Wednesday, April 30, 2014

buzz-in to st. louis Part II food safari and more

The buzzies are all about FOOD and FUN and as previously described in Part One of the blog coverage, we visited Asian Markets, Global Food Market, experienced Northern Thai food at Forks and Stix Restaurant and immensely enjoyed adult beverages and late night nibbles at Planter's House, a cutting edge St. Louis Bar.

Our second buZz-in day started off early gathering in the hotel lobby, sampling mouthwatering homemade donuts brought warm from the kitchen by Julie Ridlon, our local St. Louis Guide, with complimentary coffee, and proceeded with tastebuds being tantalized by a bounty of food continuously passing our lips, mixed with steadfast stream of informative cater-centric chat, fun and friendship until collapsing in our beds late Monday night.

The St. Louis buZz-in itinerary included a visit to the Maplewood neighborhood where our buzzie group roamed around Penzey Spices, experiencing the variety of robust and subtle exotic spices and culinary scents that this "disneyland for spices" store curates. On a recommendation from CuisinEtc NYC caterer and culinary fashionista, Lisa Teiger,  Lon Lane, frequent caterBuzz forum poster, Catersource presenter, Uber generous and talented, well travelled Kansas City caterer, was introduced to and easily swayed to purchase Nigella seeds to bring back Lon Lane's Inspired Occasions  KC kitchen for his culinary staff to play with.   Nigella seeds aka black seeds or sanouj, a very aromatic dark seed, once commonly found as a  along with caraway seeds topping traditional Jewish rye, and have a variety of potential catering uses - including in homemade tomato chutney,  imbedded in cheese crisps,  as a topping for flatbreads, in vegetarian and meat stews and so on.  

Lon Lane, Inspired Occasions, Kansas City, Missouri
Regina Niece, 4 Star Village and Wedding Barn, Redfox, Kentucky
Chef Andrew Alexander-Crossan, cuisinEtc catering, NYC

Repeatedly amazing feedback on Olio St. Louis, a Med-Rim fusion inspired restaurant, created by chef/owner Ben Poremba, where the Buzzie's shared a extensive offerings of delicious classic and twisted Mediterranean offerings.  

Cater-centric discussions dominated 
the conversation every time buzzies 
sat down together for a meal 
or during the car journeys
 to the next food safari stop.

 photos: Bobby Dickens, Simply Delicious Catering, Springfield, Missouri for
top left:  kale salad           top right : beet, chickpea and house made ricotta salad 
                   bottom right:                    chevre stuffed grilled heart of romaine wrapped in prosciutto          
lahmanjun middle eastern lamb, vegetable and pinenut pizza
above photo: lisa teiger,

Olio Egg Salad Crostini (photo: lisa teiger)
slow cooked pulled lamb with warm house made hummus (photo: bobby dickens)
smothered brussel sprout and cheddar flatbread pizza  (photo: bobby dickens)

   Salume Beddu  artisan cured meats on left, 
Olio house pickled vegetables, nuts and seasoned olives on right
the chef/owner of Olio, Ben Poremba, who is up for a James Beard Award
was a founding partner at Salume Beddu

Buzzie Regina Niece, owner of the Four Star Barn, a new wedding Barn and Redfox Kentucy Event venue, commented:

"My Favorite food experience was at Olio, the redesigned old gas station. I loved tasting and passing around all the new foods and getting a taste of everyone's dishes"

"As a Venue Operator I took pictures of Olio's and Palladium's unique chandeliers, bar and venue design decor."

Note from Lisa Teiger "we've been noticing frequent "incarnations" 
of similar unique culinary light fixtures
on our catering adventures across the USA and beyond. 
Trendstend to go global quickly these days
with the access via internet we all have.  
Caterer Lynn Buono of  Feast Your Eyes Catering, Philly, 
features a repurposed kitchen tool light fixture
in this vein in her Kensington, Pa Commissary Foyer.

Great way to repurpose, recycle 
and reuse kitchen tools
 and elements that speak 
to the culinary soul.

Another highlight of our buZz-in to St. Louis was the visit to one of St. Louis' premiere catering companies, Butler's Pantry.   Several buzzies commented that this is the kind of catering company they wanted to be when they grew up.  A big catering company, yet friendly, efficient, well staffed and hospitable, with a beautiful commissary and several fabulous venues, electric car parking and a diverse variety of related food businesses under one umbrella and the leadership of Richard Nix, who took over from his parents who started the Butler's Pantry over 40 years ago.

It was fascinating to tour the commissary and storage areas,
as well as the sales and front office operations
Butler's Pantry has a clean streamlined commissary
as well as Palladium, their beautiful venue facility next door
 in the repurposed St. Louis hospital complex.

Seared Tuna on Wonton Petals with Asian Slaw, Soy Glaze and Wasabi Cream  Brie Gougere with Roasted Grape and Preserved Lemon Chutney  Deviled Egg Salad on Cayenne Toast with Blackened Chicken  Bruschetta Bar/ Trio Dips /  Toasted Breads  Mini Burgers with Cambazola Blue and Frizzled Leeks on House Made Brioche   Mini Taro Roots Tacos with Black Beans, Mango and Spicy Pork
Seared Tuna on Wonton Petals with Asian Slaw, Soy Glaze and Wasabi Cream
Brie Gougere with Roasted Grape and Preserved Lemon Chutney
Deviled Egg Salad on Cayenne Toast with Blackened Chicken
Bruschetta Bar/ Trio Dips /  Toasted Breads
Mini Burgers with Cambazola Blue and Frizzled Leeks on House Made Brioche 
Mini Taro Roots Tacos with Black Beans, Mango and Spicy Pork 
photo credit:  Lynn Lampe, Wyoming

Cape Creations Catering, Savannah Georgia 
shared these sentiments.

"That was FUN! visiting Butler's Pantry!   Whilst I found the food wonderful, what I really enjoyed was having the opportunity to poke my nose in the back of house – looking at equipment for both service and staging.

I also loved the shopping trips at the Asian Seafood Market and Global Foods Market with all the foods of the world.  There was so much product that I was not familiar with, or had not worked with in ages.

But what was truly invaluable were the Buzzie discussions on how they use things.  Especially in the market when the chefs were picking up products and describing the dishes they made for their client using the exotic ingredients.

The exchange of ideas was absolutely fantastic.  I probably will not be able to use all of these fabulous suggestions from other caterers in my market back in Savannah, but I just loved the exchange of ideas. and who knows maybe one day I will get a request that will allow me to utilize those ideas."

thanks for sampling us with so many
 delicious hors d'oeuvres Butler's Pantry!
grand entrance to Nathalie's
St. Louis 
farm to table experience

celebrating buzzie buddies Dianne Evans and Andrew Alexander-Crossan's birthdays with a custom designed bee hive cake courtesy of buzzie member Lon Lane and his fabulous in house bakers at Lone Lane's Inspired Occasions in Kansas City, Mo.

feedback from buzzie participant

I loved meeting my Buzzie friends in St. Louis. They share the same passion for food and entertaining guests. It is my "brain trust" group. They are willing to share their ideas, experience, and opinions.

I so enjoyed the Farm to Table dinner. Not only was the food fresh, but it was prepared gluten free. We believe that gluten free food is a trend that is here to stay.

I loved touring the Butler's Pantry Commissary, they were very kind and welcoming.

I am so focused on day to day operations of our company. The class has helped me to re-focus on the marketing of our company. Thank you again Lisa for pulling this buZz-in to St Louis program together.

Turbo Charge Your Catering Sales - presented by Jon Wool and Michael Attias was an action packed one day seminar filled with creative marketing tools to reach to new markets and clients - The one that had us all giggling was sending an x-ray to hospital admins who book catering as a promotional flyer.    Michael was very forthcoming with clear information and unique systems - clever pitches, tricks + tips that reminded us of techniques that Michael Roman had shared over the years. And we walked away with many concrete examples he shared through great slides/handouts.

Having helped many many businesses over the years start catering operations - especially out of restaurants but with techniques are applicable to established caterers as well, who want to expand their sales or reach into profitable niche markets. 

Check out Mike's facebook page and restaurant + catering software website.

and stay tuned for our next buzz-in never know when we will buzz into your area and have some time together to party and share like only caterers can.

Hi, I'm Lisa Teiger, founder and Queenbee  of the caterBuzz hive, owner of CuisinEtc Catering and Special Events,  a boutique NYC catering concern,  food stylist, culinary fashionista and roving caterBuzz catering reporter, coming to you from NYC but **always** going beyond !!!  
team caterBuzz  #teamcaterbuzz
Chef Andrew Alexander-Crossan - Chef-E-Bee - Culinary Director
Lisa Teiger - Queen Bee, Founder + Moderator
Dianne Evans - Bee-Actress + Marketing Director

We hope that you will consider caterBuzz as your traveling eye for the inquisitive professional catering guys and gals around the globe.  Sharing and learning from each others as only like minded professional caterers can do, through pictures, stories, questions and answers, available here on and also on our facebook caterBuzz group page, a private forum for the catering community.  Look at the about section of our facebook page for instructions on how to join the group as well as a bit about what the culture of caterBuzz and ground rules we play by.

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