If I could write spontaneous sonnets, I’d write one about the deep fried poached egg we ate at yesterday’s Breakfast & Learn. After a night of Skin & Bones, it was the perfect cap to a cloudy morning, the bright sun in the sky that marked the beginning of a busy day. I have no photos because, let’s be honest, most of the best-tasting food really isn’t that photogenic (especially if you’re only using an iPhone), but I’m pretty sure you can picture a poached egg, covered in a light bit of breading, exploding onto a plate filled with other breakfast goodies.
Our elaborate breakfast, which also included a smoked salmon macaron, black rice and fruit pudding, and a sundried tomato cheesecake, set the stage for a day filled with activities, which I’ll round up here as quickly as I can, so I can get back to the conference and chat with attendees:
-Plug and Produce: In rapid succession, four catering chefs went through detailed instructions on prepping twenty passed appetizer ideas, like a house cured duck reuben roll and mango gazpacho. The key to these all seemed to be: keep it fresh, and fuse different culinary traditions from around the world, so that your guests are interacting with their food and asking about what they’re eating.
-Product demo from Sterno: Sterno’s introducing their brand new Performance Plus fuel at the Art of Catering Food conference, and what was really cool about this presentation was the big laughs that Thad got from his performance, and also the giveaways to audience members. Will torches ever go out of style? I doubt it. The stage demo showed just how easy it is to fire it up!
**Update: In the rush of the conference, I got the name of the new Sterno product wrong — all apologies! But it’s been updated.
-Food truck lunch. Three local food trucks — Manna from Heaven, Moe’s Barbecue and Epicurean — delivered lunches to hungry attendees, making for a very cool meal on a hot day. I had some excellent pulled pork from Moe’s, and although I got a bit of a sunburn, it was all well worth it.
-Culinary Crafts’ presentation on action stations brought out more fire (LOTS of heat yesterday! In the best way!), as we talked about creative presentations of donuts, s’mores, and torchable meats.
-Facility tours! Our tour began at Footers Catering, who touted their company culture, centered around the word Awesomeness. We saw their new facility (they just moved in on May 1), and checked out their huge kitchen.
-And then my phone, tired from a day full of Instagram, promptly died! There’s no pictures from Epicurean’s Sports Authority Field facilities or Catering by Design at the moment, but I will be posting more photos as the week goes on. Both tours were incredibly informative, and filled with questions from caterers about the specifics of how exactly things get done at these very different facilities. At Epicurean, we saw how they prepped massive amounts of food for all of the suites at Mile High. And at Catering By Design, we saw Cade and Ingrid Nagy’s huge warehouse, chatted with Gunnar Hencemann about his incredible decor workshop, and tasted some phenomenal Mongolian BBQ.
-We also entertained our winners of our early registration drawing with a phenomenal three-course dinner at Catering by Design. More on this later, but I’ll include some photos to keep your interest piqued.
-And check out our Facebook page for continuous updates throughout the day. I’m going to rejoin the action!