Employees are a company’s greatest asset!
It is not typically a busy time of year for our company, or for most catering companies in our area, but last week we set a sales record for the month of February.
We have had the pleasure this last week to provide food service for the National Association of College Book Stores Convention. This entailed daily breakfast, lunch, beverage and snack service for about 300 people in many different locations, as well as several seated lunches and breakout meetings. Each night of the convention there was a reception ranging from 450 – 1100 people. The reception menus mainly consisted of stations and passed appetizers, to include: Mashtini Bars, Carved Turkey and Prime Rib Stations, Kansas City BBQ Stations, City Market Fruit and Vegetable Displays, SW Blvd Mexican Stations, and Asian Inspired Stations. On Saturday night, there was a 1920’s themed party that included costume actors and speakeasy style decor designed by our company. The food for this event included many 1920’s throw back recipes, such as passed lobster thermidor, perfection salad, passed peanuts and popcorn, classic relish trays, and corn souffles.
Outside of the Book Store convention services on Saturday, we served an appetizer station, passed appetizers, and a seated dinner for the 115th Anniversary of the University of Kansas Athletic program. For this plated meal, we served southwest marinated chicken breast with a house-made chimichurri, carved tenderloin with chili cilantro bernaise, smoked cheddar and chive mashed potatoes, braised green beans, and a family style dessert platter, that included: mini red velvet whoopie pies, handheld fruit tartlets, mini cupcakes, and bite sized cheesecakes. Among the 450 person crowd was basketball legend JoJo White, as well as many current and past Kansas athletes.
Last Thursday began our event season for the year at Kemper Arena with the annual tractor pull. We provided concession and suite service to thousands of spectators. This year we have taken the opportunity to make sure that each of our stands provide not only the concession classics, but something unique to each one. We were proud to offer, for the first time in Kemper Arena, our homemade Italian sausage with grilled peppers and onions available at all of our concession stands. If you have not tried it, you need to make sure you do!
In the heart of Kansas City we were pleased to serve the attendees of the Pembroke Hill school auction. I personally had the pleasure of being at this event. When we were originally approached for this event, we were requested to provide a Spanish tapas style menu, but we, as well as the committee decided to use that theme, but structure the menu to appeal to their large crowd of 550. This event began as a silent auction in one room of Starlight Theater, while our staff passed Spanish albondigas (meatballs) with a spicy tomato sauce, Parmesan stuffed bacon wrapped dates, marinated grilled shrimp with lemon aioli, and goat cheese roasted red pepper and fig coulis bruschetta.
After about an hour the guests began to move into the stage house portion of Starlight where the seated dinner, live auction, and presentation would be held. While the guest were moving, our staff was busy preparing 1100 pan seared scallops with burre blanc, braised beef short ribs with root vegetable reduction, tri colored roasted fingerling potatoes, and roasted brussell sprouts with caramelized shallots. For dessert, we sent a beautiful limoncello and raspberry tiramisu served in a stemless martini glass to each guest. The salad for this event stretched what would be considered a traditional banquet salad, but was extremely well received. We served a field green mix, grilled asparagus, roasted reed beets, roasted golden beets, roasted sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, homemade champagne vinaigrette and peppercorn ranch. Along with the salad we served two spanish style charcuterie platters on each table to be passed and shared (tapas style). The platter included sliced capicola, prosciutto, serrano ham, genoa salami, manchego cheese, cabrales blue cheese, assorted olives, dried apricots, dried blueberries, fresh sliced melon and strawberries. This was served along side a basket of fresh pan con tomate, soft breadsticks, crusty rolls, and broken croccatini.
This past week was an extremely challenging week physically, mentally, and logistically, but was successful in every aspect. We received nothing but great reviews and compliments from all of our customers.
Where I began; I am so proud and thankful to have such a dedicated and talented team of people that work here. We could not have done what we did without the hard work of the 30 chefs in the kitchen, the dedicated culinary execution team, the many layers of management, and the sales and office staff. Every member of our team came together last week to ensure the success of every event. Not only were we up against one of the more challenging weeks of business, but mother nature decided it would make things even harder, however that was no challenge for our team. We rose to the occasion and devised strategies to overcome the weather and continue to ensure the Brancato’s quality and customer service was delivered!
Much like our February, we are looking forward to a year full of breaking records!