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!).