Rehearsal is bumping from the Palace Ballroom — they’re playing one of my favorite Beyonce songs — and everyone in the office is excited for tonight’s awards and final session with Tutera. I’m a little sad that the Conference is almost over… but I know it was an amazing opportunity to get to know so many readers, through this blog and in person. If I was able to connect with you, you’ll hear from me in the next week or so — I promise.
In the meantime, I’ve gotten enough material to write two years’ worth of magazines. I’ve learned a ton about catering and I’ve had so much fun.
I’m a big blog-posted out at this point, but stay tuned to this blog! I’m definitely going to be updating regularly (once a week! I hope!). I’ll definitely have some more show recaps over the coming weeks and months.
Also, thanks to Chelsea and Alex, who are amazingly helpful and talented photographers, and to Nan, Catersource’s VP of Marketing, who put together our Show Daily emails. And thanks again to all of our guests and speakers.
See you at the closing session!
Check out the National Ice Carving Association on the Tradeshow floor. Photo by Chelsea Kelly.
]Today is a big day on the Tradeshow floor. If you haven’t been able to check out the Tabletop Competition, then be sure to head over after today’s judging. Just from the Tabletops alone, there are a lot of amazing ideas — treehouses, peacocks, a construction site — that definitely stand out from your average table setting. The colors are gorgeous, and the design, divine. Make sure you stop by and vote for your favorite — Tutera’s pick will be phenomenal, I’m sure, but make sure that your voice is heard!
Today’s another busy one for us here at Catersource, but I’ll be at the Catersource Magazine Lounge on the Tradeshow Floor from 11AM to 12PM today. Stop by and say hello, let me know what you think of the Conference & Tradeshow, and let me know what your ideas are for the magazine. I’ve talked to a lot of you already, but I’m always excited to chat with more readers.
Forgive me if I’m a little salty this morning… it was a very stimulating night!
YAWN. Oh, sorry. I’m just having a slower morning than usual, what with all that partying last night. The food was delicious, the virtual band was bangin, and the night was glorious, despite the early rain. (Rain? In the middle of the desert? What’s the deal?) But today there’s just as much planned, so head downstairs, grab a couple of cups of coffee, and get ready for…
This morning I went to Bollywood, Bolivia, a magical bridal kingdom, and the streets of every uber-hip American city. True, it’s easy to go to a ton of different places while in Vegas, but I’m talking about the locations Catersource has taken me, all in one (too short!) morning. As caterers, you’re used to transporting others to a different place with your work– but how often to you get to be transported six, seven, eight times every day? It’s an only-at-Catersource sort of thing, huh?
All the types at the hookah pipe say… let’s have a Culinary Face Off!
My first session today was Culinary Faceoff, which pitted three teams of top-level caterers against each other with the theme Bollywood and Beyond — and they took it and ran. Epicurean Culinary Group’s executive chef Ted Strauch compared the colors of a Denver sunset to the spices used in Indian cooking, and used that inspiration to create a mindblowing setup based on the many hands of the Hindu goddess Durga. Meanwhile, Puff ‘n’ Stuff Catering’s Paul Lorrain displayed his chef’s smoker in a hookah, creating a marvellous effects with smoked scallops. Team Aramark’s Bollywood Diner made a huge splash, creating faux-diner favorites out of traditional Indian cuisine. All three entries were such a trip.
After my first session yesterday morning, Sugarworks with Jack Milan, I had learned so much that I was prepared rush in and tell my bosses that we were going to have to change the name of the magazine to Meringues Monthly, that I could fill the pages with delectable desserts, and that our established magazine could just be dissolved into a world of sugar and egg whites. But then I went to the next session, and I saw Andy Snow’s svelte and effective field kitchen mastery, and I was going to stock the whole back section of the magazine with forms and strategies and provide very straight and direct advice to ensure that you can take control of any size party at the drop of a hat. After that came Eric LeVine’s bite-sized strategies and Anthony Lorie’s Mediterranean appetizers… And then I got to thinking that we’re all learning several school years’ worth of material in about four days, and that it’s best to just pace yourself, and prioritize. Monday’s a busy day; here’s what you can look forward to:
You’re finally here, and it’s been great to meet you. Welcome! At this conference, if each attendee has an average five years of experience in business — and I realize that’s a low estimate — there’s a total of 40,000 years of experience at the Catersource Conference and Tradeshow, which is a ridiculous number. Chatting with as many attendees as possible can be overwhelming, but I encourage you to make friends with as many fellow Catersourcers as you can — everyone’s brimming with a different level of knowledge. Here’s what I learned this morning:
Chatting with Mead Yeatman, who was featured in our email daily this morning.
Everyone — and I mean everyone — here is on the lookout for ideas. This may seem like the most basic, obvious point, but all of us here are hungry to new ways to present ourselves and our food, new ways to organize our businesses, and new ways to be more efficient and economical. And you’ll learn as much from your fellow attendees as you will in sessions — so take the opportunity to connect in between your sessions and tonight at the Welcome Reception and the Champagne on Ice SEARCH Fundraiser tonight.