Friday, April 12, 2013


Party Like a Rock Star...  {part two}

It takes an army!!

It was a cold and snowy Friday afternoon, three nights before the World's most brilliant catered event of the year, produced by Denver, Colorado's own: Catering by Design. Our generals and colonels landed safely in Vegas that morning, but our lieutenants and soldiers were unexpectedly stranded behind. With cold fronts closing in from every direction, the email came in from Commander-in-chief Ingrid Nagy shortly after 5pm: ALL FLIGHTS TO VEGAS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED. 

What do we do? How do we make this happen? Being professional problem solvers, our plates were full this time. Mother Nature had separated the CBD Army, leaving us unfit for the battle we had been training for all year. 

The next few hours consisted of an overflow chain reaction of freak out emails, phone calls and text messages. 

"What do we do?!?" "Where do we go?!?" "Who has spoken to Cade, Ingrid or Gunnar most recently?!?" "We're going to the airport to get on stand-by with another airline!?!" "Wait now we're driving?!?" "WTF?!?" "I'm still packing!!!" "Where's Kat?!?" "How much are buses?!?" "OMG!?!" "Everybody meet at the shop ASAP!!!" "Back to the airport to rent mini-vans?!?" "Has anybody gotten ahold of KAT!!!" "Do we drive through Utah or New Mexico?!?" "Is everybody here?!?"

Magically by 10pm, there were 13 of us headed Westbound on Interstate-70. Similar to your favorite "Ice Road Trucker" episode, we clocked a consistent 30 MPH through Utah. At one pit stop, we had to use head lamps and Iphone flashlights to walk inside and use the restrooms due to heavy snow taking out the power at the "middle of nowhere" gas station, a great beginning to next year's top selling horror flick.

But by lunch time on Saturday, the Vegas Strip appeared in the distance; all 13 of us exhausted, but safe and sound. We were welcomed by big hugs from Ingrid, Brandi and Angela, both parties absolutely 100% relieved to see each other.

Monday Night's event was flawless, close to 2,000 caterers/event professionals from around the World,  people who "WOW" people for a living, were once again "WOW'd" by Denver, Colorado's Catering by Design. With innovative designs complimenting our never-before seen food and beverage presentations, a feeling of true event harmony engulfed the atmosphere the night of March 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Harmony at the Hard Rock Cafe. 

Written by Casey Cooper, Senior Event Captain, Catering By Design, Denver
from the perspective of a staff 
        that rocks together, rolls together, 
                   road trips in a snow storm together, 
                             because the show must go on!

Welcome to Part Two of the CaterBuzz Blog coverage of Catersource 2013 Harmony at Hard Rock Event.   We hope you enjoyed   the welcome drink upon arrival and funky level two stations in the Part One blog writeup. Now, let's take a trip up to the third level of the Hard Rock Cafe where some GROOVIN' concepts, food, libations and entertainment await.

Come take a peek at what happens 
when 1700 caterers and event specialists 
come together for 
Food, Love 
and Rock & Roll
Produced by Executive Producer Cade Nagy
 and Creative Director Dan Smith

a private Hard Rock function room transforms into the Spin Art Area flipping from savory to sweet later in the event.

the attendant placed
a square wavy EMI Yoshi plate 

in the spin art machine
and let guests squeeze
colored sugar syrups
through the grates
to create personalized
spin art masterpieces.

Tie Dye Salad
filo cup, basil-pecorino flan
petite greens and micro flowers
tempura aspargus
honey worcestershire aioli

Catering By Design staff Member Linda, a Denver native, has been with Cade and Ingrid for 18 months.  An avid baker all her life, she exclaimed excitedly that hers is best job ever; her dream job in fact.  For the Harmony Event  Linda was responsible for baking close to  2,000 vanilla cupcakes and hundreds of filo cups.

CBD Baked
Tye Die Cupcakes

check out the Lycra Tye Die table clothes.

The tubes that were filled 
with frosting come empty, 
ready to be filled, in many sizes.
You will need to purchase a crimping tool.

They are a fun way of letting guests interact 
with their food and can be used for both 
sweet and savory applications.


Hand built by the "By Design Global" team, 

the Art of The Cocktail Wall 

offered 27 feet of colorful 
self served adult beverages. 
Guests were encouraged 
to drink this artful presentation away.

While adding bold splashes of color that echoed  the Harmony Event's retro sixties theme, the wall of inventively crafted and bejeweled liquor infusions in fact created an ever shifting culinary interaction.  

Harmony's colorful libation installation played on the concept that 
Art is a always a matter of taste.  

 One guest observed that as the night progressed, the shifting levels of the liquid offered a "feeling groovy" visual habitat that reminded him of colored sand art but tasted a whole lot better.

Have your Art and Drink it too!

The drinks were mixed and pumped out of 
clear cambro lexican containers 
housed behind the wall.

catering by design, denver, colorado Hsrmony st the Hard Rock

The Art 
of the 
Cocktail Menu

Carved Ice Bowl 
on Ice Pedestal
National Ice Carving Association

Cambro brand Lexan Boxes 
with each flavored cocktail
housed behind the wall
with tubes running
into the plexiglass tank

Which one would you like to try?
Convenient wall spouts made "pouring" a breeze.
grown up Kwel - Aid
absolut sponsor: Pernod Ricard
flavored gels:  Pregel America

catering by design, denver, colorado
Smoked Pork Spoon Bread Casserole
"Pork Booty" prepared 
topped with Fresh Origins Microgreens

Old Chafers take on a New Life !!!
Can't you just imagine these powder coated 
white retro chafers on a 
retro-chic summer wedding?

 Combining modern 
 with retro looks 
 on table-scapes 
 really works when you 
 go monochromatic.

The by Design Global Team
broke up the white on white look 
of the casserole station 
with menu signs studded 
with colored flower heads.
Smoked Pork Spoon Bread Casserole
slow smoked pork booty
creamy cornmeal spoonbread
triple pepper BBQ butter
fresh origins micro rainbow mix
catering by design, denver, colorado
"Fun Facts" about powder coating and repurposing old or new metal equipment such as chafers, trays, and tables
catering by design, denver, colorado


Not your Mama's Tuna Casserole
cold smoked albacore tuna
soy wild mushroom cream
beet greens
garlic chive seasoned pasta
sharp cheddar
beet chip crunch
sautéed red grapes
catering by design, denver, colorado
retro chic
white powder coated

tamale pie 

oaxacan black mole 
Red Bird natural chicken + potato
sweet masa pudding
avocado crema
fresh origins micro cilantro
in American Metalcraft pans.

Colorado's own redbird farms chicken
microgreens: fresh origins microgreens
metal balti dishes: american metalcraft
catering by design, denver, colorado
the retro-chic white powder
coated chafers and station are flipped
 from casseroles
to dipping ponds
for frozen banana + strawberries.
flavored chocolate candy coatings
frozen banana + strawberry
 fruit skewers
catering by design, denver,
warm gelato coating flavors
from Pre Gel America
white chocolate
catering by design, denver, colorado
 *Bi-level industrial kitchen chic 
stainless steel tables
 *Chef driven drummer pots + pan band
aptly named "The Whisk Beat".
march to the beat
of the chef drummers
The  industrial kitchen setup of the Soul Kitchen station offered a surprise twist.  Every so often the Chef drummers got up on the stage and played a set on the pots and pans.
The guests went 
wild for a taste 
of the "bands" 
off the hook "Whisk Beat"! 
The Servers were excited + rocking too!
excited caterng by design staff
smoked pork cheek meatball poutine...
This guy sold me on trying them!
Loved dem balls!
funky poutine presentation
Poutine is trending hot
twist it up and make it your own
like Catering by Design did !
melamine fry cones in black and white
from American MetalCraft

a closer look at the cone setup... 
The setup only varied in the color 
of the cones across
 the trio meatball offerings.
sponsored products:
cones, risers and lights:  American MetalCraft
sterno + candles:  SternoCandleLamp
Cambro Carts
disposable linen napkins: MYdrap
how cool are these disposable
tear off linen beverage napkins
from MYdrap
available in any color you can imagine.
Buffalo chicken meatballs
fried ranch potatoes,
micro celery
+ blue cheese salad
Pre-boiled potato balls were deep fried and tossed in powdered ranch dressing.
Potatoes can be cooked ahead, drained well and cyrovac bagged
ready to flash fry on site.

with a crowd this size 
from all points of the globe 
vegetarian offerings 
are key to rounding out menu options.
Twisted up Falafel Balls 
and a spin on Fattoush Salad
Fabulous and Fun for Everyone.

Large catered events require 
careful planning and thought 
as to how the food will flow. 

Having the food replenished 
right behind the display ensured guests 
easy access to a plentitude of food that was fresh and hot without servers having to maneuver through the crowds with heavy trays.

While there were minimal passed foods offered at the Harmony event, with so many interesting "action" stations, there was always LOTS of food available. Plentiful stations allowed for a very smooth event flow in the bi level space.

Creating "Action Stations" like this where the pace can be quick or slow depending on need is a smart catering decision.

Besides the fact that 
not only caterers, 
but most guests 
love to watch 
the creative process 
due to the ever popular 
food channel mentality.


When we asked Dan Smith, CbD Creative Director and co producer of the Harmony at the Hard Rock Event what his favorite station was he immediately took us to the kitchen.   

The World Tour Soup Cart 
Oysters Rock Bisque
 - a spin off 
on the classic 
Oysters Rockerfeller 

Thanks Dan, for showing us the setup for the roving Soup Cart housed in a specially altered Roadie Cart.

opening the doors of 
the roadie cart reveals 
signage and shelving 
that will hold 
the oyster rock soup pails
and towards the later
part of the event 
the black light poster 
moves to reveal
Mini Four Leches Cakes Sign.

the CbD staff 
had fun with 
 insider referenced graffitti.
Ingrid was certainly here
and her influence 
was felt throughout the event.

as all great events 
you want your guests 
to leave on a happy note.
Have a Nice Chip
Sixties Smiley Faces baked 
between two thin slices of potato.

the Have a Nice Chip tray
was backlit
highlighting the smiley face design.

CaterBuzz would like to express our deep gratitude for the hospitality and courtesies that the Catersource organization extended to our team during our amazing
Catersource 2013 experience.
And a colossal thank you for arranging privy to the back of the house for the Catersource signature Monday night event.  We enjoyed meeting old friends and making many new ones, please come join us on caterBuzz. 
We adored documenting this incredible fabulosity with literally hundreds of photos we get to share with caterers globally.
The entire CaterBuzz team was beyond thrilled to play a  
part in Catersource 2013
as a media partner
and look forward to many future collaborations with Catersource. Ops Manager
and Best Catered Events Owner
Miss Bee-Actress, Dianne Evans
interviewing Catering by Design Staff 
during event setup.

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

We hope that you will consider caterBuzz as your traveling eye for inquisitive catering professionals around the globe.  Sharing and learning from each other as only like minded professional caterers can do, through pictures, industry stories, probing questions and detailed answers, available here on and also on our facebook caterBuzz group pagea private forum for the experienced professional catering community.  Contact me for more details.

Blog Credits:
Harmony at the Hard Rock was 
Produced by 
Denver's Catering by Design Owner 
and Executive Producer Cade Nagy 
and Creative Director Dan Smith 
in conjunction with Catersource
at the 2013 Catersource Convention and Tradeshow

The Hard Rock Cafe, Las Vegas Blogger Team:  
Lisa Teiger, QueenBee,
Dianne Evans, Ops Manager,
   Owner, Best Catered EventsBaton Rouge, Louisiana

Look for the sources for unique and creative products
provided by the Catersource sponsors for the Harmony event. 
Here's you go....

American Metalcraft
Welcome Beverage: trays, stanchion and rope
Whiskey Tango Pizza: delivery bags and trays,
Oysters Rock: milk cans, 
Soul Kitchen: cones, risers, lights
Joy of Casseroles: balti metal dish, ceramic bowls, cast iron skillets
Wall of Flame: hanging stainless pails
Platters, risers, bowls throughout
Water dispensers and all floral vessels

Wall of Flame: candles
Jam Session: flameless candles
Magic Mushrooms: torches, lighters
Soul Kitchen: candles, chafers
Fuel for all stations, candles throughout

Wall of Flame and Soul Kitchen: Cambro Cart Plus
Art of the Cocktail: Lexan boxes

Whiskey Tango Pizza: peanut butter gelato coating
Art of the Cocktail: fruit bases
Joy of Casseroles: gelato coatings
Southern Pride
Southern Pride’s smokers used for these stations:
Whiskey Tango Pizza Company, Legends of
Rock, CbD World Tour, Soul Kitchen and Joy of

All barware
Legends of Rock, Soul Kitchen and
Magic Mushrooms: forks
CbD Oyster Rocks World Tour: mini serviceware, spoons
Spin Art and Joy of Casseroles: plates and forks

Jam Session: Aspenware forks and plates
Bar Snacks: Plates

Seasonings, salts, food pastes, glucose, sour
cream powder, smoking guns and wood chips

Pernod Ricard
Absolut Cherrykran, Absolut Mandarin, Absolut
Citron, Absolut Kurant, Absolut Hibiskus, Absolut
Mandarin, Absolut Vodka, Beefeater Gin, Jameson
Whiskey, Seagrams White Rum

All cloth napkins at food stations

Backdrops Beautiful Booth 513
Legends of Rock: custom backdrop

Custom portable bars
Fresh Origins Booth 2536
Edible flowers, microgreens, herbs,
greens at all stations

Whiskey Tango Pizza: boxes,
Sphere container, stirrers, frosting tubes, skewers

Whiskey Tango Pizza, Joy of Casseroles and
Soul Kitchen: chicken

Paint cans

PortaBeer Booth
Keg PortaDrafts

All flowers including signs and displays

National IceCarving Association
Ice wall, specialty ice cubes for Welcome drink;
ice bin stands for Art of the Cocktail


Anonymous said...

I love the theme and the white chafers, wow! There are so may creative ideas. I love seeing the cool, new mini vessels in use by real caterers, not just in food styling shots. Seeing it all in action really makes it all come alive. I felt like I was there. Thanks for sharing!!

Cee said...

this was absolutely amazing and I personally really appreciate the time and effort put in to document this for sharing with us. I loved all of it and I especially like the information provided on what was used from the vendors so we know where we can purchase these items for our business.

This looked to be an amazing event and I wish I could have got tickets...but.... I would not have done the due dilligence that I should have if I was there because I would have been enjoying and visiting with everyone.

You guys not only let us enjoy this event but made me so incredibly hungry .... just reading and looking at it!

Cade and Ingrid are a force to be reckoned with and someone should send in the reality tv to tape one of these events. Who knows ....maybe they will change the Oscars to have a reality active food presentation category!!!!!

Unknown said...

I love party theme and I can judge about your service, a good catering service really matter. Thanks for sharing . caterer