from a big military family. Or, that could make them all the more meaningful—it’s up to you to decide.
Major Sporting Events If you’re die-hard sports fans—or if you’re worried your guests might have a hard time choosing between your wedding and the big game—avoid getting married during popular sporting events. And if a lot of your guests come from the same alma mater, watch out for homecoming weekends and bowl games that might conflict.
Unlucky DatesIf you’re superstitious, you might want to watch out for these historically inauspicious dates from across several cultures.
The Ides of March For ancient Romans, an “ides” was simply a date that marked the middle of the month—until Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15 in 44 B.C. Since then, “Beware the Ides of March” has become the mantra of this superstitiously unlucky date.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Friday the 13th The unluckiest date of the year has questionable origins. Some historians say it comes from the 13 diners who were present at the last supper, but the famous Babylon’s Code of Hammurabi doesn’t include a 13th law, which suggests this superstition is as old as 1700 BC. And it wasn’t until a successful novel titled Friday, the Thirteenth was published in the early 1900s that Friday became part of the unlucky equation.
January 13, 2017
October 13, 2017
April 13, 2018
July 13, 2018
Leap Years Greeks and Romans thought that starting any new life event—from getting married to baptizing a child—in a leap year would bring bad luck.
If you are one of those people who can’t seem to get out of the “cheese and crackers” plate, you will LOVE this article!
Something I hear from many of my friends is that they can’t seem to get creative with the cheese plate. It seems like it’s always an after thought with the main meal taking most of the priority. Well, here is a cheat sheet of some of my favorite things to add to a cheese spread. Use all these ideas, or just a few. I guarantee these items will always be a success!
Olives are a staple on a cheese plate, however marinated olives are even better! Most supermarkets have a plethora marinated olives at their deli section and I love that you can buy them by the pound and choose the amount you would like to serve. However, they tend to be a bit pricey and if you are sticking to a budget, making your own is always a better option. I simply mix a little garlic (not too much) and my favorite spices (but not too spicy) in olive oil and pour over my favorite olives. Let them stand for an hour and you should have a great addition to your cheese plate.
A Variety of Cured Meats
Whether you choose salami, prosciutto, or ham, cured meats are always a delicious addition to any cheese platter. If you don’t like cured meats, you could also serve deli meats, such as roast beef, turkey, or chicken slices. Your guests will love making their own combinations of cheese, crackers, and meats.
A Variety of Breads
Most people opt for crackers with their cheese. And if you are serving a cheese plate as an appetizer, before a big meal, this will probably be a great option. However, if you would like the cheese spread to be your main meal (maybe for a wine tasting party), consider adding various kinds of breads to the table. Bread can fill up those hungry guests and adding additional bread accoutrements such as olive oil dip and soft cheeses will guarantee that no one walks away from your party hungry. Also, consider using breads that are “out of the box” and your guests would not normally consider purchasing, such as olive ciabatta, any flavor challahs, egg breads, etc. Of course, have one “neutral” bread that everyone would like such as a french baguette.
Fruit is a MUST!! Fruits are beautiful, delicious, and best of all, help the digestive process. Fruits have always complemented cheese and the best part of creating a cheese platter is adding fruit which may be out of the box a bit. Grapes are always great, but fruits such as figs, cherries, and strawberries look beautiful and taste great with cheese. Of course, doing a bit of research and checking to see which cheeses go with which fruit is always recommended. For example, stay away from any high acid or citrus fruit. But it’s not rocket science so don’t overthink it! And don’t forget, dried fruit is wonderful too!!
Honey is a wonderful addition to any cheese platter. It is the perfect juxtaposition of sweet and sour. Generally, I recommend you use varietal honey which is made from bees who pollinate on just one flower rather than bees that pollinate a bunch of different kinds of flowers. Also, just drizzle a little honey on the cheese, don’t soak it. A little goes a long way!
Honey goes really well with aged cheeses that have a good amount of nuttiness. Parmigiano-Reggiano, a tangy Cheddar, or any of the alpine cheeses (Comté, Gruyère, Appenzeller). Other sweet and creamy cheeses like ricotta, goat cheese, or feta are wonderful with a citrus based honey. Don’t forget the blue cheeses which are spectacular with honey. For some, the spicier the better, but you may want to experiment to see what you and your guests like the best.
Other Wonderful Additions:
Pepperoni Chips – Simply place pepperoni slices in your oven at 375 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until they get crispy and serve!
Chocolate – Did you know that dark chocolate and Parmesan cheese have been scientifically proven to work well together. That’s right, scientists have actually proven that these two items are perfect for pairing. Here’s the link to the full article on HuffingtonPost Taste, it’s fascinating. And the good news is that your guests will be WOWed by your brilliance Another cheese you may want to try with chocolate is mozzarella cheese. But don’t over do it, just a small amount will make a huge impression!
Fondue – So many of us think that we have to have wedge cheese on our cheese plate, but a hot delicious and creamy fondue will bring oohs and ahhs! Plus, they are very easy to make.
Nuts – Don’t forget the nuts!! Almost any nut will look wonderful on your cheese plate. You can do a little research to see which nuts pair well with cheeses, but honestly, it’s hard to go wrong. My ultimate favorites are almonds and cashews. They work well with most cheeses.
Preserves – Fig preserves are incredible on top of a delicious brie! Other preserves such as plum, apricot, and even wild blueberry are unbelievable!! Stop in at your local supermarket or gourmet grocer and talk to the cheese monger about the best pairings for their cheeses. I find that the people behind the counter can answer all my questions and even teach me a thing or two! Also, if there is a special gourmet cheese section at your grocer, take a look around to see if other items are displayed. Many times, the cheese section has all you need to find the perfect preserves.
Things to avoid would be vegetables, spicy foods, heavy garlic flavored crackers and breads, citrus or high acid foods, and Tannic Red Wines.
As food industry folks, we know how important presentation can be, and we can’t help but be a little obsessed with Tablescaping…. yes, it’s a thing! Here are our five favorite holiday napkin folding ideas to impress your guests before the first bite is ever taken!
1. The Elf Hat Napkin Fold
Absolutely in love with the Elf Hat the creative folks at goodhousekeeping.com came up with… pure genius!
For those of you who love to watch videos… here ya go!
Celebrating Thanksgiving may be fun for most, but for a few of us (who are watching our waistlines or have specific food restrictions) Thanksgiving can be a challenge. We scoured the web to find five of our favorite recipes that are perfect for just about anyone! Whether you are vegan, paleo, diabetic, or just love eating clean, these delicious recipes will make your Thanksgiving a bit easier. And from all of us at Beauty of the Bistro, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of love, family, and delicious food!
Basically a crustless apple pie recipe, made for you by BuzzFeed Food editor Christine Byrne.
Recipe: Core 8 medium apples without cutting all the way through to the bottom — leave about a ½-inch of uncut apple at the bottom — then cut away a little bit extra so there’s a well in each apple about ¾-inch thick. Put the apples on a lined baking sheet, then sprinkle each apple with cinnamon and 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and top with 1 teaspoon unsalted butter. Bake until the apple is very soft, 30–35 minutes. Serve warm, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with your favorite maple granola.
Nothing touches our hearts more than a wedding celebration! At Beauty of the Bistro, we strive to make your wedding reflective of who you are as a couple!
You may have heard this before, but fall weddings are stunning!! Many brides prefer summer months to celebrate their nuptials, but let us tell you… a fall wedding can truly take your breath away, and our most recent wedding is NO EXCEPTION!!! Seriously… hay stacks, pumpkins, lanterns, falling leaves, sweaters, jeans, boots, plaid, a fire pit … you know, some of the best things in life.
This beautiful couple dove-tailed elegance and comfort beautifully. From the barrels of hay, red plaid pillows and blankets, to the pinecones, orange and red pumpkins, lanterns, and beautiful armoires… no detail was omitted. We especially love the multitude of seating, conversation, and dining areas. Creating an atmosphere which is intimate yet relaxed. Beauty of the Bistro enjoyed catering this stunning affair and we are thrilled to have been a part of such an unforgettable day!
We are thrilled to announce that Beauty of the Bistro is representing Kansas City in the Thomas’ Breakfast Battle, Food Truck Edition! This iconic brand invited Beauty of the Bistro to be part of it’s national breakfast competition and we are so honored to be part of it!!
• Last year, Thomas’ celebrated its 135th Anniversary with the inaugural Hometown Breakfast Battle competition — where 135 chefs from across the country battled it out to create America’s best breakfast recipe.
• In 2016, Thomas’ has taken the Breakfast Battle on the road with the Food Truck Edition.
• 50 food trucks from across the country, including our truck, have created one breakfast recipe inspired by the theme of their truck using a variety of Thomas’ English Muffins and Bagels as the main ingredient.
• Our goal was to create a delicious, yet achievable and approachable breakfast recipethat fans can recreate at home.
Our Submission was the ENGLISH COWBOY!!
Created by Sidney Fish, owner of Beauty of the Bistro
Our signature dish, Cowboy Skillet is served on an English Muffin with Smoked Gouda Cheese and a Fried Egg! A new way to try your favorite dish.
Prep and Cook time: 30 minutes
4 Thomas’ Original English Muffins, sliced in half
8 slices of Smoked Gouda
3 Links of Andouille Sausage, sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, finely diced
1 Cup Mushrooms, sliced
1 Medium sized Zucchini, halved and sliced thin
¾ Cup of Fresh or Frozen Corn
Season to taste with Salt, Pepper and Oregano
Sauté the red pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, corn and sausage in a skillet with Olive Oil, until vegetables are tender.
While the above mixture is sautéing, fry 4 individual eggs, over easy, one for each muffin.
Toast the English Muffins, and butter each side.
Place a slice of Smoked Gouda on Muffin bottom, then spoon a generous amount of Sautéed vegetable and Sausage Mixture ontoEnglish Muffin. Top with the egg, a second slice of Smoked Gouda, then the muffin top. Place the completed dish on a panini grill or in the oven to heat throughout, until the Smoke Gouda begins to melt.
Serve with Jalapeno Aioli (Recipe following)
1 Cup Buttermilk
½ Cup Mayonnaise
1 small can of Green Chilies
1 T. Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
½ Cup Sliced Jalapenos
½ Cup Fresh Cilantro
Place the above ingredients in a blender, until smooth.Keeps fresh in a refrigerator for approximately 5 days.
Beauty of the Bistro is gearing up for a new food truck season. We are excited to see the continual growth in the food truck community. Local business owners are really seeing the benefits of wonderful, fresh food being served right outside the door of their building.
We are also very excited for the opportunities we have had to serve at community functions and corporate events, as well as wedding receptions and holiday parties.
Some new faces (trucks) and newly organized groups will be showing their face in the coming weeks. One group we are particularly excited about is The Kansas City Food Truck Mafia.
“mafia.” Def.3. Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913), Any tightly knit group of trusted associates.
Why the Food Truck Mafia?
Mediocre food runs rampant in today’s society! Fast food, grocery store cafes, and convenience stores have become a major source of nutrition, or lack of, in our diets. We grab a quick burger at the drive-thru, a meat-like item off the hot rollers, or a piece of fried chicken and white stuff resembling wallpaper paste at the deli counter. We know in our hearts that it is not going to be good, nor good for us. Yet we still do it. We all desire something tastier, healthier, and convenient! Enter the Food Truck Mafia!!!
Kansas City’s Food Truck Mafia is a collection of the the best looking, most professional and funnest food trucks in town. Each truck is owned and operated by Kansas City area residents. We may be your friend, family or neighbor. We strive hard to feed you the most wholesome and tasty food you can eat. We feed you like family!!
There are many adventures ahead. We hope you will find us on the streets or contact us for your catering needs!
I remember seeing that poster in the cafeteria lunchroom at Stanley Elementary. I spent a lot of time pondering it’s meaning- probably more than the average 2nd or 3rd grader. And even though I don’t remember thinking that the school lunches were horrible, I knew that wobbly rectangle pizza didn’t seem normal. It does seem strange that the “You are What You Eat” poster was placed in the same cafeteria where processed burger patties, frozen tater tots, canned fruit and chocolate milk were offered.
But I also remember the Lunch Ladies…they always smiled and were happy to see us. By the time I left elementary school, I was sad to leave the familiar lunch room and the ladies that always remembered to give me extra pickles with my round patty thing on a bun.
Much later in life I was humored that my husband preferred that I make his lunch, because my sandwiches always tasted better. One might think he was just trying to get out of making his own lunch.
But I do believe “You are What You Eat” means something far more powerful. If you believe in the notion that if you exude positive energy and thoughts, then you will receive positive responses from the universe and vice-verse. Translating this theory into food and cooking, if you cook with a positive energy and a happy mood rather than cooking as a chore or a stressful profession, your food will reflect it. It is so important to cook with Positive Energy. If you are rushed, angry, upset or stressed, I feel it directly affects the quality of the meal being prepared.
As I think about all the opportunities I have had- family gatherings, high school football dinners, wedding receptions, I feel blessed to have been able to share something that was prepared from the heart.
And I will continue to make my husbands lunch, because my sandwich really might taste better.