Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kitchen Production Behind the Scenes - It takes a lot of food to feed 1000 people

Who do you call when you need to feed hundreds of people a hot holiday meal?  Select Service of course!  We catered hot turkey dinners for more than 1000 people last week - 800 people over three days for a factory near our commissary kitchen, and 250 people over three shifts for a factory in Kitchener.  We've heard nothing but wonderful comments from all of the staff who enjoyed the meals.  That's because we make it all deliciously from scratch, even when the numbers move up to four digits.

We spent our week peeling, chopping, roasting, and mashing, and you better believe our gravy is made from scratch!
 Imogen takes a quick rest on the last few stacks of potatoes.  This pile was originally a lot larger - we bought 600 lbs of potatoes for the week, along with 155 lbs of turkey breast, 156 lbs of turkey thighs, and 291 lbs of beef top sirloin.   Oh, and we can't forget about the veggies - 200 lbs of carrots, 100 lbs parsnips, and 100 lbs of turnips.  What a week!

Stuffing muffins!  Perfectly portioned for large quantity orders, and they're just so cute!

Getting it there piping hot is certainly not a problem for us, we loaded trays straight from the oven into thermal Cambro boxes to arrive ready to serve.  A big thank you to ABC Rentals in Kitchener for having some extra boxes available, we were four boxes short and they came to the rescue!

Thank you to ATS Automation and Dare Foods Limited for choosing Select Service for your holiday catering!  We look forward to working with you again next year!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Curious about our Party in a Box? Take a closer look at one of our holiday orders!

What's a Party in a Box you say?  The cost effective way to have gourmet appetizers for your next party without any of the work or the freezer-burnt boxed apps you're used to seeing at the grocery store.  We make all of our 200+ different canapes fresh from scratch, and you get the exact same selection that you would see if Select was catering a full-service cocktail reception at your home.  Chose your own items to make up a full selection of hors d'oeuvres to serve to your guests, either as a meal replacement (who doesn't love appetizers for dinner?) or for a few quick nibbles before a full meal.

Below are some candid shots of an order we catered on Saturday December 10 for 20 guests.  The hostess ordered 6 different items, 20 pieces of each.  All of our canapes range in price from $1.29 per piece to $3.25 per piece, with most items coming in around the mid-range ($1.50 to $1.95 per piece).  The order shown here was less than $13 per person, including HST and delivery.

The finished chilled items, ready to unwrap and serve.  On the left are our signature fresh spring rolls with sweet chili dip, and on the right are our new smoked salmon lollipops 

Close up of the smoked salmon lollipops, new for Holiday 2011.  The sticks are included to complete the authentic lollipop experience. 

The items that need to be served hot are delivered in recyclable aluminum foil trays, ready to unwrap and toss in the oven.  Items like the pork skewers pictures above are marinated and raw, and need to be cooked in your oven before serving, while other items (like the pulled pork tarts picture below) are fully cooked and just need to be heated through. 

 The finished order, exactly as you would receive it.  We re-use and recycle whenever we can (we go through a lot of boxes!) so your order will be packed into a box for easy delivery.  All of the sauces, glazes, and dips will be included with your order.  Depending on which items you select, some things require some light assembly.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Annual holiday Cookie Party open house

Nothing says Christmas like hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies, and each year we look forward to kicking off December with the perfect mix of these holiday favourites.  We prepared dozens of cookies, along with comforting hot beverages for 150 guests for the annual holiday open house at Heffner Lexus Toyota.  

Display table for the Yule log cake 

Traditional Yule log - we fill ours with freshly whipped cream and cover it with chocolate ganache.  It tastes as good as it looks! 

The "bar", featuring hot chocolate, apple cider, coffee, tea, cappuccino, and Perrier 

Just a few of the many cookies and treats we created for the open house.  Rum balls and mincemeat tarts are always a hit.

Catherine is ready for her first guests at the chocolate fountain and candy buffet 

  Christmas candies to nibble on during the reception

Pretty decor throughout the sales building to welcome guests and get everyone in the mood for Christmas.  We especially love the traditional carolers each year. 

Gingerbread boys and girls 

The display Yule cake sits on the station, while we slice from larger "slabs" for the 150 guests 

The wreath raffle, with wreaths donated from local business.  Our donation is sitting on the table 

Our gingerbread wreath, which we previously blogged about here 

 The finished candy buffet and chocolate fountain station

Christmas cookies are a tradition at Select Service

We love Christmas.  We especially love all the food at Christmas, and all the tastes and treats you only get once a year.  Christmas cookies are a big deal at Select Service - we make them from scratch, and we feature them all season long on our dessert trays.  With our store front shop The Hungry Olive, you can pick up cookie dough to bake your own (without the work!), or order a few dozen cookies to save yourself some time.  We also cater a holiday open house every December which features festive cookies - we've been busy in the kitchen this week making doughs and baking cookies to get ready.

Gingerbread boys and girls, freshly iced and drying before being packed up for the party 

Black pepper cookies on the left, and our signature cardamom orange sugar cookies on the right

Holiday gingerbread wreath donation

The holidays are here in full force at Select Service!  Select caters an annual holiday open house for Heffner Lexus Toyota, and when they asked us to donate a wreath for their raffle, we jumped at the chance to put together our own take on a festive wreath.  Chef Kelvin created a wreath from gingerbread, which can hang on your door just like any other wreath (although we suggest keeping it inside, since it is entirely edible and birds like gingerbread too!).  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October wedding at Hauser Hall with a family style menu

Congratulations Denise and Matt!  "Chapel of Love" was on the radio at work on the morning of your wedding day, and it was a perfect day.  We loved the deep red accents - the bridesmaids' dresses, centrepieces, and the napkins - a simple way to make this beautiful space your own for the day. 

Denise and Matt chose a family-style meal for their wedding, with platters brought to the table for guests to serve themselves.  This is a great choice to keep the wedding meal casual and intimate, but the tablescape needs to be planned carefully to allow for enough space. 

 The finished dining room set-up at Hauser Hall
We set the dinner and salad plates at each place to keep service flowing during the meal.  With a family style meal, all courses are brought out to the tables on platters to share, and this little detail meant we didn't need to slow down the meal by bringing plates out for each course first.  Plus, the red napkins really pop on the white background.

We love all of the useful little decor details at Hauser, like the shelves downstairs - perfect for showing off your personal photos or finding a temporary home for the cream and sugar sets until dessert! 

The wedding cupcakes, to be served as dessert, from The CakeBox

 The cake topped was handmade by a friend (and perched very carefully atop the cupcake tower!)
Personalized wine bottle labels, love it!

Co-op student Tasha starts plating for the salad course.  We used a divided platter so the salad toppings could be left for guests to add a little or a lot.
 The fabulous serving team for the wedding, thank you for all your hard work ladies and gentlemen! 
Chef Kelvin is behind the scenes at every wedding we cater, and here she is slicing the Saltimbocca chicken for each table.

The guests are coming downstairs, and the our team begins serving bread to the room.  With a limited amount of space on the tables at Hauser Hall, we served bread instead of placing bread baskets at each table. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gingerbread Oktoberfest heart

Gingerbread heart "Oktoberfest style", made to perfection and donated to the Parent Association of the German Language School of Kitchener as a thank you to their guest speaker who enlightened the students with his presentation "Oktoberfest - Past and Present".  Our co-op student from Conestoga College made and designed the cookie during her last week of co-op placement.  Thank you Tasha, and good luck with your classes this semester!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Select Service and Chef Kelvin nominated for the 2011 Cambridge Times Readers' Choice Awards!

 The nominations are in and Select Service Caterers and Chef Kelvin are up again this year for bragging rights to the best of the best in Cambridge.  Select Service has been nominated for Best Catering Company, and Chef Kelvin has been nominated for Best People -Best Chef.  Voting starts tonight at midnight and runs until October 2nd at midnight.  Registering to vote just requires an email address and a few minutes - register and vote here at the Cambridge Times Readers' Choice site, and watch for the winners announcements later in October.

Don't forget to vote!

KidsAbility thank you reception at Rainbow Lake

A perfect day for an outdoor event, on Sunday September 11, 2011 Select Service donated their time for a thank you reception for KidsAbility.  Guests were invited to browse about a dozen local restaurants and vendors who had prepared one-bite items for the reception.  Select prepared a cube of watermelon with balsamic orange reduction and pistachios - a twist on a classic fruit skewer. 


Modern station buffet wedding at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery

 Congratulations to Philip and Iain!  Their September 10, 2011 wedding reception was intimate with a small group of 60 guests at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery.  Taking advantage of the contemporary decor, Philip and Iain chose an art deco theme for their wedding, with bright popping red as an accent colour to the sleek modern space. 
The menu featured three food stations - salads, pasta/potato, and meat.  We prefer to break up a buffet whenever possible to avoid the dreaded buffet line at weddings.  Guests are free to start at any station they like, and the evening takes on a more relaxed and casual feel.

Guests find their seats and wait for the grand entrance of the wedding couple

 Josie greets guests as they arrive to the Gallery from the nearby Grist Mill where the ceremony was held.  The welcome table featured a light and refreshing non-alcoholic strawberry "champagne" punch

 The head table - we love weddings at the Gallery, no need to decorate, the exhibits take care of it for you!

Imogen working on salads for the buffet stations.
The salad station set-up.  We used a round table to allow guests to access the platters from all sides

The potato and pasta station, featuring individual scalloped potatoes, rosemary and garlic roasted baby potatoes, and finished-in-front-of-you rotini pasta with tomato and grilled vegetable sauce

The meat station, featuring ricotta and sage stuffed chicken breast in a white wine sauce and Wellesley apple butter glazed pork tenderloin.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What a wedding! Jessica and Mark's Sunday brunch

The final day for Jessica and Mark's wedding weekend was a relaxing close to the festivities, with a traditional Sunday brunch for close family and friends. The brunch featured a French toast bar, omelet bar, breakfast pastries, and coffee, tea, and cappuccinos. After the brunch, guests stayed around during the afternoon to swim in the pond.

A quick change of linens from Saturday's wedding, and the dining room takes on a whole new look

The beautiful flowers featured over the weekend were from CWD Flowers, and were presented in white milk jugs that the bride had collected over the last year

The favour baskets were a nice touch provided by the bride's family, featuring items from local companies, including the Baden Coffee Company, and Wellesley apple butter