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Posts Tagged ‘catering’

Planning an event at a private estate can be very fulfilling, but there are so many questions that come up along the way.  We wanted to focus a bit on catering an event at a private estate and what questions you should be asking your venue!

Can I bring in my own caterer?

  • Although, catering and beverage service is often provided in house, many private estates will have a preferred catering list which will have different vendors available with a variety of menu options and pricing and can customize to your specifications.  Many venues will allow outside catering as long as they are a licensed and insured.

If I have religious or cultural guidelines or special dietary concerns, do I have to go through your catering service?

  • Most estates will allow you to bring in your own catering service in this case, and may wave any outside catering fee.

My guest count is very small, do I have to pay the outside catering fee if I decide to use my own caterer?

  • Many venues only charge for outside catering when you reach a certain amount of guests.  Usually the fee is only assessed when the guest count reaches around 75 guests and above.

Will the caterer have access to the kitchen?

  • Every estate varies, but some will allow limited access to the kitchen.  Others will need to have a build out kitchen set up on the estate (oftentimes the garage).  Keep room in your budget for your caterer to bring in their own appliances for the build out kitchen.

Are there food and beverage minimums?

  • Ask your venue if they have any food and beverage minimums.  Some venues will have minimums that you must meet that might be well above what you were planning on spending.  Private estate events typically are much more flexible than traditional banquet halls and do not have food and beverage minimums, which leaves you with more freedom to spend that money on something else.

Can I bring my own alcohol or add my favorite beverage to the menu?

  • If you have a specific brand of wine or signature cocktail that you would like served, most services allow you to customize their beverage menu.  Some estates may let you bring in your own alcohol for a lower fee, while they still provide the bartenders and the non-alcoholic drink options.
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Our Cool Summer Nights industry event at the Bali Gardens is closely approaching, and we are lucky enough to be working with some of the very best vendors to make this the best (and most delicious) event!  We will be having Stone Brewing Co., Authentic Flavors and Maison catering the event, and the delicious treats of Tailored Sweets and Sweet Cheeks Baking Company.  Planning this event, as well as our delicious tasting with Behind the Scenes Catering this week, has really helped us get our creative juices flowing (and our stomachs growling) coming up with creative ways to cater your next event!

Have you ever watched those competitive reality cooking shows on television and thought that you would be great at whipping up a dish on the fly with some mystery ingredient?  Get your fellow foodies together to have a cooking competition at one of our estates!

Not into competitive cooking, but still want to try your hand at some new recipes?  Hire a chef to come to your estate event to teach you new techniques and recipes to share with your friends and family, and then savor the meal you created!

Plan an around the world buffet, with a dish from each part of the globe.  Want to make it a bit more interesting?  Hire several different catering companies that specialize in different types of cuisine to get more authentic dishes and let your guests choose their favorite dish.

If you haven’t seen the amazing things that are coming out of the dessert world right now, I suggest you check out Tailored Sweets and Sweet Cheeks’ websites right away!  Have a wine and/or beer pairing at an estate with their amazing desserts.  Or have a more interactive event with several vendors with different types of sweets!

The sustainable food movement and farm to table events are becoming increasingly more desired in the event industry.  Our Sebastopol Sanctuary Estate near Sonoma, California has its own pinot noir vineyards, lavender farm, olive trees, and you can create gourmet hors d’oeuvres made with ingredients from the estate’s own garden.

Sebastopol Sanctuary

Do you have any great catering ideas to share?

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