A2 Art & Brew

We had a wonderful time partnering with Wolverine Brewing and the Ann Arbor Art Center for the A2 Art & Brew Event this past Thursday! Thank you for a fun night, and congratulations to all those who participated.

For our contribution to the event, we made a Spicy BBQ Shrimp, served on a peach cornbread cake, garnished with a spicy pepper relish. The dish was paired with a truly innovative Gulo Gulo India Pale Lager from Wolverine Brewing Co. Utilizing their traditional lagering techniques, Wolverine Brewing was able to turn up the hop-dial and produce an inspired beer that both IPA and Lager fans will love.

The floral, hoppy notes of the I.P.L. matched up wonderfully with the hints of spice in the shrimp and relish. The bite was anchored by our savory peach corn cake, and washed down with a deliciously crisp but full flavored beer.

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We are looking forward to next years event!

What could be more perfect than a night filled with delicious food, innovative beer, and beautiful art?

Not much in our book.

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Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market Wedding

We had the pleasure of catering a Wedding at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market in mid-August. While the weather leading up to the big day was chilly, the sun came out and gave us PERFECT weather for the al fresco dining. The rustic canopy of the market rooftop gave the perfect covering, while it’s open walls offered 360 views of quirky Kerrytown.

The menu consisted of an assortment of gourmet platters, including antipasto, brie and fresh berries, thinly sliced beef, and a 4 cheese macaroni bake. The desserts were an assortment of small portioned cake shooters, allowing guests to sample multiple cakes. During events like this, it almost doesn’t even seem like work!

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We’ve had a busy (but fun) Summer, and it’s not even over yet. Rather than go into detail about each of the beautiful Wedding Ceremonies, University Banquets, Company Picnics, Unique Client Tastings,  Anniversaries, and Fun Plate Ups we’ve been a part of over the past few weeks, we decided to just show you what we’ve been up to.

 

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The Root of Flavor: Peppercorns

The Root of Flavor–a series of posts on our blog–we’re going to breakdown some of your favorite flavors, and maybe even give you some new ideas on how to utilize these tasty items.

Today’s The Root of Flavor is about Peppercorns. You’ve seen them in a variety of colors, but how does it’s appearance affect the flavor?

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to download this image, click here

Asparagus, Potato and Onion Frittata

Asparagus

Asparagus is to Spring as what Tomatoes are to Summer: a fresh sign of the season. It’s hard to go to any produce section or Farmer’s Market and NOT see these green beauties these days, and hopefully you’re taking advantage (keep this in mind: Michigan is the 3rd largest producer of Asparagus in the nation with nearly 25 million pounds grown annually). Whether you’re incorporating Asparagus into your diet on a daily basis or not, here is a recipe for one of our favorite Spring Fritattas:

Asparagus, Potato and Onion Frittata

Serves 6-8 guests

  • 4 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb asparagus, washed, stems removed, blanched and cut into pieces
  • 2 C sliced potatoes, peeled and parboiled
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 Tbs milk
  • ½ C half and half
  • Dash nutmeg
  • Dash cayenne Pepper
  • ½ C Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ C white cheddar, grated
  • 1 Tbs fresh chives, snipped
  • Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a copper or oven safe skillet, add onions and sauté until golden brown. Add asparagus and potatoes, and sauté 3-4 minutes until crisp. Season with salt and pepper.  In mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cream, nutmeg and cayenne.  Season with salt and pepper, then add Parmesan. Slowly and evenly pour egg mixture over the top of the potato mixture in the skillet, then top with white cheddar.

Bake 30 minutes in 375 degree oven, or until set.  Invert onto serving platter, sliced and garnish with chives,  Serve warm or room temperature.

Note: if you don’t have a copper or oven safe skillet, this can be baked in a well buttered baking dish or tart pan.

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Wedding Food Trends

Jon Curtis, our Operations Manager, had the honor of speaking at a recent National Association for Catering and Events (NACE-Greater Detroit Chapter) meeting on February 20, 2013. The monthly meeting featured wedding trends from industry professionals. Jon spoke about Wedding Food Trends. Other speakers included representatives from Parsonage Events, Top That! Event, Mike Staff Productions, Buttercream Bakeshop, Studio Bridesmaid, and The White Dress. Here are some of his insights for planning out your menu for your big day.
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DIY Weddings
  • What is a DIY Wedding? The Bride and Groom are budget conscious, and are still able to have their dream weddings. While a little more work and elbow grease will go into certain aspects of the weddings (creating your own centerpieces, recruiting bridal party/family/friends to put in some extra work), that dream wedding is still attainable on their budget. What it means for their reception is having no servers or catering attendants for their food.
  • What will the food look like? From a menu aspect, it means working with a planner or consultant and getting input on the menu planning (when preparing, it’s always important to ask the professionals, they know things like how long certain foods can stay out, what will be crowd-pleasing, how much of each you will need, where to get a bartender, etc), once the menu is set the food will be delivered/dropped off at the reception site, and set up in a visually appealing manner. From there, it is up to the Bride and Groom how they would their guests to be served. This style of service has become increasingly more and more popular.
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Food Trends
  • Michigan Made. Products made or grown locally in the state of Michigan–or the state where the ceremony will take place–have been very sought after. Not only does this show support for the local economy, it makes the destination of the wedding more personal. These items range from beer to tomatoes to bread, and have an emphasis on seasonal availability.
  • Diverse Menus. There are many special dietary needs that must be taken into account when planning a meal for 10s-100s of people, from vegan to gluten free to nut allergies, and everything in between. While you are inviting guests to your Wedding, you don’t want to make them feel as though they are being needy. After all, it’s a party, and you want everyone to feel welcomed and at home. If you know ahead of time someone will be needing a special menu, make it easy for them to have that option, almost all caterers will be able to provide that with no problem.
  • Going Green. We mean this in two ways: leafy greens and eco-friendly. Iceburg lettuce is no longer the center of salad plates anymore. Many are looking to other greens for their nutritional benefits as of late–kale, collards, spinach, arugula, swiss chard–so why not feature them in your menu? It’s also a fun way to break out of the norm, especially when many guests have a Summer full of weddings to attend. It’s also important to limit your carbon footprint when possible, and almost all vendors have eco-friendly products for your big day that can help with that. The easiest step you can take is making sure you have a compost pile and recycling bins near all the trash cans to sort the food, plastic, bottles, and real trash.

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Desserts

  • Dark and Savory. Have you ever had a bacon-maple cupcake?? We’ll just leave it at that…
  • Dessert and Candy Stations. Rather than having one HUGE cake to serve your guests, you can set up a fun table full of a variety of items to satisfy any sweet tooth. Cupcakes, pies, cakes, candy, and more can all be offered in this Serve-Yourself-style of dessert. When setting up a candy table, why not set out some small bags for your guests to fill up and take home as a souvenir (those are always a big hit with the kids).
  • Small Bites and Shooters. Often guests will be quite full at the end of the meal and ready to dance. Offering smaller bites of desserts in “shooter” form (in small containers resembling shot glasses) allows them to indulge, and even try a variety of items, while still staying light on their feet.