While hiring a caterer in Chinatown, the first thing you need to know is what to expect. How much of the culinary planning, preparation and food service can you leave in your caterer’s hands? Will you need a separate decorator? Always answer these questions on your first meeting with the caterer, so that disputes can be avoided in the future.
The task of the caterer can be broken into several parts –
1. Preparing food. This is the first, most important and most obvious of a caterer’s tasks. Some caterers prepare food in their own kitchens, while others prefer to set up kitchens at the event venue itself. Yet others may do both, depending on the scale of the order. Some caterers may prefer to work solo, while others come with a team of people to prepare, serve, decorate and even clean up.
2. Knowing about food. Like every industry, catering also has its trends and evolutions. From cuisine to serving style, trends change every season. Your caterer should ideally be knowledgeable about the latest trends – including older trends that are making comebacks – but all you need to care about is whether he knows the trends of the time your party is based in. For example, a 1950s-themed party could feature food that was popular at that time, rather than the latest in popular cuisine.
3. Managing personnel. Providing good food is the first duty of the caterer, but even the best food leaves a bad taste in the mouth if served too late or too cold. While hiring caterers, always find out whether or not they have a reputation for being punctual and running their operations smoothly.
4. Serving food. Today, food is about much more than just its taste in the mouth. Food should be served with love and warmth, and should come as a jolt of pleasure to our eyes, nose, touch and tastebuds – sometimes even our ears(think: sizzler). It is the caterer’s responsibility to serve food that has been garnished beautifully, on appropriate cutlery, and with the right decorations to accompany it.
While planning an event, you may choose the perfect Chinatown caterer for your and the best of decorators that you can afford, or you may choose a caterer-cum-decorator who is known to manage things seamlessly. From themed parties to traditional weddings, each event has its own feel that needs to be brought out in the decoration and dress code as well as the cuisine involved. While making your choice, the key is to make sure that your caterer understands your vision for the event, and will comply accordingly.