One of the elements of our business that we are the most proud of is the guidance we offer our clients when it comes to their events. While food and service make up the lion's share of what we offer, we also work closely with our clients and their planners on the rentals, set up, and timeline of the party. We go ALL IN when we are hired on for an event and are dedicated to providing whatever advice and experience we can to create a beautiful and seamless occasion that is reflective of our client's vision. The majority of couples we work with have never been married before and naturally have a lot of questions about how to structure their wedding. Maine lends itself to a slightly less formal vibe and many clients come to us with a similar vision for a "rustic yet elegant" affair. This is when we really talk up our Family Style Service. Whereas a plated dinner can feel a bit stuffy and out of place in a beautiful barn or rural setting and a buffet feels too casual for what is arguably one of the most important days in our client's lives, Family Style offers the best of both worlds. No need for RSVPS with meal choices, no need for anyone to stand in line, and we can feed a room of 200 in about 10 minutes. It also gives our servers the opportunity to treat things more like a restaurant service, checking in with tables and offering seconds to guests. But the real benefit of Family Style is that it engages the people sitting at the table together, many of whom are usually meeting for the first time. Below are some highlights from 2015 that show how beautiful and convivial a shared meal can be.
Being a catering company that focuses primarily on weddings, we have the opportunity to collaborate with a LOT of other vendors over the course of a season. Maine is a relatively small place (well, not geographically) with a somewhat limited roster of high quality professionals and over the years we have been blessed to work with some outstanding planners, florists, photographers, and musicians. As our business and reputation has grown so have the profiles of many of the folks we work with, meaning we get the pleasure of working with several of the same vendors on a regular basis.
And boy are we excited when we hear that one of our clients is working with Meredith Perdue. Besides being a total doll, Meredith is a phenomenally talented photographer who is in high demand for weddings in Maine as well as her native North Carolina. We are always impressed by her ability to capture moments and details, and we REALLY like that she takes lots of pictures of our food! She recently shared some highlights from a couple of weddings we worked on together in 2015, we are so excited to see what our 2016 collaborations have in store.
Well here we are.......August. This is the height of the summer season in Maine, and everyone who lives and works here is feeling the effects of the last couple months of non-stop work. It's rare that we can take time to reflect on.........well, pretty much anything this time of year, but when we received the photos from a series of events we did back in May taken by the phenomenally talented Meredith Perdue, we couldn't help but reminisce on what a fun weekend it was! Matt and Kristen gathered their friends and family from all over the country for a welcome party at Cellardoor Winery featuring a "Chef's Counter" with a bounty of small plates, followed by a picture perfect wedding at the Camden Yacht Club the next day. It's quite special to spend a weekend with the same group.......by the end, the guests and the staff are all on a first name basis with each other. And I'll never forget the photo the mother of the groom texted me of the wedding party eating the leftovers in their bathrobes :)
When the weather finally warms up and the possibility of frozen pipes is no longer a problem, we reopen the kitchen. At this point we have been brainstorming new menu ideas all winter and can hardly wait to get in there and try them all out. Recipe testing is a curse and a blessing; it gives us an opportunity to bring our ideas to life and tweak them to perfection, but it also means you're eating a LOT of one thing until you are totally sick of it. For instance, in May there was a solid week where it seemed like all we ate was fried food..........and don't even get me started on the hand pies and wedding cakes we made over and over until they were just right.
Hors d'oeuvres are probably our favorite part of any menu and they tend to be the items where we can express the most creativity. Bite sized, texturally interesting, and packed with flavor are the hallmarks of a standout hors d'oeuvre........we think these new additions to our 2015 menu are winners and are looking forward to making more of them all summer.
Running a business in a seasonal place like Maine does not come without it's own set of hardships. Work is often scarce, if not non-existent, during the long cold months of winter. As a result you have to work as hard as you can from May through October to make up for the rest of the year. With that said, one of the most wonderful things about running a seasonal business is that you actually have a period of the year when you can step back from it to reevaluate. It is a restorative time where we come up with new menu ideas, meet with clients, assess old systems and implement better ones for the upcoming year.
But most importantly, we travel.
Much of the work we do over the winter can be done from anywhere and there is nothing like a dose of perspective and new surroundings to inspire creativity. Over the last few years we have developed a strong affinity for Mexico. The generous people, exquisite food, live music, vibrant cities (and lets be honest, the weather) never fail to enchant and leave us wanting to explore more.