Wednesday, May 30, 2012

UW Congress 2012 dinner at The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery

What a wonderful way to celebrate 50 years of the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German!  As part of Congress 2012, the CAUTG organized a reception and dinner for about 60 guests at The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery.  The reception featured four passed canapes, offered to guests as they wandered the Gallery and explored the exhibits.  At 8:30, everyone found their seats for a three-course plated dinner with a focus on local ingredients.  The event organizer used a very unique method of communicating guests' entree choices to our staff - he arranged for small foam cut-outs of chicken, pigs, and a barn to be placed in front of each place setting.  When offering a choice of entree to guests, we simply require a master list of how many of each entree to prepare, and some way for our staff to get the right meal to the right person at the event.  This was certainly the most creative way to do this that we've seen!

Susi and Victoria set up tables in the Gallery before guests arrived.  

There was a great exhibit on in the main gallery, it ran down the centre of the room, and was a perfect way to split up the space for a small group.

 Victoria and the event team selected the linens for this event from our wonderful specialty linen supplier.  This table linen is called "Tiffany Techi" and features saturated embroidered dots of colour running along the stripes.  It was a perfect compliment to the sleek and modern gallery space.

The kitchen crew worked on plating salads while guests enjoyed the reception.   

The simple mixed green salads were topped with toasted hazelnuts, edible fresh flowers (from our garden!), and a disc of warmed Woolwich goat cheese

Stephanie and Simon are working on warmed sauces and heating the blanched vegetables (green-top carrots and Barrie's asparagus) 

Chef Kelvin and Lisa are cooking chicken and Breslau pork tenderloins with Wellesley apple butter 

The guests are mingling during the reception, dinner is coming shortly

 The kitchen crew is waiting for their signal to start plating the entrees.  Everything is cooked on-site at the event, and plated right before it goes out to the dining room, just like at a restaurant.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Select's summer 2012 edible flower and herb garden

Now that we're safely passed the May 24 weekend and planting can officially begin, we've set up our own little herb and edible flower garden behind the kitchen.  Simon, our resident handyman, built the garden over the weekend, complete with a fence to keep the neighbourhood geese and rabbits out.

We use edible flowers in many of our canape tray garnishes, it's a great way to add colour to the platter, while still being safe to present next to food.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Food stations buffet wedding and ice cream sundae bar at Victoria Park Pavilion

Congratulations Ben and Jacob!  On Saturday May 5, 2012, the happy couple were married and celebrated a fantastic night of music and food with family and friends.  Select's team prepared a buffet stations dinner menu for about 185 guests at Victoria Park Pavilion, followed by an ice cream sundae bar with all the fixings!

Production started in the kitchen in the days leading up to the wedding - feeding almost 200 guests takes a lot of food - we made salads by the bin-full!

Lisa, Melissa, Susi, and Chef Kelvin logged many hours in the kitchen getting ready for Saturday.  So much work happens behind the scenes, and we couldn't do it without the fantastic team in the kitchen! 

Ben and Jacob chose to add a pop of colour to their tables with a bright green napkin.  The linens arrived from our specialty linen supplier during the week before the wedding - it's like opening a present when we get pretty linens in the mail!

 Victoria and the set-up crew arrived well before the first guests to turn the Pavilion into a dining room.  The ceiling drape was provided by Decorating Dreams, and this show-stopping decor really helped to turn the hall into an intimate space.

This is what the Pavilion looked like when we arrived - the chairs and tables were in place, but all of the table decor and place settings had to be put in place by our team.

Naomi and Susi are busy folding napkins and setting the tables

Beautiful centrepieces provided by the couple, and a big thank you to Ben and Jacob for allowing our team to take some home at the end of the night, the flowers brightened up the office all week! 

All of the rental items were supplied by ABC Rentals in Kitchener, and we found them stacked in one nice neat pile, ready to unpack and set up.

Victoria set up the ice cream sundae bar before guests arrived (except for the ice cream of course!) so guests could get a sneak peak of what was coming up later.

The couple chose to welcome their guests to the reception with a non-alcoholic punch, set up near the entrance

 The guestbook table and gift table were set up at the other side of the main entrace

The finished table settings 

 Tables set, and we were ready to welcome our first guests

 Ben and Jacob chose to have their "head table" as part of the guest tables, instead of a more traditional display table at one end of the room.  To make their table stand out from the others, we used a table runner in the same colour as the napkins.

The wedding cake, make by a friend of the couple 

 We love the cake topper, it looked just like them!

Stephanie plating salads for the buffet as guests start to arrive 

Guests arrive and grab a glass of punch as our team fills water glasses 

The salad station, featuring lots of different mouth-watering choices.  This is a great way to offer choice and variety to your guests on buffet, why just have two salads when you can have seven! 

The meat station, with maple ginger glazed salmon and Saltimbocca chicken in white wine sauce 

Starches and the vegetarian option were presented on another station, featuring Israeli cous cous pilaf, roasted purple and fingerling potatoes, and stuffed zucchini boats 

A little blurry, but this is the ice cream sundae bar in action!  We scooped their ice cream flavour of choice (vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry), and guests topped the sundae with all their favourites

Toppings included cookie crumbles, pecans, chopped peanuts, Skor pieces, M&Ms, meringue crumbles, freshly sliced strawberries, and three sauces - strawberry, dulce de lece, and chocolate.  Yum!