Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Maximizing Event Food & Beverage

-By Joann Roth-Oseary

During my 33 years in the event business, I've always approached food & beverage as a critical asset of the final product. At Someone's In The Kitchen (SITK), we maintain that we are only as good as the job we did yesterday. That requires a high level of commitment to each and every event that we do, be it a dinner party for 10 or an event for 1,000. It means maintaining a high level of quality regarding food & beverage. We can never rest on our laurels. That's why we're still around.

I don't tell you any of this to brag about our quality or service. I am sharing how we approach food & beverage and integrate it into any and all events. I always ask myself five critical questions.

  • Who
  • What
  • Why
  • Where and
  • When
With the answers, SITK is able to ascertain how we will create a special event for a particular group or audience. Never let them tell you that "It's not about the food!"

Here's the Key. People remember good food as part of their overall experience.

Trust me, when they feel they have to find a restaurant after the event because the food was unsatisfactory, it will reverberate substantially on any future business you might hope to have with the client.

Themetic Food & Beverage Ideas

Let's take it further and examine how food & beverage can enhance a theme.

Moulin Rouge Theme - Take guests from the point of entry with a mime and then whisk them past a Moulin Rouge windmill. Greet them with a gorgeous model in a champagne hoop skirt, wait staff attired as Can-Can girls and French maids and waiters clad in striped shirts and berets.

Themed Food
  • Passed hors d'oeuvres to include duck and polenta in a tiny spoon and pomegranate glazed chicken.
  • Porcelain "lion head" mini pots of delicious French onion soup with tiny croutons start the meal, accompanied by field green salad with warm goat cheese croustade and roasted cherry vinaigrette.
  • Entree choices include roasted halibut and sea bass with bouillabaisse-style sauce and roasted root vegetables, including carrots and cippolini onions with a toasted baguette.
  • Another entree choice? Tournedos Rossini with Chanterelle and wine sauce.
  • For vegetarian guests, offer mushroom, leek and vegetable galette, crispy potato pave and baby carrot and snap pea bundles.
  • Dessert: Jaconde Imprime with strawberry mousse and almond cake, with chocolate Eiffel  Towers.
The entire experience is enhanced by building the food & beverage into the theme. Black garter belts serve as napkin rings. Guests take home red satin bustier bags with sparkling "lips" lollipops tied with ribbon!

A Night Made in Heaven - Sometimes it is not the food but the presentation!
  • Guests stroll down a walkway engulfed in billows of clouds, serenaded by an angel playing a golden harp.
  • The mist clears as angels open the pearly gates to the terrace of a heavenly mansion.
  • Cocktail tables are dressed in soft blue linen adorned with ornate sculptures resting on a cloud-white floral. Guests sip Angel-tinis, Cloudy Cosmos and Star-Gazers served at a white bar by angel bartenders.
  • Scrumptious appetizers are passed on clear trays adorned with crystals on soft clouds.
  • The angel theme is carried throughout with sprawling tables dressed in silky sky-blue linens swathed with custom cloud-like drapes embellished with puffs of white circles sewn over the cloudy cloths. Silky blue napkins are wrapped with ice-blue organdy covers clasped with clear rings. Place-settings are enhanced by opalescent charger plates, accented with a combination of stemware featuring clear, etched water goblets, sky-blue wine goblets and violet haze champagne flutes. Vintage pearl flatware and an eclectic grouping of clear glass, cloud white, and aqua blue china provide the perfect embellishments.

  • Custom-made, water-colored menus designed with golden gates, clouds, white feathers and opalescent sparkles display gourmet choices for guests to order from angelic servers wearing angel wings and halos.

  • Our angels serve an angelic dessert at the end of the evening. Chocolate Bombes, surrounded by a cloud of freshly spun white cotton candy, from which a white chocolate, gold-dusted angel emerges! 

In Love Theme - It is all about love

  •  Cupid's first course consists of Lobster Ravioli with sliced lobster and cognac and brown butter sauce.

  • Entree is grilled sea bass with Meyer lemon emulsion, rack of lamb with merlot glace de viande, Israeli cous cous with caramelized onions and wild rice and grilled asparagus.
  • For dessert? Why Red Velvet Sweetheart Cake, of course! 


Action Item

Put down your own themes and work to make sure the food, beverage and presentation thoroughly maximize the event!

Joann Roth-Oseary is the founder and president of Someone's In The Kitchen, a multiple award-winning full-service catering and event planning company based in Tarzana, California. She may be reached at Cheryl Fish is the vice-president of SITK Design Services and lead designer on SITK events. She may be reached at


  1. Awesome article, Joann. I am in the midst of working through some events for our awesome clients and this was just what I needed to kick my imagination into the right gear.....much aloha! And thanks to Andrea Michaels for sharing!

  2. To make any event a successful one, one should hire best event planner nyc who will help you in planning out your event within your funds. I hired the same for my wedding and finds him good.

  3. Really great information you have shared here dear! I also want to host an event for my friends and relatives at one of most famous event venues Chicago, and I would like to hire a caterer who can guide me for best menu for party. I like quality in food so these tips will be helpful for me.