Cocktail Caterers for Your Event

Are you thinking about using caterers for your cocktail get-together? If so, you are not alone. Many people are planning events and serving only cocktails and hors d’oeuvres rather than investing in a full dinner or evening of entertainment. Appropriate for art exhibits and some types of business functions, these types of events take a special hand to pull off effectively. The good news is that with the right professionals behind them, you can have an amazing menu that may help people think that they are enjoying a full dinner full of flavour.

With a Menu

One of the first things to look for with these professionals is their ability to create a menu that is appropriate. Not all caterers offer menus that focus specifically on hors d’oeuvres. If this is something that you are hoping for, seek out a professional that offers it. There are two reasons for this. First, it ensures the caterer has the skill and expertise to create great food like this that will impress your guests. Second, it can help to keep costs down since the company has plenty of options for you to select from already available.

Rules to Remember

When it comes to serving this type of menu, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you want to ensure that each serving is no more than one to two bites. You also want to ensure it is not too messy, as individuals likely will be carrying only a napkin or small plate with them. You will want to choose foods that will appeal to many people. This means offering options that include varieties for vegans and those who may be allergic to some types of foods. Incorporate all types of food into the menu, including fresh ingredients, some meat and plenty of fun foods.

Looks Count Too

To really make this event an over the top one, be sure the food looks good. It should offer a variety of colours. It should look appealing. Even the drinks you serve, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, should be beautiful in their own way. This is what makes a cocktail event more interesting and elegant. For those that want to invest the time into these details and do not want to do the work, turn to a professional caterer for the job. They should have no problem creating impressive options.

The menu for your event matters. Even for a cocktail event. For this reasonPsychology Articles, invest in the right caterers for your event. Choose one that specialises in cuisine like this so that your event goes well and impresses every guest that comes into the door to celebrate or interact with you. Your catering professional should help you to make this possible.

How to Successfully Host the Cocktail Party of the Year

If the thought of planning and hosting a cocktail party frightens you, be assured that you are not alone. For many “would-be” entertainers, the hassle and expense many associate with hosting cocktail parties, is enough to make them eighty-six the whole idea. There are a few guidelines that can be followed that will make your event memorable, affordable, and most importantly, stress-free!

Perhaps, the most important decision you will make in regards to your cocktail party is who to invite! The trick is to invite a wide array of guests. This means inviting guests in different age ranges, occupations and styles of life. This will induce many interesting conversations within your mix of guests.

After you have chosen an eclectic group, mail the invitations to them 2-3 weeks before the soirée. You can even hire a limousine to pick them up directly from home to your venue. This would also be an excellent opportunity to cut costs by limiting the number of cocktails offered. By including a space on the R.S.V.P card for the guests to fill in their favourite concoction, you can tally the responses and choose 2, no more than 3 of the most popular cocktails. Some Home Entertaining experts suggest that you assign a base spirit for the guests to bring; that is not recommended by the experts at Unique Entertaining. Your guests are to be treated like royalty and asking them to bring a spirit to a party you have invited them to would be in bad taste. You can also decrease costs by having a 3 drink maximum for each guest and determine the amount of spirits needed based on that calculation. This will also assist you in monitoring the alcohol intake of your guests. While planning the beverages to be served, remember to stock up on water, coffee and tea for those guests who are in attendance for the party and not the cocktails.

Most of your guests will be partaking of the cocktails, soComputer Technology Articles, it is vital that you have refreshments to line their bellies. Finger foods and fruit/cheese trays are excellent and easy choices. The finger foods can be transformed into dainty and elegant foods by cutting the crusts off and arranging them in an artistic manner. You can decide on the menu and shop for the appropriate items the week before to have less to do as the party nears. Place a couple of trays of food around your mingling area with tons of candles and watch your living room become a virtual cocktail lounge!

Reaping the Benefits of Chocolate, in the Raw

With the scientific name Theobroma, which translates to “food of the gods,” cacao lovers have every right to expect a lot from chocolate. And according to Jinji Fraser, owner of Pure Chocolates by Jinji, raw chocolate is divine. “Chocolate is a blank canvas,” says Fraser of the deceptively decadent health food. “It’s such an incredible ingredient on its own that you can literally do anything with it. I like to add variety and have fun with what I’m doing, and chocolate provides space for that. It’s really truly limitless.”

Working from a background in both kitchens and nutrition, Fraser has always aimed to integrate mindfulness and pleasure. If her years of holistic nutritional counseling have taught her anything, it’s that people are more inclined to eat healthfully if they can still feel like they’re indulging now and then. “As I was working with clients who were making the transition from refined foods to more holistic ones, I started to develop recipes,” Fraser says. “I decided to go with chocolate first because it made the journey a little easier for people if they knew they could still have their favorite things while going along this path.” Partnering with her father, Guy, in 2012, Fraser set about applying her nutritional acumen to creating feel-good/look-good treats.

With more antioxidants than red wine or goji berries, serotonin-boosting alkaloids and caffeine, and a nuanced flavor that reflects its terroir as elegantly as any fine wine, chocolate is truly a super food. And according to raw food proponents, when cacao is processed at a temperature that doesn’t exceed 118°F, the tropical beans’ nutritional integrity is maintained. This careful treatment also preserves the fresh flavors of the raw bean, a difference that is similar to the way green tea is different from black tea. “[Cacao has] so many different layers and notes that I believe are loudest before it’s heated,” says Fraser. “It has a much greater vibrancy.”

Pure Chocolate by Jinji, made from fair trade Ecuadorian beans, has a distinctively fruit-
forward brightness anchored by a full, rounded body, making it well suited to a wide variety of flavor pairings. “I take a very broad approach in terms of taking risks with spices and flavor combinations that I think are pretty unique to a sweet application,” she says. Her complex, flavorful sweets combine raw chocolate with energizing and nutrient rich additions such as spices, dates, lavender, ginger, nuts, honey, and seeds. Fraser is part of a small but passionate movement of raw chocolatiers across the country, many of whom come from holistic heath backgrounds, some studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. From Not Your Sugar Mama’s in Massachusetts, where Bennett Coffey and Kyleen Keenan are sourcing Direct Trade beans and lucuma powder from Satipo, Peru, , and The Chocolate Conspiracy of Salt Lake City, Utah, to the quintessentially West Coast ethos of Sacred Chocolate in Novato, California, you could travel from coast to coast sustained by a raw cacao high.

Fraser traveled the globe and tasted beans from Central and South America and Africa before deciding on Ecuador for her source, both for the quality of the beans and for the cooperative set-up of the fair trade farmers she tasted with. “Ecuador resonated with me. I knew that because I wanted [the cacao] raw, it was important to have certain notes—not be flat or overly aggressive, but kind of playful.” Freshly harvested beans are fermented within their surrounding pulp for seven days before drying in the sun, which takes another three to five days. At this point conventional beans would be roasted, but Fraser has her growers skip that step and go right to the winnowing, removing the dried cacao nibs from their shells. At her facility in Baltimore, Maryland, Fraser pulverizes the nibs to a fine powder and combines them in a melanger with additional cocoa butter and natural sweeteners, such as coconut palm sugar and lucuma powder.

The melanger warms the cacao through friction to about 95°F, gently releasing the harsher aromatics and reducing the particle size down to less than 20 micrometers—smaller than can be detected by human taste organs—ensuring a smooth flavor and a silky texture. At this point, the chocolate is ready to be tempered and used as any conventional chocolate product would be.

Since her early days doing free tastings and pop-ups, Fraser has moved on to a stand alone retail shop and a presence in more than 15 other locations across Maryland, D.C., and Virginia. Her store front in Baltimore’s Belvedere Square Market (and her online shop) have options ranging from chocolate barks, truffles, and fudge to chocolate-dipped fruit and pots de crème. Pastry chefs who want to bake with Fraser’s tempered raw chocolate can expect a rich, smooth flavor with a floral quality and lots of bright fruit tones, all tempered by an underlying smokiness thanks to the barest touch of mesquite added with the sweeteners. 2012 StarChefs.com Philadelphia Rising Star Pastry Chef Davina Soondrum embraces just this kind of potent “brown gold” for special occasions, when she wants to dish out “decadence and romance to the tongue, [with] a surge of antioxidants to course through the blood, and a reminder of why people fall in love.”

Fraser’s business leaves a small ecological footprint, thanks to fair trade policies and minimal mechanized processing. “The people who are growing for us are sending their kids to school and have healthcare,” Fraser says. “It’s a really beautiful thing to know that you’re producing something you can really be proud of.”