Tuesday, April 24, 2012

FLOTUS ... the newest member of THE CLEAN PLATE CLUB Nashville, TN

Music City, Nashville Tennessee, is no stranger to celebrity and when country singer and songwriter Emmy Lou Harris is performing live during your meal, it’s hard to top her appeal. Yet Michelle Obama, 44th First Lady of the United States, had the diverse luncheon crowd supporters pumped up and on their feet cheering and clapping.  
Emmy Lou Harris was heard saying
 " This is the best opening act I've ever been."  
The view, as stunning as the food!

The 21st floor of the Pinnacle Building with it’s panoramic 
views of downtown Music City and the West Bank 
of the Cumberland River, was electrified by Mrs. Obama. 
Her strong articulate voice spoke about the issues facing Americans today;
speaking about the future, about 
“our daughters and our sons … our granddaughters and our grandsons” 
and repeatedly asking for support 
in the Obama/Biden re-election campaign. 
“Are you in?”  Michelle Obama urged the crowd
“Because I am so in,” she said over loud applause. 
“We have an amazing story to tell."
Monica Holmes, Founding Partner
and Catering Designer,
The Clean Plate Club, Nashville 
Come on in and see what we do!
Monica and Chris Holmes, mother/son partners 
and owners of  The Clean Plate Club, renowned Nashville caterers, 
were an easy choice for the organizers of the Obama Victory Fund 2012 Luncheon.  
Contrasting table top linens offer a crisp, clean look, 
yet are still economical and not wasteful;
appropriate for the VIP fundraiser, 
hosted by Michelle Obama,
The $500 luncheon catered by The Clean Plate Club 
for President Barack Obama’s Victory Fund re-election 
campaign was hosted by First Lady, Michelle Obama, 
who flew into Nashville specially for the event.  

A Huge Music City
Welcome to Michelle Obama 
 the Clean Plate Club's Newest Member!
Voted Nashville’s Best Caterer, the Clean Plate Club’s style is quintessential Nashville; sassy, fresh, vibrant food, southern hospitality and a Can Do attitude that allowed experienced Event Designer Monica Holmes, along with Chef Chris Holmes and their dedicated crew to pull off a flawless event for 500 Democratic contributors and Obama supporters with less than 10 days notice.   
CPC Executive Chef Chris Holmes 
Even with short notice, hours and hours of detailed planning
by the Clean Plate Team
went into making the FLOTUS luncheon
 a smooth and successful event.
A diverse attendee demographic of fabulous Nashville ladies made up a major portion of the guest list, thus the mandate from the planning committee for the entree plate FLOTUS lunch was “chicken salad”.   There wasn’t an ounce of mayo on site!!

FLOTUS Chicken Salad Entrée 
      a la The Clean Plate Club, Nashville, Tennesee

A bouquet of  Artisan Greens, Arugula and Baby Spinach
drizzled with Clean Plate Club signature Raspberry Poppy Seed vinaigrette,
graced with Local Spring Strawberries, Fresh Blueberries,
Southern Spiced Pistachios and Pecans,
Roasted Local Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts
and topped with Herb Glazed Grilled Paillard of Chicken Breast ,
a crouton of Herb Rolled Goats Cheese and a Purple Edible Orchid
was Music City's favorite catering company, the Clean Plate Club’s offering
to luncheon hostess Mrs. Michelle Obama and her 500 guests
and squad of Secret Service Officers for
the Obama Victory Fundraiser Luncheon
at the Pinnacle Building in downtown Nashville on April 17th.
Event Rentals: Liberty Rentals  
View from 21st Floor Green Space Pinnacle Building
Raspberry Poppy Vinaigrette Recipe
Courtesy of
The Clean Plate Club, Nashville, Tennessee

Chef Chris Holmes graciously shares
The Clean Plate Club Signature 
Salad Dressing Recipe with 
Caterbuzz readers.

1/3 cup each Dijon Mustard and Local Honey
2/3 cup light olive oil
(Chef Chris Holmes mixes olive oil + vegetable oil 
so as not to overwhelm the fruit flavors of the vinaigrette)
½ cup pure fruit deseeded raspberry puree 
or freshly raspberries pureed and strained to remove seeds + cooked down in simple syrup
Generous amount of poppy seeds (1-2 T.)
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar

  • ·      emulsify honey-dijon
  • ·      mix in fruit puree
  • ·      add raspberry vinegar
  • ·      drizzle oil into mixture and whisk vigorously
  • ·      using hand whisk or electric stick mixer to emulsify.
The Clean Plate Club's Vegetarian Alternative:  Grilled Tofu Salad
FLOTUS Luncheon, Nashville
Fabulous cookies from Provence Bakery doubled as centerpieces and dessert
Simply Elegant All American Cookies.
Deep Chocolate Chocolate Fudge 
Lemon Shortbread Daisies and Molasses Ginger Snaps.
Love the prep set up when there are cookies as far as the eye can see.
Clean Plate Club presented
all American Cookies for Michelle Obama
Working closely with the Tennessee Democratic Committee Fundraiser’s organizers and event planners Lynsey McDonald and April Orange, and due to the nature of the FLOTUS fundraising event, the Clean Plate Club graciously accommodated additional guests that were added to the count up until the last possible moment, way after the rental deliveries to the Pinnacle Building at Symphony Place had been made and food prep started in the Clean Plate Club’s commercial kitchen in Nashville’s up and coming 12 South neighborhood.
check:  nuts spiced +
glazed with cloves, cayenne + brown sugar

CPC Staffer Clark Hall prepping bundles of Artisan Lettuce
for FLOTUS Michelle Obama Luncheon
check: herb crusted goats cheese logs
        waiting to be hand sliced
check: chicken breasts grilled + cooling
Because of security and time issues, the staff of the Clean Plate Club had the kitchen staging area and the guest tables set and in place the day before Mrs. Obama’s arrival in Nashville, allowing the Secret Service to do a thorough sweep of the venue before the lunch fundraiser started.

Last minute guest additions to the already maxed out setup meant that extra tables had to be set using some of the prep tables and spare linens, china and cutlery caterer Monica Holmes always orders “just in case”.  

The time line for Clean Plate Club to serve
the food was tight and concise.
“Be prepared”,  is more than just the Girl Scout motto, it’s a credo that professional and experienced caterers live by. 

With precise instructions from the Secret Service to strictly follow the time line, clear the tables of cutlery and plates by an exact time, before Mrs. Obama would be entering the room, some guests returned from their photo op session with Michelle Obama to find that their untouched luncheon entrees had already been removed as per Secret Service orders.

Quick thinking CPC professional staff set uneaten plates aside back in the "Kitchen Staging Arena".  In the blink an eye, the Clean Plate Club staff rushed to pull now empty staging tables and chairs together in the "Kitchen Stadium";  giving those guests a chance to enjoy some delicious FLOTUS Chicken Salad Lunch before Mrs. Obama finished up the VIP Photo Op sessions and came down to join her guests.
Kitchen Stadium Overflow
Chef Jack checks on Kitchen Stadium Guests
The entire Clean Plate Club team went above and beyond 
to produce a flawless event that met the numerous criteria 
and demands that working with 
this level of political figures and celebrities demand.  
One of three Kitchen Stadium Plating Stations where Grilled Chicken Salad for 
500 guests at Michelle Obama Nashville Democratic Fundraiser Lunch was staged.

Those of us who are career professionals in the food and catering industry share a deeply felt sentiment that there is dignity in service and enormous pride in a job well done.  From the dishwasher to the event captain, along with Monica and Chris Holmes, the inner pride, prestigious honor and outward excitement of giving service to the First Lady of the United States and her guests was readily apparent on each and every face and in the professional demeanor of the entire Clean Plate Club team.
click to enlarge
click to enlarge 

It takes many dedicated talented
hands to plate 500 salads
in a window of less than 2 hours
God Bless America
What was distinctive about Tuesday’s Obama Fundraising Luncheon in Nashville was that regardless of politics, observing the Clean Plate Club Staff serving an American First Lady and her guests, brought the experience of “dignity in service” to soaring heights.

A message from Michelle Obama's supporters who couldn't make it to the FLOTUS luncheon.  
The heartfelt love note could be seen
from the 21st Floor of the Pinnacle Building.
 44th FLOTUS Michelle Obama takes a moment
 to interact with her guests before leaving the Pinnacle Building.

Hi, I'm Lisa Teiger, founder and forum moderator of caterBuzz, owner of cuisinEtc Catering and Special Events,  a boutique NYC catering concern, a food stylist, culinary fashionista and roving caterBuzz catering reporter, coming to you from NYC but always going beyond !!!  

The cuisinEtc culinary team was honored to be part of the Clean Plate Club team that catered lunch for FLOTUS Michelle Obama and her guests.
Chef Andrew Alexander-Crossan
cuisinEtc Catering + Events
joins the Clean Plate Club Team 

to plate up for FLOTUS Luncheon
Lisa Teiger, Culinary Fashionista
cuisinEtc Catering + Events
and Roving CaterBuzz Blogger
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FLOTUS Luncheon Event Credits
FLOTUS Event Catering:             The Clean Plate Club
                                                       Monica Holmes  Founding Partner/Event Designer
                                                       615-661-5866   email: mohocpc@aol.com 
                                                       Chris Holmes, Partner/Executive Chef
+ Event Planners:                          Lynsey McDonald, Magnolia Way 
                                                        April Orange, April Orange Consulting

Event Rentals:                               Liberty Party Rentals

Pipe + Drape:                                 Visual Elements, Carol Hodge
Green Room Furniture

Teleprompter                                 Mediaman Productions, Will Reynolds
Event Venue:                                 The Pinnacle at Symphony Place
                                                        Jennifer Caughey- Property Manager

Lighting, Sound,                           Nashville Event Lighting, Abi Reid and Clint Pilkinton
Technical Support:                       info@nashvilleeventlighting.com

Catering Photography:                 CaterBuzz Social Media Services 
                                                        Lisa Teiger 646-932-3496


Unknown said...


Renee Weir- Fontes said...

How exciting! I am curious did the first lady even get a chance to eat? The menu seems a perfect choice under the circumstances and restrictions. I like the personal touch of a house made dressing, thanks for sharing the recipe. Great job, Clean Plate Club! Thank you Lisa for the coverage of another spectacular event!

Harry said...

Hey Lisa, very cool post. I love when caterers collaborate. One plus One can equal ten!!!

Unknown said...

Catering is the activity of given that food and beverage for special events such as weddings, graduations, ceremonies, corporate events.Thanks for keeping this website, I’ll be visiting it. Thanks admin
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