Tag Archives: Minneapolis Club

The Style Laboratory Magazine August 2012


A Balanced Menu

Creating a menu for your event can be confusing.  How many hors d’oeuvres?  Meat, fish or vegetarian?  Buffet, stations, seated dinner or all butler passed.  So many questions, which are important as catering is usually your biggest expense.

I usually recommend at least 45 minutes, but no more than one and a half hours for your cocktail reception.  Forty-five minutes is enough time for guests to not feel rushed, but too much longer than an hour and your guests start to get restless.

My two favorite parts of event planning are designing the look of the event and working with the chefs to develop the menu.  In fact, some long-term clients hire me specifically for just those two things.

These are some simple rules I try to follow when it comes to serving food at an event.

For a cocktail reception preceding dinner, serve three different hors d’oeuvres per guest.  Make sure you offer a variety.  For example, one beef, one seafood and one vegetarian.

D’Amico Catering’s samosas are among my favorite hors d’oeurves to serve at an event.  They are a guest favorite and can be offered in meat or vegetarian options.

If your event is just a cocktail party without dinner to follow, consider serving five to seven pieces per person.  Include at least one of each of the following (unless religious or lifestyle choices deem otherwise): beef, chicken and seafood; and two vegetarian.

Salad is generally expected when serving dinner and I love a good salad.  If you are going a little fancier, I have been integrating salad and soup duets and they have been a hit!  The portions are a bit smaller, but the presentation can be quite fun.

Minneapolis Club puts a great concentration on their food presentation and the chef is both creative and easy to work with!

For a seated dinner, I prefer entree choices versus duets.  It is so difficult to present two separate entrees cooked at its optimum on the same plate.  Beef used to be overwhelmingly the number one choice, but I have been noticing a trend that fish options are pretty darn close.  Most menu selections I see are beef, fish and vegetarian as options (although chicken is still very popular due to cost).  When working with your caterer, make sure you understand if there are additional charges for offering more than one entree selection.

If you are offering a buffet, make sure you offer a vegetarian option.  Vegetarian diets are becoming mainstream, due to so many dietary restrictions.

Stations as opposed to buffets can be much more entertaining, but I strongly recommend making sure that you are offering enough food, as well as a vegetarian option.  Ask the caterer what portion sizes they use at their stations.  Stations can be another area to present more creatively than just throwing food chafers on a table.



Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach

Not having much money growing up, we seven children learned not to be wasteful with food.  A number of times the phrase “her eyes are bigger than her stomach” was said, but it did not make a whole lot of sense to me.

After spending a fair amount of time around chefs, in restaurants and events focusing on food, the phrase has a whole new meaning.  We eat with our eyes before we eat with our mouths.  I’ve definitely been guilty of eating too much food because it just looked so darn good!

My favorite part of being an event planner is working with the chefs on developing the events’ menu and discussing the food presentation.  Chefs tend to be artistic by nature, so it is always such a fun project.

One of the things I love about how this hors d’oeurve from a recent event was presented is by offering a translucent vessel to serve, all the texture and color of the food becomes the focus.  Truly beautiful. (thank you Erica Loeks Photography for capturing Chef Hakan Lundberg’s food)

I knew this hors d’oeurve was going to be good before I even sunk my teeth into it.  It was so exquisitely presented that  I knew if it tasted half as good as it looked, it would be outstanding.  (thank you Erica Loeks Photography for capturing Chef Hakan Lundberg’s creation)

With another clients’ food focused event coming up, I have the task of experiment with containers and vessels to be used in a different way than what they were inteded.  So much fun!

Regal Contemporary Vintage

Designing a corporate dinner can be challenging.  Add the fact that the dinner takes place every twelve months, coming up with a brand new concept each and every year makes it even more challenging.

This year, I decided on a “Regal Contemporary Vintage” look.  The Minneapolis Club (and, no, you don’t necessarily have to be a member to do an event there) setting was perfect for the integration of ghost chairs (a contemporary twist of the vintage regal Louis look) with red table and red (contemporary flower balls) and gold decor (vintage mercury glass).

The gasp of the guests entering the room confirmed that I achieved the look I was going for.  Pair that with the exquisite cuisine at the hands of Chef Hakan Lundberg and we ended up with their favorite dinner yet.  Oh, the pressure to top it next year.

Thank you to Erica Loeks Photography for capturing the feel of the event!