Catering Central

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1558 Gladding Ct. Milpitas CA 95035Call Us: (650) 961-3300

Rosh Hashana

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The Jewish high holiday season is upon us, with Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, and Hanukkah all coming up within the next few months. Rosh Hashana begins at sunset today, and is the celebration of the Jewish New Year. Here are recipes of the traditional foods served at the Rosh Hashana table:

(1) Round Challah
This Jewish bread, usually served as a braided loaf, is made in a round spiral to symbolize a prosperous new year ahead. Other interpretations of the significance of a round challah include; representation of a crown/the sovereignty of God, and the never ending opportunity to return to God. 

(2) Apples and Honey
Two of the sweetest foods combined represent the wish for a sweet new year.

(3) Brisket

This cut of meat may represent hardship – something that Jewish people have experienced throughout the centuries. Also, it has become a traditional meal so close to the heart of high holidays that many families have their own recipes that so heavily remind them of the holiday table.

If you need a little extra help this holiday season, call us today at Catering Central on (650) 961-3300. We can’t wait to consult with you on your event preferences – from plates, to hors d’oeuvres, tablecloths to dessert – we have you covered! We do corporate catering in Palo Alto ( 94304), private party catering in San Jose (95154), and we cater all kinds of parties around the Bay Area. Let us know what kind of event you’re looking to cater, and we’ll do the rest!

New Trends in Catering

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Catering trends are as ever-changing as foods themselves, and we endeavor to keep you up to speed with what is going on in the culinary world. Today on the blog we will spotlight three recent trends in catering;

  1. Food Trucks
    These have a been around for a while, yet gained popularity a little while back with the introduction of SOMA Streat Food and Off the Grid. A perfect way to please a group of diverse friends, street food truck parks provide a myriad of options for the hard-to-please crowd. In addition, you can choose to eat a lot of small foods or one regular sized meal.

  1. Pre-Packaged DIY Meals
    Hello Fresh, Destination Dinners and Gobble are just a few dinner kit companies that provide boxes of fresh ingredients for customers to make their own meals. A hybrid between take out and home-cooked, dinner kits might just be the best new dinner solution for the time-crunched.

  1. Full Service Dining
    The pendulum is swinging from streamlined, fast restaurants to full service, wide variety, table service experiences. Real plates, real silverware and full dining adventures are where it’s at.

If you have any questions about up and coming catering trends, and how we can help, call us today on (650) 961-3300.

Your Event’s Invitation

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Your event’s invitation is the initial expectation your guests will have about your party. You know what they say – you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. The invitation should be relevant to the event, capturing your personality as well as the vibe of the party. We have some tips for setting up your event, via your invitation.

Make the information clear and accurate
Are the right time, date, day, address, contact details and dress code made clear on the invitation? Have you specified if the event is brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert or hors d’oeuvres?

Have a limited color scheme
Unless it’s directly related to the event, steer clear of rainbow and willy-nilly color schemes. An aesthetically pleasing invitation uses color with purpose, visually providing mood for the event ahead of time.

Choose a sensible font
Comic Sans was made for comics. Helvetica is a widely used and completely appropriate font for conveying information on an invitation, though you might like to use something more decorative for the event title. Stick to two fonts – maximum.

Be clear about timing
What time does it start? Is it OK to be fashionably late, or would being late be frowned upon? From surprise party, to wedding, to milestone birthday – there are very different social expectations about timing. Also, when does it end? Being clear about this may prevent you from having a house full of people at 2am when you’d rather be sleeping.

We truly hope you enjoy your event. As always, if you’re looking for a caterer, we’ve got you covered. Call us today on (650) 961-3300 to talk about your vision for the party you’re planning.

Simple Appetizers

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Entertaining doesn’t have to be a huge drain on your energy or finances. Sometimes the most simple foods are exactly what you need to enjoy togetherness in a relaxed state of mind. Appetizers are a great way to keep the social aspect alive while you put the finished touches on a meal. So, what are some easy appetizer ideas?

A raw vegetable platter with hummus, ranch or French Onion dip is not only nutritious, but a colorful and tasty addition to your gathering. Since most people want to eat healthy food, this appetizer will almost certainly be a winner.

Grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have well-made frozen appetizers that you can serve to guests, knowing that the ingredients are of a high quality. Many of these finger foods like egg rolls, meatballs and spanakopita are stress-free morsels, simply needing reheating in the oven.

Spinach dip is so delicious that it should probably be its own food group. While homemade dip takes the cake, store bought is almost as good. Hollow out a loaf of sourdough and put the spinach dip inside. Then bake the bread on low in the oven until the dip is heated through and the bread is crunchy.

Summer is all about taking a break from the daily grind, and we truly hope that you have time for togetherness this season. Enjoy some of these appetizers with your loved ones!

Pool Parties

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Considering that the temperature in the Bay Area stays pretty consistent, most of us aren’t lucky enough to have a pool in our backyard. For those that do, or those who know a great pool for hosting a party, we have some ideas for making your pool party an event to be remembered.

Safety is super important, so make sure you keep glass away from the pool. Serve drinks in plastic cups and keep your alcoholic beverage bottles separate to the pool area. If you’re worried that plastic won’t look very attractive, check out the wide range of glass alternatives at your local party store. I think you’ll be amazed at what you find – with the added benefit of not having to do dishes after the fact.

Appetizers like melon balls, mango cubes and grapes are the perfect summery treat to get the party started. Grilling is an obvious winner when it comes to serving the main course at a pool party – grill corn on the cob, hamburgers, hot dogs and even some of the suggested recipes from the blog last week. Without access to a grill, pool parties also pair well with Hawaiian pizza.

Pool parties are a celebration of all the excellent attributes of summer, taking us back to that childhood feeling of school being out. Music is an essential part of creating atmosphere, so turn up some classics like The Beach Boys, or something more modern, like The Paper Kites or Fleet Foxes.

Decorations are a sinch for pool parties – so go and check out what your local party supply stores have on offer. Enjoy summer while it lasts!

4 Steps to Planning a Catered Event

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Planning an event and don’t know where to start? Here’s 4 tips to get you on the right track.

  1. Know your venue
    Venues will typically have ideas about great ways to use their space. Tell them what your event is all about, and listen to their ideas about how to maximize the space. Get a copy of the layout/floor plan, a sense of where the catering services will set up and where the guests will be seated.

  1. Decide what services you require
    Do you want breakfast, lunch or dinner? Are you thinking about canapes or brunch, coffee or happy hour? Deciding on your services will help with planning staff for the event, as well as giving us an idea of what kind of equipment you’ll need. Knowing your services will also help the venue guide your layout.

  1. Know your timeline
    Your itinerary is important to the caterer, and the venue, because it helps us plan for labor. Knowing when everything is happening will help us create an accurate quote for your event.

  1. Consider your add-ons
    Do you need flowers? A DJ? Stage Setup? Sound equipment? Ask the venue if they have some referrals, or we can give you some names of places that we’ve partnered with in the past.

Catering Central works with a number of venues in the San Francisco Bay Area. We also have a list of resources that we make available for you when you use our event catering services. Give us a call at (650) 961-3300 or email us at for your next company or private event.

Stress-Free Events

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Planning an event comes with the pressure to make everything perfect. Take a breath – you’re only human! While you can’t control every little detail, we have some tips to help you keep calm and carry on.

  1. Set realistic expectations

Unless the President is on the guest list, you can probably dial your elaborate expectations down a little. Pinterest is a fantastic resource, but it can also set your ideas on a lofty platform. Work within your strengths and avoid disappointments.

  1. Call for help

What if cooking isn’t one of your strengths? Hire a caterer! That’s why we exist – to take the burden away from party planners like yourself. What if you’re not that great at table settings? We can do that too! Call us today on (650) 961-3300 to find out exactly how we can help.

  1. Plan a timeline

What do you need? When do you need it? What can be done first? How far in advance can some things be done? Do as much as you can, as early as you can. Leave the last minute to-do list as small as possible.

  1. Keep it simple

Fortunately, event fashion is fairly simple these days. Rustic looks are in, so you can forget about everything looking neat, tidy and perfect. Make it beautiful, but make it realistic.

  1. Take breaks

While hosting an event, time seems like it’s going a mile a minute. Once you have gathered some momentum, take a few minutes to catch your breath. Whether that means sitting by yourself for a moment, or taking time to mingle with the crowd – just take some time from ‘doing,’ and spend some time, ‘being.’

Most of all – have fun! You’re making memories for yourself, and everyone in attendance.

Easter Menu

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With Easter is just around the corner, you might be planning a party to celebrate with your friends and family. For the week of Easter, we are serving a new Spring Menu fresh from our kitchen to your table.

Starting with salads, this menu features butter lettuce, mixed greens and baby spinach topped with all kinds of exciting grains, nuts, cheeses and vegetables. If you have a taste for candied pecans, quinoa, red onions and cherry tomatoes – our baby spinach salad is for you.

Entrees come packed with ham, chicken and beef. If you haven’t tried our brisket yet, you simply must. Slow cooked for hours until the moment of perfection, this tender beef will have your guests coming back for more (that’s if you decide you’re willing to share).

When it comes to sides, you can’t go wrong with grilled corn. Nothing says, ‘warmer weather’ quite like corn on the cob! Add grilled seasonal vegetables, like eggplant, zucchini and asparagus spears – and you have yourself a delicious meal.

EASTERMENU15Call us today on (650) 961-3300 to lock in your Easter menu.

Popcorn Bars

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When you’re looking to add a bit of extra pizzazz to your party, consider setting up a popcorn bar. Popcorn is one of the cheapest, easiest and most versatile party foods available – and it smells great too.

To set up a popcorn bar, you’ll need a large container and a scoop to serve the plain popcorn. Set some paper bags, or individual containers by the plain popcorn. You can purchase striped popcorn boxes at your local craft store, these are cute and really inexpensive.

Now comes the fun part – the flavors. You’ll need a mixture of wet and dry toppings to ensure that the flavors stick to the popcorn. You’ll also need both sweet and savory seasonings to keep your guests coming back for more.

Classic butter works well, especially coupled with salt or nutritional yeast. Other savory flavor combinations can include; white cheddar, Parmesan, red pepper flakes, basil, garlic, rosemary.

For a bit of sweetness, try adding some sugar to your classic butter to replicate kettle corn flavors. What about having chocolate and caramel sauce at the ready for your eager guests? You might also consider serving small candy pieces (like marshmallows or gummy bears) for adding to your creative mixes.

It all depends on whether you’re looking for a whimsical, outrageous or sophisticated snack bar. That’s the great thing about popcorn – it can be anything you like.

Get to Know Our Appetizers

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Depending on the event, appetizers can get the party started – or they can be main culinary attraction. Because we have a whole host of delectable starters to whet your appetite, it’s high time we introduced some of them to you.

From our sample birthday menu, why not try our; asparagus prosciutto wraps, fresh fruit on bamboo skewers, imported cheese platters with fresh bread, Harris Ranch beef sliders, curried chicken tea sandwiches, vegetarian napoleon (grilled zucchini, goat cheese and cherry tomato on fresh bread) and Argentine empanadas.

When it comes to wedding receptions, our sample menu is brimming with appetizer options. To name a few, we have; mini pita and fresh falafel appetizers, baked brie wheel with fresh baguette, endive salad spear salad or a canapé (fancy French word for appetizer) of , English crisp cucumbers with smoked salmon, capers and herbed cream cheese.

If you are looking for the perfect appetizers for your event, click on the menus link above and you will find sample menus for all kinds of occasions. Call us today on 650-961-3300 to talk about how we can cater your next event with these delicious morsels and more.