The Caterers Corner
Critique of Competition Caterers Corner: Critique of Competition
By Norma on Thursday, July 05, 2001 - 06:12 pm: Edit

Is anyone interested in my critique of the dinner served at the Republican Party Presidential Gala?
I'll only post my thoughts if there is interest.

By sam on Thursday, July 05, 2001 - 06:23 pm: Edit

yes I am, I have done some political dinners, nothing like that, but did serve the older president bush & dan qualye at different times, but would be unique to get your critique.....sam

By Norma on Thursday, July 05, 2001 - 08:05 pm: Edit

The caterer shall remain faceless and nameless. And for the record it was no one I had ever worked with. Thank goodness or I would have been embarressed.

During the cocktail hour, several appetizers from BBQ shrimp, deep fried cheese, mushrooms stuffed with sausage were served. All were fine. Nothing was served that appeared new, just what this caterer did well. The cocktails served were name brands in large glasses. One was enough for me and it seemed so for many because there were no lines at any of the bars.

The preset first course was a room temperature Vegetable Napolean.(layers of roasted red & yellow peppers, portobello mushrooms, roma tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini with fresh herbs) Since the room was dark the napoleon was a nice colorless grey, but it did taste delicious. It was also square not rectangle which probably was only noticed by me.

The bread basket was full of ficelles, sundried tomato foccacia, seeded flat breads and baquettes and served with preset Normandie butter medallions. No one but me tried the various breads, which were delicious but starting to dry out because they were preset prior to the reception hour and during the POTUS comments. I liked them.

Main course was a Horseradish-crusted tenderloin of beef with shallot merlot sauce. The tenderloin was beautifully cooked and still warm and tender, however I could taste no horseradish on the crust. The sauce went well with it. Next to the meat was a bundled asparagus spear. On the side was a five onion rissotto cake. This was colorless and obviously made in a 3-inch ring. Being served on a white plate did not help. Possibly it could have been tilted on the asparagus or some of the meat sauce could have been plated under it. It had a wonderful flavor.

Dessert was a big disappointment, a slice of key lime pie with graham cracker and roasted almond crust served with mango coulis and fresh raspberries. I was served a very meager portion of a fresh frozen key lime pie with no mango coulis or raspberries. I looked around at several tables, thinking maybe only we were missed but it seemed the entire room was served plain key lime pie. Not all the servings were as meager as my 4 bites. The Coffee served was a Decaf French Roast.

We had requested a Fish or Vegetarian Entree substitute for my guest and he was served 2 rissotto cakes,2 asparagus spear bundles and a cold flavorless pasta.

In addition out of the caterers control was the temperature in the DC Armory. It was hot! The band was the Count Basie Orchestra which played wonderful swing music. We were seated half a ballroom away and they were too loud. Many people left due to the volume of the band.

What was this caterers biggest mistake? The food all had wonderful flavor, but the caterer must not have been use to using a white plate and did not take enough care with presentation.

How did I get in? It's a secret.

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