Catering Central

Tag: foodie foodie

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

Technology at the Table

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Most adults know that having your phone out at dinner is bad table manners – but what iPads? What if the restaurant puts them on the table right in front of you, and expects you to order from them? Now, that’s a completely different story.

It seems that restaurants are catching onto the idea that screens are absolutely irresistible to people these days, so if they can’t beat ‘em they might as well join ‘em. Restaurants are starting to use more iPads and tablets on the table, not only for ordering – but for payment as well. Splitting a check has never been so stress-free.

If you’re worried about machines taking people’s jobs, rest assured that restaurants using this system still employ wait staff and they seem to be making good tips… since a computer is suggesting the math for gratuities. Another plus side is that customers don’t have to wait for the server to return so they can pay. Seems that restaurants have a faster turnover of customers, meaning that wait staff can gather more tips that way, too.

Remember, if you’re looking for Corporate Catering in San Mateo, Private Party Catering in the San Francisco Bay – or any other catering needs – call us on (650) 961-3300 to see how we can use technology to get food onto your table. Almost all the information you need is on our website, after that, all you need to do is call!

It’s predicted that within the next few years, most restaurants will head towards tablets on tables. How do you feel about this? Comment below!

Restless Palate Syndrome

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Ever get the feeling that you’re looking for something new and different… all the time? Millennials tend to have a hard time with predictability and easily tire of the same ol’ same ol’. In fact, the same comfort that some get from getting consistently identical meals each time they visit a restaurant is the absolute disdain of those with a restless palate. They want something new – something they’ve never tried before.

Since adventurous choices are trending, the food industry must follow suit. The great advantage of catering to those with restless palate syndrome us that we can not get stuck in a food rut. While some restaurants go as far as Molecular Gastronomy, most are just looking for what’s popular right now.

Get ready to see vegetable flavored sorbets, herbal ice creams, insects served as a meal protein (not kidding!), fourth wave coffee, third wave beer, toast that costs as much as a meal, and teeny-tiny bite size desserts. Cover that toast in honey with sea salt sprinkled on top, serve that coffee over condensed milk and cinnamon, fry those insects and dip them in sriracha – that’s how you satisfy a restless palate. Whatever you do, keep the tastes changing.

It’s not hard to find places in San Francisco that think outside the box. Check out this list of the SF Chronicle’s Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants  and take your pick!

Football Season Classics

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It’s time to get some spicy wings in the oven and crack open a beer – football season is back! Whether you like to watch the games by yourself, or with your crew, we have some recipe ideas that will keep you focused on the game.

Nachos are a classic football game accompaniment. Recipe4Living gives us an Everyday Nacho recipe that you might like to try real soon. Served piping hot with the works, these nachos are as affordable as they are tasty. Alternatively, you could just go for the All-American Frito Pie.

Check out Chef Michael Symons’ recipes here at the Food & Wine blog. He showcases Spicy Sriracha wings and Pork Cheek and Black Eyed Pea chili as game day favorites.

Don’t forget the classic Reuben. Shown here at Food.com, the Reuben offers bready, cheesy, meaty, saurekrauty goodness. Also on the plus side, it’s really easy to make.

This season, spice things up and make your game day food yourself. Who knows? Your house might just become the place to be.

Green Lunchboxes

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If you pack lunch everyday, it might be time to invest in a few quality items that will easily pay for themselves before too long. Instead of the endless need for ziplock bags, paper bags, saran wrap and foil – we have a few lunchbox hacks just for you. These are excellent for school lunches, but they aren’t just for kids!

First, get yourself a freezable lunch bag like this. When your food is either hot or cold, you’re much more likely to eat it. Use small containers like these ridiculously good value containers from Ikea . Now you have all kinds of reusable containers that will eliminate your need to go through so many disposable bags.

For hot lunches like soups, rice dishes and noodles, you can’t go past a good old Thermos food jar . These things are sanity-savers when you can’t bear to eat another sandwich or salad.

If you regularly buy your coffee in a paper cup, think again. By making your morning brew in a travel mug, you can bring it with you to Starbucks for coffee two (…or three) later in the day. Bringing your own mug saves both a paper cup, and gives you a discount on your coffee price. Try the Contigo Autoseal or Stanley SS Adventure Pack Mug  for durable, well sealed, backpack-approved mugs. Just throw your coffee in your bag and go!

By making these small investments, you’re making a huge impact in the consumerism problems that we face in the USA. It’s so worth it.

Ala Carte vs. Set Menu

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This week we will be exploring the differences between Basic and A la Carte menus – giving you the ability to make a more informed choice about which kind of menu will suit your next event.

SET MENU
A set menu (also known as “basic”) is a menu without choices or substitutions. These menus are popular for weddings and other events that feed a wide variety of people. With a set menu, they appeal to larger audiences, and also may offer food that people wouldn’t otherwise choose to eat. Set menus are also typically priced lower than A la Carte.

A LA CARTE
A la Carte is where the customer chooses exactly what they would like to eat. It differs from a buffet, because you do not typically fill your own plate with A la Carte – rather – choosing from a menu. The price tag is higher, but so is the customization.

Choosing catering options for your event may seem overwhelming, so remember that we are here to help. If you have questions, and would like to discuss your catering options, give us a call today on (650) 961-3300.

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.

Homemade Salad Dressing

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Dressing a fresh salad with homemade dressing is a surefire way to impress your friends and family, also also just increase how much you’re loving your salad. From the simplest, everyday dressing to something a little fancier for guests, we have some ideas for you;

Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette
You can wing this recipe with 2 parts olive oil, 1 part Balsamic and a squeeze of lemon. If you’re looking for something more in depth, take a look at this.

Ranch
Check out this recipe for a healthier version of your favorite ranch. Here’s a dairy-free version, too.

Italian
This dressing is a clear crowd-pleaser, why not try it today?

Making your own dressing will taste better, it’s healthier for your body and you can customize the ingredients to your special dietary requirements. You might decide to give up the store bought dressing altogether – but you’ll never know unless you try making your own.

Hosting a Luau

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Say Aloha to your friends and family by hosting a Hawaiian Luau in your backyard. This is such a fun way to see out the summer, encouraging guests to dress in theme and relax together. As people arrive, give them a lei – handmade if you have access to flowers – but store bought is also great.

Part of keeping that relaxed vibe is being able to serve a mean Mai Tai and an icy Pina Colada. Here’s a list of 9 Best Hawaiian Drink Recipes from Island.com that you’ll want to get onto.

As for food, you can’t go past Luau Pulled Pork. In fact, at Catering Central this one of our specialties. Marinated overnight in a sugar/salt mixture, we cook our pulled pork for hours until tender.

For dessert, serve up a Pineapple Upside Down cake, or a local Hawaiian favorite Haupia. All the sweet treat inspiration you could possibly need is found at Pinterest. Enjoy your Luau!

Grow Your Own Tomatoes

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Believe it or not, even in San Francisco’s gloomy summer/fall weather, you can still grow amazing tomatoes in your garden or on your deck. We have a few tips to help you plant tomatoes in your yard, and have them flourish:

For small spaces, get a hanging pot
The Topsy Turvy is an “As seen on TV” type gadget  – yet it absolutely works wonders for growing tomatoes in an urban farming situation.

Go for grape, pearl and cherry varieties
Since it’s harder to grow larger tomatoes, give your crop its best chance by producing smaller individual tomatoes.

Get safe seeds
Don’t want to support Monsanto? Here’s a blog post by Small Footprint Family about where to buy Non-GMO Seeds.

Provide a lot of water
Since tomatoes are full of moisture, they obviously need a lot of water to grow. Make sure you give them what they need to thrive.

You will be taken aback when you taste a fresh, home grown tomato in your salad – compared to something store bought. Home grown produce packs a flavor punch that is unheard of, provides us the therapeutic benefit of gardening and protects you from ingesting harmful chemicals.

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.