Your Wedding Chef
How to choose the right caterer.
Because food is one of the most important factors to consider when preparing for your rehearsal dinner and wedding reception, you should only rely on a catering company that is professional and established. For Hilary Rowland, this was Artaux.
Good caterers should provide you with pictures of their previous spreads and also give you packages depending on the size of the party and the number of guests you’re expecting.
“Choosing the right wedding caterer takes away the hassle of having to worry about what to serve your guests.” says Hilary, “We were lucky to have Artaux recommended to us by a friend. They not only made the menu selection process easy, but the quality of food was incredible. We got a lot of compliments from our guests about the food.”
Finding a good caterer will mean reviewing their background and experience, as well as browsing through their menu. Excellent catering services will put a lot of attention into details as well as include all the necessary elements needed. They will work with your party rental company to ensure you have all the appropriate dinnerware. They’ll provide a variety of tasty dishes that will suit different palates including those with particular preferences like the vegetarians. They’ll let you choose between a buffet or traditionally formal setup. In short, they make it easy for you to get what you want.
“Artaux made the process of organizing the wedding so much easier than it could have been. They gave us a huge menu, and we picked what we liked. It turned out perfectly. They came, catered, and left without a trace – even though they had an elaborate gourmet barbecue setup. It was quite impressive!”
We talked to Chef James Muir of Artaux Catering to find out why a caterer’s role is very important in order to have a successful wedding event.
Urbanette Magazine: When did you decide that you wanted to get into the catering business? What was your inspiration?
Chef James Muir: I decided I wanted to go into catering two years ago. I had worked in restaurants and hotels for 15 years, and decided to open up my own business, not being sure whether that business was going to be a restaurant. We don’t overwhelm our clients with a long list of ingredients for each dish. Instead, we focus on sourcing the finest ingredients and using the best cooking techniques. That is our recipe for success.
“Before starting up, I did a lot of research and the general consensus from the people I spoke to was that caterers offer food that is mediocre. Most caterers would end up serving the same things at parties, over and over again.”
Urbanette: How has Artaux evolved since it started?
James: We started as a team of one cooking at clients’ homes, and have evolved into a small “tribe” of people who work well together and love what we do.
We recently opened up a new commercial kitchen and Tasting Studio. We have wonderful plans for the future and continue to try to challenge ourselves every day, through the innovation of new dishes, to thinking about how to make it easier and stress free for our clients to host events.
Urbanette: How would you describe a perfect and successful catering job?
James: The perfect catering job, most importantly, is when all of the guests are blown away by the food and service, and you notice a sense of pride on the host.
A successful catering job is when the event that was planned weeks or even months before, to the last detail, and runs like clockwork. When everyone knows where they have to be and what they have to do, and they execute flawlessly in an environment that is not filled with stress. I don’t think events go well when the staff is stressed out and the chef is yelling at everyone.
“As caterers, we are entertainers, we put on the show, and even if we think we are behind the scenes, someone is always watching.”
Urbanette: What was your most challenging catering order and how did you manage it?
James: The most challenging catering orders are generally when there are additional requests as we get closer to the event itself.
Of course, it’s normal for things to change and evolve as you plan an event. Often, it’s the questions out of left field (so to speak) that at first seem challenging that lead us to a fantastic place where we never would’ve gone. What’s important is to be dynamic and change with the evolving situation. It is also important to convey all of the information to the staff in a manner that is clear. Clear direction will set the staff up for success.
“Even when an event is planned to the last detail, we always arrive expecting something to change, expecting something to go wrong; so if it ever does, we won’t be caught off guard.”
Urbanette: Catering jobs largely rest on the client’s wants and expectations. How do you brainstorm with your clients to make sure that what they have in mind is translated perfectly into your setup?
James: I love to meet with clients in person. I think now-a-days, especially with how quickly email can be sent back and forth, it’s incredibly important to try and meet with the client in person and talk about what their vision is for the event. The face to face interaction usually leads to a back and forth of different ideas. You get to know what people love and hate, and through different questions, you can start to build the event.
Check Artaux Catering out at www.artaux.net, or call them at 646-510-4579