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You are engaged-who hoo! And now, on to the wedding planning! Planning a wedding can be really fun and exciting, but sometimes it can also be overwhelming and stressful. There is one vendor that can actually make your wedding planning a better experience: the caterer.
It is key that when you are researching catering companies you understand the scope of services they provide and what is included in their proposal and what is not included.
Here are some things a caterer can do for you that you may not be aware of:
-A caterer can help you find the perfect event venue. Caterers that have been around for a while have extensive knowledge of venues in your area, and can suggest places to meet your budget, style and vision. They can even accompany you on site visits to make sure it’s a good fit for your vision.
-Many caterers can also serve as your wedding planner, including day of wedding coordination. Since they are already doing your catering, they will get to know you really well, and many times they will offer this service at a lower price, since most of their revenue comes from catering.
-The best caterers, like La Bonne Cuisine, have developed relationships with other wedding vendors and can use those relationships to get you better pricing on items like flowers, photography and rentals.
-A lot of caterers also offer design services, so they will be able to take care of the overall design of your wedding, taking care of things like flowers, linens and decor.
-The best caterers can create a custom menu for you. Most caterers will provide you with a standard wedding menu, but if you have something different in mind, don't be shy and tell them! A good caterer will be able to create the menu with your input, so you get exactly what you want.
So now that you know what a caterer can do for you, here's a few things you need to know before you start your search:
1. Establish a catering budget, and be realistic. It is important for the caterer to know from the beginning what your budget is to establish whether you are a good fit with their company. Cost varies a lot depending on where your wedding is, so it may be a good idea to ask a few friends how much they spent so you can get a good idea of what the market is where you live. Don't go by wedding planning websites, since many times they don't have localized information. Also, don't go by restaurant prices, since it's a completely different thing! Remember that many times a caterer pretty much has to set up a restaurant just for you!
2. Tastings. The idea of having multiple tastings to decide on a caterer sounds fun-however, it doesn't work like that. Many caterers now charge for tastings, although some of them will refund the cost if you book them. Some of them won't even do a tasting until you book them, and the tasting is more to get your feedback on the dishes for your wedding, rather than a “job interview”.
3. Preferred Vendor Lists. A lot of wedding venues have Preferred Vendor Lists, and for a reason-the caterers on the list have been vetted and the venue feels good about their food and service. However, if you feel strongly about a caterer that is not on the list, many times the venue will be flexible, but it is best to negotiate this before you book the venue, since they may have an incentive to say yes to get the business.
Now you have some tools to get out there and enjoy the fun journey that is wedding planning. Have fun!
We would like to share this recipe with you to get on the holiday spirit!
Chef Christophe's Buche de Noel Recipe
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 egg whites
confectioners' sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whip cream. 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. 1/2 cup cocoa, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until thick and stiff.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale. Blend 1/3 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and salt. In a large glass bowl, using clean beaters, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until whites form stiff peaks. Immediately fold the yolk mixture into the whites. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Dust a clean dishtowel with confectioners' sugar. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and turn the warm cake out onto the towel. Remove and discard parchment paper. Starting at the short age of the cake, roll the cake up with the towel. Cool for 30 minutes.
Unroll the cake, and spread the filling to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll the cake up with the filling inside. Please seam side down onto the serving plate, and refrigerate until serving. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.
Makes 12 servings.
La Bonne Cuisine News
You can find La Bonne Cuisine at San Francisco's premier event venues preferred vendor lists, and we keep adding more partners. This month, we would like to highlight The Green Room. Recently renovated, this venue is one of San Francisco's most elegant spaces. Consider it for your next event, and let us help you plan your Green Room event!
Mark your calendars!
We are really excited to join our Partner Venues on their exciting Fall events!
October 4: We are partnering with Bespoke to raise money for the American Red Cross Hurricane Fund. This event is free, but you must RSVP to attend. Donations will be taken at the door!
October 19: One of our favorites every year, this event raises funds for the Conservatory of Flowers programs. Learn more about this not-to-be-missed event.
It's holiday party planning crunch time!
Contact Us to check if we have your event date available, but hurry up before we get all booked up!
Want to be always on the know about the latest event industry trends, ideas, new venues and events? Follow us on Instagram!
Being in the Bay area, we are lucky to be on the forefront of anything related to creativity, food and technology. Ideas are born here all the time and later adopted in the rest of the country. Chef Christophe Kubiak and our Head Designer, Sebastien Sanges share with us what they think will be the biggest trends in cateringand events for 2017. So, take note, because this is what your clients will be demanding next year!
Trend One: Interactivity
Great-tasting food is no longer enough. Guests now want to play with their food and be surprised. Elements like:
Shells that dissolve when a liquid is poured over it and revealing a main dish or a dessert
Chefs as performance artists that go beyond a chef demo and let guests get intimate with the process
Letting guests paint their plates with sauces as if it’s artwork
Will be the tendency in 2017 events, according to Chef Christophe.
Trend Two: Marriage of technology and events
Technology has always played a huge part of events, and 2017 will be no exception. The biggest technology that we will be seeing more at events will be Virtual Reality. The usage of this technology doesn’t have to be just for high-end events. It is actually a technology that can be pretty inexpensive to implement. Viewers like Google Cardboard make this technology very affordable and easy. Look out for venues using virtual reality tours of their spaces for planners that are not local and wedding photographers offering virtual reality filming to wedding clients. According to Sebastien Sanges, other technology trends include using QR Codes to show nutritional information and recipes, as well as integrating smart lighting into the food experience.
Trend Three: Community mindfulness
One of the positives coming out of the recent election is that it has awoken a new sense of responsibility towards ones own community, as well as a yearning to help others. Event planners will demand that vendors use socially responsible practices at their events, such as donating leftover foods to shelters. Fundraising events should have a surge and will probably have larger budgets this year, and we’ll see more partnerships between the private sector and non-profits at events to create awareness and synergy opportunities.
Trend Four: Off-the-grid venues
Places like San Francisco have some impressive landmark event venues, but 2017 will see the rise of the “secret venue”. Planners are looking for something different that their guests have not experienced before; a feeling of exclusivity and being in on a secret that others don’t know about. Technology companies like Peerspace have taken large markets by storm offering access to venues that are not as well-known or accessible to the general public. Companies like Peerspace also offer concierge services where they help planners plan their events from beginning to end, providing comfort and security in using these new spaces.
Let us know what your thoughts are about these trends, and we’ll see next year whether Chef Christophe and Sebastien’s predictions actually came true!
About La Bonne Cuisine Catering and Events:
La Bonne Cuisine is a catering company that has been serving the Bay area for over 20 years. In 2016 it was named the 20th largest LGBT-owned company in the Bay area by the San Francisco Business Times.