Local San Diego

08.07.2011 BBQ catering, Catering News, Local San Diego No Comments

Chargers Catering Season

Caterers rooting for the football season missed out twice since tailgating is a top draw for quality BBQ catering. This 2011 season there are added concerns and local businesses everywhere believe the game must be played. Personal chefs and caterers are rooting for their businesses as well.  Considering catering events based around the sport drive revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars to the catering industry, missing even half of the regular season could effect the bottom line dramatically.
In the past year it’s been struggles for the chargers and as the NFL trade talk deadlines come closer the entire nation becomes a bit more interested in the once far away concerns that the owners and players may not work this out. For fans this is devastating but it has a huge effect on other parts of our society. Economically the sport of professional football stimulates many other areas of the economy that many people might not think of. As a personal chef in San Diego I have many clients that are mainly interested in my skills off the field, as a BBQ chef. While they utilize my skills all year long, the tailgate is a specialty that is always booked on game day. For me it’s a great opportunity to spread the word about my business because the clients always have a policy of sharing and the food speaks for itself. Its a great source of spreading word of mouth marketing ( no pun intended) and i also keep a great client on a weekly rotation.
If the Players and owners in the NFL don’t come to an agreement to play next year, one implication will be about 8-10 home games that would normally be great catering jobs for a personal chef like myself. This is a good amount when it comes down to it at the end of the year. however I feel much worse for the fans that don’t get to enjoy my pulled pork or smoked asada taco’s, two favorites that any personal chef in the San Diego area NEEDS to know. These are also special events for a private party chef since they are always a very enjoyable time and each event has a unique environment that “i can recall distinctly making many games very special events.
Catering a tailgate party is something that I have taken great pride in. It takes the right tools, something that I have acquired after years of learning the trade. The smoker needs to be wheeled out early so that iti can be brought to the right temp and all your condiments and rubs need to be applied much earlier. another fact that any personal or bbq chef knows. The grill needs to be brought up to temperature as well for certain meats that aren’t being smoked. the second factor is the time of the game. This is going to dictate the type of food that is going to be served for the most part. The side dishes will be a fresh mix for a morning game and a heavier more substantial food is going to be preferred for afternoon or night games. The Serving time comes quickly for those who are unprepared and the biggest factor in the timing is know your barbecue equipment and using your skill as a personal chef. The sauces are the the kicker. With carne asada and catering you have the opportunity to explore a world of flavor that is brought to you from the amazing Mexican cuisine that is so under rated. The same is true with a Texas style barbecue which utilize very unique sauces and flavors.
Most caterers don’t realize the broad range of flavors that truly make up each cuisine and offer the same generic dishes like sad salmon with bummed out broccoli or chewy chicken and poor man’s potatoes. I wouldn’t dream of it. Not when the games on the line.
The chargers have given it a good chance to play a couple extra games next year and many more than the fans are rooting for it. It’s amazing that a sport so widely loved can come down to arbitration as it has and could be threatened to be played this next year. If it does you can find me catering at San Diego’s new arena football league. So long as there isn’t a team next year called the Los Angeles Chargers, I will be happily helping The fans and my patrons grub on an amazing season (ing).

Caterers rooting for the football season missed out twice since tailgating is a top draw for quality BBQ catering. This 2011 season there are added concerns and local businesses everywhere believe the game must be played. Personal chefs and caterers are rooting for their businesses as well.  Considering catering events based around the sport drive revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars to the catering industry, missing even half of the regular season could effect the bottom line dramatically.

In the past year it’s been struggles for the chargers and as the NFL trade talk deadlines come closer the entire nation becomes a bit more interested in the once far away concerns that the owners and players may not work this out. For fans this is devastating but it has a huge effect on other parts of our society. Economically the sport of professional football stimulates many other areas of the economy that many people might not think of. As a personal chef in San Diego I have many clients that are mainly interested in my skills off the field, as a BBQ chef. While they utilize my skills all year long, the tailgate is a specialty that is always booked on game day. For me it’s a great opportunity to spread the word about my business because the clients always have a policy of sharing and the food speaks for itself. Its a great source of spreading word of mouth marketing ( no pun intended) and i also keep a great client on a weekly rotation.

If the Players and owners in the NFL don’t come to an agreement to play next year, one implication will be about 8-10 home games that would normally be great catering jobs for a personal chef like myself. This is a good amount when it comes down to it at the end of the year. however I feel much worse for the fans that don’t get to enjoy my pulled pork or smoked asada taco’s, two favorites that any personal chef in the San Diego area NEEDS to know. These are also special events for a private party chef since they are always a very enjoyable time and each event has a unique environment that “i can recall distinctly making many games very special events.

Catering a tailgate party is something that I have taken great pride in. It takes the right tools, something that I have acquired after years of learning the trade. The smoker needs to be wheeled out early so that iti can be brought to the right temp and all your condiments and rubs need to be applied much earlier. another fact that any personal or bbq caterer knows. The grill needs to be brought up to temperature as well for certain meats that aren’t being smoked. the second factor is the time of the game. This is going to dictate the type of food that is going to be served for the most part. The side dishes will be a fresh mix for a morning game and a heavier more substantial food is going to be preferred for afternoon or night games. The Serving time comes quickly for those who are unprepared and the biggest factor in the timing is know your barbecue equipment and using your skill as a personal chef. The sauces are the the kicker. With carne asada and catering you have the opportunity to explore a world of flavor that is brought to you from the amazing Mexican cuisine that is so under rated. The same is true with a Texas style barbecue which utilize very unique sauces and flavors.

Most caterers don’t realize the broad range of flavors that truly make up each cuisine and offer the same generic dishes like sad salmon with bummed out broccoli or chewy chicken and poor man’s potatoes. I wouldn’t dream of it. Not when the games on the line and the fans are hungry.

The chargers have given it a good chance to play a couple extra games next year and many more than the fans are rooting for it. It’s amazing that a sport so widely loved can come down to arbitration as it has and could be threatened to be played this next year. If it does you can find me catering at San Diego’s new arena football league. So long as there isn’t a team next year called the Los Angeles Chargers, I will be happily helping the fans and my patrons grub on an amazing season(ing).

27.04.2010 Catering Event, Helpful Catering Tips, Local San Diego No Comments

Gaslamp Catering

It seems somewhat befuddling that with the number of options for food service located within the gaslamp quarter in our beloved downtown san diego that we find so much work in the area.  After taking some time to consider what my clientele is looking for, many fine restaurants can’t provide competitive offers.  I narrowed it down to three main factors.

First was the flexibility.  by coming to me they can have more control over what is being put on the dinner plates of their guests.  Personal chefs are versed in a broad range of culinary techniques and have the tools to provide a fresher option to a pre cooked reynolds wrapped meal.  This also allows my clients to mix cuisine within a meal.  They are not tied down to mexican, italian, japanese or any other flavor.  Whether they are by petco, market street, broad street or in the east village, using a catering service allows the most options for their guests.

Second is something that you don’t receive when ordering out.  Personal service in your own environment.  Ordering out fine dining is simply not the best way to go about impressing a guest.  when hiring a personal chef or a catering company in the gaslamp quarter you bring in an element of personal attention to you and your guests needs.  The personality of your meal is accompanied with the character of those preparing it for you.  Personal chefs know that half of their job is to please the customer.  That what makes them different from a executive chef working in a closed kitchen.

Finally Familiarity with the area makes many of our clients choose me time and time again.  In the Gaslamp Catering is a hot commodity, businesses flourish and when you have the advantage of having worked from horton plaza to the world trade center to east village and each small area of the gaslamp quarter you are able to use local knowledge to ensure that the job gets done right and in time.  Parking, logistics, timing and planning correctly all come easy after having experienced the specific needs of the clients and locations of downtown san diego.

I am glad to have the opportunity to assist so many greatful clients in the gaslamp and always impressed with the level of sophistication of our guests palettes.  it is a joy to work in downtown san diego and the gaslamp is certainly a growing gift to all of us whether we are at the clubs, enjoying appetizers at a networking event, entertaining clients or enjoying a private function at the Icon The Gaslamp has a great synergy for Caterers like us at convivial catering.

06.01.2010 Helpful Catering Tips, Local San Diego, personal chef tips 1 Comment

Personal Chef San Diego

Cooking for private parties and intimate occasions takes a different type of chef.  Doing this takes not only outstanding talent but also the ability to communicate effectively while concentrating on the task at hand and accompany the atmosphere with a consistently jovial personality.  Here are a few tips to help you walk the walk if your catering and a few tips to help you find the right personal chef in San Diego or if your outside of San Diego.

1. Know your role:

– Always be sensitive to the atmosphere of the occasion.  The atmosphere and tastes of your guests will depict type of service that is expected and the style of cuisine that is required.  Remember that as a personal chef you are in fact responsible for more than great food.  In most cases you have been hired to create a mood at a personal gathering or add an exciting flare to a small social event.
As a personal chef be prepared by understanding what the job calls for and being ready to provide a fitting solution.

2. Be comfortable in any setting:

– As a personal chef I face unique scenario’s in each job.  The way that I make sure I am comfortable in any setting is by asking appropriate questions prior to the job.  These questions go beyond the general catering questions regarding menu, volume and style of food.  Ask specific questions.  What equipment is available?  What is the purpose of the event?  Are you looking for entertainment or a quiet setting with incredible cuisine?  be prepared to provide the added effort in possibly recommending a bottle of wine for the client to serve with your meal.

3. Personal chefs provide personal service:

– Be highly attentive to the clients needs when providing personal chef services.  Remember they have invited you into their homes and you are providing a hospitality service.  Lose the back kitchen personality and be prepared to put on your waiter hat.  Personal occasions like this give you the opportunity to present exceptional culinary and social talent which goes a very long way with catering’s number one marketing tool.  Word of mouth.

Personal chef's need to understand their setting

Contact Convivial catering for a personal chef experience.

18.11.2009 Catering Event, Helpful Catering Tips, Local San Diego No Comments

Corporate Event Catering Guide

The Essentials of Successful Corporate Event Catering

A daytime catered business lunch

A daytime catered business lunch

Why is there a need for business event catering so popular in San Diego?  It is a time saver, because everyone has to eat, and by conducting business during mealtimes two birds are killed with one stone. However it is a major undertaking to ensure that event catering goes smoothly.  These are a few tips that I have learned over the years on booking and providing top level service in a business catering environment. It also may be a requirement, in order to get in front of clients that you’ll have to provide a meal.  The true goal of this short term investment in your customer is to create more loyal business and generate more long term revenue.  The reason we conduct business over meals is multifaceted but primary among them is that happy well fed clients are more receptive to doing business.  If a client eats an excellent meal and receives impeccable and professional service one is more inclined to listen to the person that provided the meal.   The meal is a reflection upon those that provide it.  We must remember this important fact.  The meal in a corporate setting is a reflection upon those that supply it.  If the meal is of subpar quality and/or the service is substandard, that is representative of those that provided the meal.

So we have determined the importance of providing an excellent meal with great service.  How does one execute this?   You need to determine the type of event that you trying to create.  Is this going to be a breakfast, lunch, dinner, or cocktail party?  What type of service?  Will it be a buffet or plated dinner?  If it’s an appetizer party will those appetizer’s be passed or on a stationary buffet?  How formal is the event?  What type of décor will there be?  Are there dietary restrictions or specialized requests of attendees that need to be addressed?  Are there Vegans, Vegetarians, Kosher, and Food Allergies such as lactose, gluten, or nut issues?  All of these are integral factors in ensuring that your Corporate Event goes smoothly and your clients are happy.  It is important to address all of these questions ahead of time so that you are not surprised by them at the event and are forced to scramble on the fly.

When you have satisfactorily determined the answer to all of these questions you then need to select a caterer.  The selection of a caterer is of primary importance.     The caterer needs to provide all of the components to fulfill your needs for the event and your client’s needs.  You need a caterer that will provide exactly what they state they will provide in their quote.  The caterer needs to provide professional, unobtrusive yet friendly service.  The food needs to be of high quality and fit within the dietary requirements of the client.  The caterer needs to be timely.  The caterer needs to work within the budget and bring value commensurate to that budget.  The caterer needs to be professionally attired and provide service per your requirements.

So how does one choose a caterer?  You can find a caterer through the internet, through a referral, through the yellow pages, or from local advertisements.  Regardless of how you locate the caterer there are several ways to vet the caterer to ensure that they will accommodate your requirements.  First you can interview the Caterer and ascertain their level of experience, whether they have done the type of event your are looking to create, do they have catering testimonialsLinkedIn is also another online tool that often has posted recommendations on the caterer you are evaluating.  if your looking to find someone local and learn more details about the business every business should have a google maps profile to help customers become accustom with their regional services. check for references, have they received any awards or recommendations, have they been reviewed or featured in any publications, what is there food style, and can they meet the needs of any specialized dietary requests or specialized service requests?  That is an excellent starting point but if you have the time the best way to evaluate the capabilities of a caterer is to see them in action.  Ask the caterer to let you come to another event that is similar to the one that you are creating.   This firsthand knowledge is invaluable in the selection process of a caterer.  You will be able to see the presentation of the food.  You will see the execution of the event.  Is the caterer serving the food at the time it was slated?  Does the décor look appropriate and aesthetically pleasing?  You may also ask the caterer to sample the food at that event.  This way you get a first hand tasted of food as executed during an actual event.  Tastings presented by the caterer are another great evaluative tool and will be specific to your event however it is easier to execute single dishes at the caterer’s business than it is onsite.  You should also ask the caterer for references and contact those individuals for their opinions on the caterer you are considering.

Once you gain an understanding of the caterer you will be working with you will have all of the items in place in order to create a successful corporate catering event.  So make it happen! Bring in more business through successful corporate event catering.

12.11.2009 Catering Event, Catering News, Local San Diego No Comments

Catering live! San Diego Channel 5.

Convivial Catering’s Jeff Heavey had the opportunity to once again impress the likes of Chrissy Russo, Arthel Neville, Raoul Martinez and Shally Zomorodi in this weeks Fox Morning News Spot. Once again Convivial prepared a creative rendition of a standard dish and recieved a few compliments from the staff. This is always an enjoyable event. The number of things that can go wrong on live TV is a little higher than say a corporate luncheon. The main reason being the fact that television studio’s are normally ill equipped, somewhat unpredictable and while entertaining and cooking is something convivial is accustom to do it in front of a couple thousand people can have a bit of added pressure.

The morning news give convivial the chance to be visible to many people that normally would not be aware of our san diego catering services. Many of those people that found out about our unique and delicious catering solutions are now good friends and loyal clients. Most are business catering events from early morning viewers and events requiring a personal chef. convivial appreciates the fact that this gives people a chance to be familiar with the kind of people that provide our catering services.

View our Executive Chef Jeff Heavey who begins to plate at 1:30 in the video.

The good news is it went off without a hitch. The camera angles and lighting showed the food well, the cooking area was ready when i got there and the staff and news anchors were amiable and responsive. Next time im out there I will have to come equipped with some more clean jokes to keep people involved if the set dies down at all. Whats brown and sticky? give up?

A stick.

30.09.2009 Local San Diego 1 Comment

Convivial Catering’s Friends.

Good friends and great associates make Convivial Catering’s products that much more enjoyable.

We want to thank a few of the San Diego businesses that we have had the pleasure of being in contact with. Convivial Catering enjoy’s the entertaining atmosphere of San Diego, and adds to the ambiance as often as possible.  We are proud to service all areas of San Diego.  We provide catering to the Gaslamp, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Coronado, Del Mar, and Rancho Santa Fe.  While our network of fans is quite spread out we make the effort to create satisfying meals throughout the county.

The San diego area is full of holes in the wall spot’s that offer unique atmosphere and provocative menus.  Convivial is recommended by many of the top restaurants in the area such as Pamplemousse Grille, and World Famous and we look forward to showing our appreciation for their referrals by continually recommending there premium dining establishments. Check back to continually find more news about our friends and associates in the fine dining field of San Diego.