Saturday, February 22, 2014

BuZz-in and Meet Me in St. Louis

February 9 - 11, 2014   St. Louis, Missouri
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25 caterBuzz members BuZz-in to St. Louis and have a blast while sharing best practices, meeting old and new friends, and culminating with a sales and marketing seminar hosted by

The buZz-in started on a wintry St. Louis Sunday afternoon, as caterBuzz members converged for part one of the three day caterBuzz event, a buzzie potluck @ the Holiday Inn, Forest Park.

We are a warm + fuzzy group - as evidenced by our very funny initiation ritual - where members take the buzzie pledge and we dance around the new member singing "buzzie, buzzie, buzzie, you are warm and fuzzy". Silly high spirited fun abound, including the honor of being officially pinned as a buzzie !!  
Conjure up a potluck with food and variety that is so amazing you just can’t stop eating, pair it with vibrant, engaging conversation and it's an experience that is mind, body and soul satisfying.   The caterBuzz Meet Me in St. Louis buZz-in commenced with exactly this kind of delectable potluck of caterers, conversation and repast.  

Twenty Five "Buzzies" aka caterBuzz forum members drove and flew in from north, south, east and west of St. Louis, including several from St. Louis for this buZz-in. The caterBuzz hive convened at the hotel for a caterBuzz buZz-in which included round-table discussions, a potluck, a site visit to Butler's Pantry commissary (coverage coming in the Part II blogpost) and their amazing urban chic Palladium Venue, as well as several local food safari stops lead by Julie Ridlon, St. Louis local food expert, on Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday the buZz-in wrapped up with a sales and marketing seminar hosted by, Jon Wool of JHW Hospitality Consulting and Michael Attias of Restaurant Catering Systems entitled: 
How to Turbo Charge Your Catering Sales: The Ultimate Catering Sales and Marketing Plan Revealed.   
Julie Ridlon, leads visiting caterBuzz
members on a St. Louis Food Safari
**********Potluck Offerings**********
Dianne Evans, Best Catered Events, La.
*Pepper Jelly Glazed Voodoo Cheese on Bong Bong Chips,
*Pulled BBQ Pork Sliders, and Sliced Smoked Brisket
Dianne Evans,  Best Catered Events, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 

*Goats Cheese Stuffed Peppadews 
wrapped in Bacon, Drizzled  with Balsamic Reduction                                   
*Mini Cupcake Melange

Patty Wingo  & Bobby Dickens, Simply Delicious GourmetSpringfield, Missouri

*Shrimp + Corn BisqueBill Laderer,  Courtyard on the Ridge CateringNew Orleans, Louisiana

Bryan Young,
Bryan Events, St. Louis
*Fresh Salmon Cakes w/ Cajun Remoulade
Bryan Young  Bryan EventsSt. Louis, Missouri

Freeda Said
*Peanut Butter and Taffy Rollups   
Lynn Lampe, Cody Wyoming
*Unbaked Oatmeal Cookies
*St. Louis Sodas

Regina Niece4 Star Barn and Lake Events.  Hazard, Kentucky
Andrea Frommelt Williams
Taste To Go Gourmet
Des Moines, Iowa
     and Freeda Said, Little Beginners Child Development Center, Lexington, Kentucky

*Chocolate Nutella Hazelnut Torte
Lynn LampeGeyser Brewing Co.,  Cody, Wyoming

*St. Louis Hausmacher (Smoked Liverwurst) Bánh mì 
Julie Ridlon, St. Louis, Missouri

*Firecracker BBQ Roll Ups
 Darleen Randell TakeawayGourmetGainsville, Florida

*Savannah BBQ Ribs with Signature BBQ Sauce

Julie Ridlon's Vanilla  Bourbon Sorghum Pecan Bacon Glazed Donuts
and Cinnamon Spiked Mexican Chocolate Donuts
Buzz-in Monday Morning Breakfast Treats  Julie Ridlon
Mexican Chocolate Donuts
Sorghum, Bourbon, Pecan and Chunky Bacon Glazed Orange Zest Donuts

Bobby Dickens
Simply Delicious Gourmet
Springfield, Missouri
shared his thoughts about the buZz-in

"For me, the round table discussion during 
the potluck the first day were the hands down 
the best all around experience of the buZz-in to St. Louis
 and set the tone for all the fabulousness to come.   

To hear everyone from seasoned to new caterers, 

all having the same relatable issues was comforting.  

I am not usually a sweet tooth, but I loved the gooey stuff
 as in the chocolate hazelnut torte that tasted like silky fudge, 
that my new friend Lynn from Wyoming offered up.  

The potluck was off the hook !!

 - Patti and I were super glad we brought our A game 
to the potluck table with Simply Delicious' bacon 
wrapped stuffed peppadews with 
reduced balsamic drizzle & our signature 
variety of miniature cupcakes 
that I am happy to report both got devoured. 

I am excited that my new buzzie buddy

Lynn from Wyoming shared the 
recipe for her chocolate hazelnut torte 
on the caterBuzz facebook group page.  
We will be calling these 
our awesome nutella chocolate threat bars!
Rob and Duplicate! or as Chef Andrew 
says "Buzzies Share and Recyle" !

The most valuable time spent for me was running 
around in the seafood market watching eyes 
light up like fireworks and with everyone 
just exploding with inspiration with all the amazing 
ingredients on the various shopping safaris. 

Olio was the best food experience with 
incredible Middle Eastern twists 
and my runner up would be Butler's Pantry. 

What I really took away from this experience
was more of taking a feeling 
and an attitude of looking for the positive and 
eliminate the negative, and BEST of all I made friends 
with so many buzzies in so little time,
but we have had so many interactions after in the 
facebook group and via phone/text and facebook
that participating in the St. Louis buZz-in 
has been truly the highlight of the year so far, 
and Lisa is amazing!  OK - she told me to say that LOL "
Regina Niece and Andrew Alexander-Crossan
buzzie food, fun and catering chat
a natural combination

Chef Andrew Alexander-Crossan's
Signature Yuku Sake Cured Gravalox
Dusted with Crushed Wasabi Pea
Yuzu Sake Gravalox with Wasabi Dust
Lisa Teiger and Chef Andrew Alexander-Crossan
Other Buzz-In Attendees
Lon Lane - Inspired Occasions, Kansas City, Missouri
Ryan Draper - Drapers Catering, Memphis, Tennessee
Kathy Windt - Catering By Design, Rochester, Minnesota
Andrea Frommelt Williams -  Taste to Go Catering, Demoine, Iowa
Angie and Stevie Smith - Four Star Catering, Hazard, Kentucky
Susan Prejean - Celebration Cakes + Catering, DeQuincy Louisiana
Chuck Friedhoff - Butler's Pantry, St. Louis, Missouri
Laura Bailey - Butler's Pantry, St. Louis, Missouri
Maggie Eichwald- Butler's Pantry, St. Louis, Missouri
Meeting and greeting buZzies who were previously names on a screen to each other was a fabulous treat, not to mention the bonus of getting to taste all of the delicious and diverse buzzie food offerings… It was incredibly informative to spend a few hours around the table, introducing ourselves and discussing our catering backgrounds, catering and event companies with each other.   Quite a number of new connections were made that will help members grow their business to the next level.

Next on the agenda was a visit to variety of ethnic food markets that St. Louis offers.

Bryan Young,
a well known and beloved St. Louis Caterer who was recognized almost everywhere we went 

Here are Bryan's thoughts on the buZz-in

"I was intrigued that on our trip to Global Foods, 
a store I frequent often for our catering, 
Chef Andrew Alexander-Crossan, of
CuisinEtc Catering NYC shared 
his use of chutneys.  I know will be using that recipe
with vegetarian potato and pea samosas in the near future.

As a local St. Louis native, Forks and Stix was a new experience for me
and I had never been there before but have since returning, really enjoying 
their authentic Northern Thai food. That   nutella "fudge" 
aka Lynn's chocolate hazelnut torte was simply the BEST !!"
Lon Lane and Andrew Alexander-Crossan
Shopping for International Goodies
caterBuzz St. Louis BuZz-in  
Wandering the aisles with NYC Chef Andrew Alexander-Crossan explaining Asian products that he uses in his cuisinEtc kitchen - from Indonesian shrimp chips and compressed blocks of peanut sauce that Savannah caterer, Cynthia Creighton-Jones purchased to Filipino Calamansi Lime Infused Honey that Springfield Mo. caterer, Patty Wingo will be testing with a recipe for Vietnamese Crab Coleslaw.  

Remember how your mom told you not to play with your food, well nah nah nah mama, we make our livings experimenting and playing with food for our clients!!

The buzzie soaked up the exotic ingredients and piled up their shopping carts, excited to have new ingredients that they could take home to their clients and catering companies to play with!
Global Foods, in Kirkland, an internationally stocked grocery that carries over 45,000 products truly global products was mind blowing!  Each aisle seemed to represent another country or continent  - from eastern European, British, Irish, Scottish, French, Polish, Ukrainian, German, Dutch, Norwegian and Swiss grocery products to African, Pan Asian, Indian, nearly impossible to list all the choices and variety of offerings.  There were canned and packaged goods, frozen foods, fresh and frozen meats, a huge deli counter with locally made as well as Eastern European cheeses and meats, fresh and cured sausages, a myriad of exotic fruits like Dragon Fruit and Durian, unpronounceable super fresh vegetables, including some products that didn't even have any English labeling. 
our mascot, Buzzie Bee was grooving on huge
selection of honey products
The glee of 15 caterers and our mascot, Buzzie Bee scampering down grocery aisles saying "look at this", "oh I haven't had Jaffa Cakes since I lived in Ireland",  "wonder what this is used for"  "this would be awesome at our next open house" was uber amusing and fun to watch. 
Southern Chicks in the snow
leaving the caterBuzz tracks 
Cynthia Creighton-Jones, Cape Creations, Savannah
and Dianne Evans, Best Catered Events, Baton Rouge, 
Global Food Market Parking Lot
caterBuzz St. Louis buZz-in 2014
Dinner bells rang at a cute Northern Thai Restaurant off of Delmar, in the Skinker section, aptly named Forks & Stix.  Thai people traditionally eat with a fork and spoon not chopsticks like many other Asian countries and of course Thai's are famous for their satay "stix".  We sampled a variety of fairly authentic Northern dishes including 
Nom Khao Tod 
Crispy rice salad with sour pork, ginger, red onion, cilantro, green onion, peanuts, toasted coconut, lime, chili powder, and fish sauce.
Crying Tiger 
Grilled spicy beef salad with lime juice, fish sauce,chili powder, 
red onions, cilantro, mint, roasted rice powder.

Hung Lay Pork Belly Curry
Northern Thai sweet pork belly and pork loin curry with 
palm sugar, turmeric, tamarind, peanuts, and fresh ginger 
served with Jasmine rice. Chiang Mai Classic

Sai Oua
Grilled Chiang Mai pork sausage with Thai herbs. Served with sticky rice.

Hoy Jaw 
Deep fried dumpling Shrimp, crab mixed and minced pork wrapped in tofu skin. Serve  with Thai sweet chili sauce.

Naam Prik  

Chiang Mai classic hot sauce made with roasted chilies, shallots, garlic and cilantro. Serve with steam vegetables and sticky rice

Khao Soi Chicken (our favorite)
Northern Thai curry noodle soup with curry paste, coconut milk. Served with shallot, pickled mustard greens, crispy yellow noodles and roasted chili paste. a Chiang Mai specialty
along with a few other dishes I am forgetting.   The range of tastes and spices were a bit much for some with less tolerant adventurous palate - but over all we enjoyed both the experience and of course chatting with each other about catering and food!
The restaurant has a cool and hip vibe with very reasonable menu pricing.  

Next up on the St. Louis Food Safari and buZz-in, adult beverages with fancy ice cubes and crafted cocktails infusions at Planter's House on Mississipi.  
Planter's House - on the cutting edge of the St. Louis Bar Movement
 Our local food guide Julie Ridlon's itinerary listed PH as:
"Planter's House is an AWESOME bar with food.  The owner is the most exciting bartender in St. Louis.  Ted and Jamie Kilgore make mean cocktails.  The kitchen has a hip young chef who makes some interesting treats.  But you really go for the adult beverages (or virgin variations) "

Planter’s House Cocktails   $10.00   

 Rittenhouse BIB Rye,  Planter’s House Sweet Vermouth,   
Suze, Scrappy’s Chocolate  Bitters, Flamed Orange     

Dutchtown   Collins          
 Bols  Genever, Blackberry-Black Pepper Syrup, Grapefruit,
Lemon,  Club Soda    

Voisey of Reason              
 Hendrick’s Gin, Balvenie Double Wood Scotch, Chamomile, 
English Cucumber Liqueur, Lillet Rose, Egg White      

Down  For the  Count       
 St. George Botanivore Gin, Gran Classico Bitter, Salers,      
Zucca Amaro    

The  Daiquiri   Experiment     
 Angostura         7yr Rum, Clement Rhum Agricole, Planter’s      
House Sweet Vermouth, White Crème  de Cacao, PX Sherry,
Lime, Angostura Bitters   

Old…But  Still  in Fashion                 
 Old    Fitzgerald BIB   Bourbon, Amaro Nonino, Pierre Ferrand   
Dry   Curacao, Scrappy’s Orange Bitters, Orange        

Get Behind the Mule        
 El Dorado Dark Rum,   L’Orangerie, House Ginger Cordial,    
Angostura  Bitters     

Bramble On              
 Chipotle Infused La Puritita Verda Mezcal, Byrrh, Mulberry       
Syrup, Lime, Dale’s Pimento Bitters  
Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner      
 Barsol Pisco, Aperol, Brown Butter Pineapple Syrup, Lemon,     
Walnut, Egg White    

Coming Up Daisy     
 Milagro Silver Tequila, Rhum Clement Creole Shrub, 
Grenadine, Lime        

 Housemade Earl Grey Liquor, Contratto Bianco Vermouth,        
Lemon, Scrappy’s Grapefruit Bitters, Brut Sparkling Wine
Planter’s  House Favorites       $8.00       
Absinthe   Mist  •   Alexander •   Apple   Blow Fizz  •    Blood  &    Sand •   Bronx       
•   Brown    Derby          El  Diablo        Hemingway  Daiquiri     Improved  Cocktail     Jack Rose        Japanese         La     Louisiane     Last  Word           Mai   Tai    
      Manhattan               Martinez          Martini          Mint Julep           Negroni        Old   Fashioned    Pilgrim   Cocktail        Pink Lady    Queens  Park Swizzle      
      Remember the  Maine     •       Satan’s     Whiskers  •       Sazerac     •    Seelbach   •   Southside       Tom  Collins            Vieux        Carre          Zombie              

 Large   Format   Cocktails  
Planter’s House Punch              ($8/$30/$60)  
 Camus VS Cognac, El Dorado 5yr Rum, Pierre Ferrand       

Dry   Curacao, Grenadine,  Lime,  Lemon, Angostura Bitters

Manhattan in a Bottle               (serves 4-5)               $38
 Old    Fitzgerald BIB   Bourbon,  Planter’s House         Sweet       
Vermouth, Angostura Bitters, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao        

Negroni in a Bottle            (serves 4-5)                $38
 Broker’s Gin, Planter’s  House Sweet Vermouth, Campari

Vieux Carre in a Bottle     (serves 4-5)                $38
 Rittenhouse Rye, Camus VS       Cognac, Planter’s House   
Sweet Vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura Bitters,      
Peychaud's Bitters    

Beer:                  $5.00(16oz)               $2.50(8oz)       
UCBC         -        Schnickelfritz (Bavarian Weissbier)
 UCBC         -        Zwickel     (Bavarian Lager)      
 4 Hands    -        Chocolate  Milk  Stout        
 4 Hands    -        Single Speed Session (Golden Ale) 
Civil  Life   -        American Brown   Ale   
 Civil  Life   -        Porter      
 Civil  Life   -        English Style Pale Ale        
 Civil  Life   -        Extra Special Bitter Style Ale    (ESB)     Founders  -         Red’s  Rye  Pale  Ale   
Bell’s         -         Two Hearted Ale (India Pale Ale)       
Bell’s         –        Amber Ale
Schlafly     –       American  Pale  Ale   
BEER   & BOND   $6 -8oz beer with a 1oz Bonded Spirit        

Stay tuned for the next chapter of the caterBuzz St. Louis buZz-in experience with part II blog-post coming soon.


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