If my clogs could talk, they would say that after all the physical work catering entails, it is beyond wonderful to sit down, have a glass of ice cold drink, feet propped up, calm soothing music and the feeling of ‘we did it and it was beautiful’ at the end of the day.
For this event, we served 120 guests of the University of Asia and the Pacific. It was a cocktail party at about 4PM in the afternoon. I will share with you some catering behind-the-scenes of today’s event.
A lot of planning and preparation goes into catering services, days, weeks or even months before the event itself. But that’s a whole different and long story altogether. This is how our day went, more or less.
DAY ONE of cooking at the Il Piccino Kitchen. Cooks getting ready to make 200+ pieces of everything. A lot of prep went into our food, hence a long time stuck on cleaning the spinach, cleaning the squash flowers, etc. It gets repetitive after a while so our background music and everyone’s happy disposition made it a little bit more fun. I love working with young, vibrant and passionate people. It makes what I do more meaningful.
The girls in their bandanas, although no uniforms. People, it is really HOT in the kitchen. You.will.sweat. I always get this complaint from my staff. ‘…ang init kc… pwede apron nalang? pwede wag na mag uniform? pwede…’
One cook down! This is what they do when Im not around. 🙂 When I’m hustling doing 10 things at one time, driving, eating, making calls or what not. JK. It is fine to take breaks from time to time. Haha and this is what happens when you are asleep… she, by the way, finished about 100+ arancini but had 100+ more to go.
The cooks getting ready for battle! We started our day at 6AM, given the event was at 4PM. With all the frying and assembling of little cocktail pieces, we had to start early. Cooking for this event, by the way, started 2 days ago.
At the venue, setting up the buffet table, cocktail tables, staging area, etc. After the tables have been placed in their proper places, table cloths have been placed and skirting done, I place the servingware on the table to see how everything will be displayed. Backdrop for today is the simple white board covered with white cloth and hanging vases with a mix of fresh and paper flowers. Paper flowers used for backdrop and cocktail table centerpieces were made in house the week before.
I get nervous EVERY catering event. You never know what can go wrong! That is why I have everything planned out, with room for backlog and mistakes, days before. For today’s event, parking was the most hassle of all!!! That was actually the only thing i did not for see. Having visited the venue before, i thought parking within school grounds was easy. But it being a Friday (i guess?) there was NO parking. Not inside the school, not outside, anywhere. Anyway, it all worked out after a million rounds around the Pearl drive-Ortigas area.
Staff making sure all utensils and flatware are clean and rid of dust or water marks. Student-staff hanging those vases/ lanterns using screw-able hooks.
Cocktail tables spread out for people to use and mingle in later on. For our DIY centerpieces, wine bottles with fresh and paper flowers with thank you notes hanging on each one (cocktail event for awarding staff and teachers alike)
Student-cooks and staff photo op before guests arrive. Our make shift kitchen or staging area behind the buffet table. Food all laid out ready to be assemble and placed on the buffet table
Assembling cocktails before placing them of the serving platters out at the buffet table. Another hassle was there was no sink. We had a hose to work hence the stress of my staff squatting while washing and making the most of what we had. Every catering event is different. The different venues and resources have made us more resourceful and creative.
Guests are now lining up, ready to eat our delectable Italian food! 🙂 I am particular about the buffet table being kept neat and clean, rid of spills, throughout the service, hence staff should constantly check. Also, constant checking for the need to refill food is important. And, no matter how many signs or menu cards there are, people will STILL ask you, ‘Ano ito?’ or ‘What is in this?’ So, every server/ waiter should know what kinds of food are being served.
Winner for today (and a lot of times in the past): Spinach and chorizo profiteroles. A close second is the homemade ravioli
On the menu for today’s catering:
Spinach and chorizo profiteroles
Three cheese stuffed fried fiori di zucca with rosemary honey
Arancini with tomato salsa
Shrimp cocktail with crabmeat and cheese sauce
French toast sandwich
Mixed greens, fresh vegetables with mango vinaigrette and sesame dressing
Spinach cream ravioli with tomato sauce
Carrot cake bites with cream cheese frosting
Assorted soft drinks
You too can have your next cocktail party catered by Il Piccino! May it be an office party, launching, office meeting, inauguration, school event, graduation party, birthday party, etc. Il Piccino can do it for you.
Il Piccino Caterer
0917-8291900 / 02-5038477