It is really great to work with such creative and fun people. On June 19th, our catering team took a field trip to the Fancy Food Show in D.C. Our team split up into smaller groups so that we could adequately cover the show – which took up the ENTIRE DC Convention Center. Some of us visited Europe, others South America, Asia, and Africa.
Mission: To find catering ideas and inspiration for Chef’s Expressions
Status: Complete![caption id="attachment_1709" align="aligncenter" width="309" caption="Bayside Limousines took us there in 'fashionable style'"][/caption]
Top 5 Inspired Ideas
1) The Search for New Ingredients
Our Chefs are always coming up with new ingredients for us to try… we have to figure out exactly how to use our new ideas, but here are a couple of ingredients that we have not seen before.
[caption id="attachment_1710" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="A traditional Organic Unrefined Raw Sweetener from the maguey (agave salmiana) plant, this sap is a natural source of valuable nutrients such as antioxidants and prebiotic dietary fiber."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_1711" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Tofu Misozuke has a texture is like a triple cream blue cheese or “a cross between butter and foie gras,”. We think it will be great for our Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free clients"][/caption]
2) Discovering New Flavor Combinations
We have always played around with flavors – it’s the fun part of developing new menu items for our Wedding, Corporate and Social catering clients! We saw some really great combinations at the show…[caption id="attachment_1713" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="BLUEBERRY LEMON + THYME JAM - we could see this as either a sweet or savory application!"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1735" align="aligncenter" width="594" caption="That Indian Drink - a Yogurt Lassi that had such creative flavors - like Mango Rosewater and Blueberry Orange Cardamom"][/caption]
3) Exploring Creative Presentations
Just saw this recently in a Catering Magazine, but when we saw it at the show, we fell more in love. We’ve been using Marble for awhile, but the cool thing about Slate is you can write directly on the boards as ‘menu signs’. We already have several ideas for creative presentations![caption id="attachment_1732" align="aligncenter" width="401" caption="Slate Boards from Brooklyn Slate"][/caption]
4) Transforming Normal into Out of the Box
Who can turn down a fresh, hot waffle? There is nothing new about waffles and we were not at the show to bring back normal ideas – so we thought, how to turn this Sunday brunch favorite into a fun menu item… Doesn’t a Pulled Pork Waffle Sandwich sound delicious? Sweet, Savory, Crispy, Smoky… We could even make it miniature for a passed Wedding Hors D’oeuvres!
5) Discovering Hydrating Sustenance
So we had some fun laughing about this product- they play classical music as they are ‘harvesting’ the water from the Chilean Patagonia – but it is called Ice Swan – a perfect branding partner for Chef’s Expressions…[caption id="attachment_1720" align="aligncenter" width="346" caption="Ice Swan Water is harvested to the sound of classical music and originates from the naturally defrosting waters of the Chilean Patagonia!"][/caption]
We obviously had a lot of fun at the show, visiting different countries and bonding with our team.[caption id="attachment_1722" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Laura Alima (Marketing Director), Jen Pellegrino (Event Design Consultant) and Abriel Corsey (Marketing Intern) drinking tea in Morocco"][/caption]
The day concluded with a four course tasting menu at Zaytinya, designed by their Executive Chef, Michael Costa! Michael is a great friend of Chef’s Expressions and we were glad to catch up with him (we catered his wedding a couple years ago at the Peabody Library and he was grinning ear to ear while he showed us pictures of his new baby girl)[caption id="attachment_1723" align="aligncenter" width="512" caption="Four Course Tasting Menu at Zaytinya"][/caption]
Can’t wait for the next field trip!