My First Catering Job

On Sunday I had my very first catering job. Ever.

One of my favourite high school teachers retired at the end of the school year a couple of weeks ago and he asked me to cater his retirement party. I seriously said “yes” without even thinking about it. I rarely went back to my high school other than to watch my sister’s volleyball games, but when I did it was to catch up with him. Over the past couple of years I, along with my friends Mary and Taylor, made a point to go back to visit him a few times a year. He taught all of us at various points throughout our time in high school and we went on a trip to Italy with him, along with about 40 other students, out junior year of high school. {I just looked through some pictures from that trip. Oh my goodness, do we look young. Like babies!}

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Needless to say, he was an important part of our time in high school. He’s been so supportive of all of us in the years since we’ve graduated from good ol’ SMA that catering this event for him seemed like such a great way for all of us to thank him for everything he’s done for us.

This was a super informal, open house style retirement party and that was the perfect way for me to step into the catering world. I had met with him and his wife a few weeks prior and we decided on a primarily Greek theme, along with a few of my favourite things to make.

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Armed with some recipes from little Greek old ladies from his wife (which I can’t share with you because they are top secret :)), I set to work to make this the best party possible.

With the help of Mary and my mum (master kefthede roller), I made spanakopita, tiropita, eggplant parsley spread, kefthedes and baklava. After an afternoon of struggles I became one with phyllo pastry and it was glorious. {Pro tip: saying “work with me, buddy” while you’re pulling it apart, folding, rolling, getting it to do whatever you want to do works wonders. Who knew?}

I also made my famous(ish) chocolate chip cookies, chocolate macarons with white chocolate peppermint ganache and these lemon macarons but instead of the lemon curd I filled them with a lemon buttercream.

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The party went so well. It was so fun seeing so many people there to celebrate Michael – former students, colleagues, family, friends.

I’m so excited and proud to say that the food was a hit! I had people ask me for some of my recipes and apparently people were walking around talking about the food. I was seriously so happy to hear that. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous about how it would all go. I’m used to cooking for friends and family, and my instructors in class, but I’ve never had to cook for 50+ people I’ve never met before. Hearing the positive feedback made me feel so good and reaffirmed that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing – sharing recipes and my food with people.

It was a lot of work. I literally cooked and baked all day Friday and Saturday, finished up a couple of things on Sunday morning and then went to the party to set up and have a good time. I was so busy with the food and chatting with people that I didn’t have a chance to take any pictures of the food, but I guarantee I’ll be making them all again so I’ll definitely take pictures then so you all can see what they looked like.

I owe a big thank you to Michael and his wife, Mary (not to be confused with the Mary I mentioned earlier) for this wonderful opportunity to allow me to experience the catering world. I couldn’t imagine my first catering job being for better people and I’m so blessed that they asked me to help them make this party happen.

I also owe big thank you’s to Mary and my mum for helping me out with the food preparation and cooking. I would have been up at totally crazy hours running on very little sleep if it hadn’t been for the two of them.

Happy retirement, Michael! I couldn’t be happier to have been part of this celebration!

One thought on “My First Catering Job

  1. Pingback: Wedding Rehearsal Catering | Bryony Cooks

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