The Wedding Show is almost here!
So once again in the slow time we are usually doing interesting things.
With the 2006 Wedding Show now just 5 days til D-day it starts getting
down to the "Come to Jesus" realities. That is when we have to start to
ditch some of the myriad of things we are all going to do for the
Slide show on the wall is now out. No time to deal with the technical
aspects of it. Champagne bar in, cheese cave in, Specialty lighting in,
Al's New Cake Business in, three of the appies we were going to feed
out, brisket carving live in, two home cured hams for carving in, salmon
in, trout in, all of the presentation plates in, topless females out,
(gotcha) Garden theme in, etc., etc.
Point is for us, shoot for the Moon if you miss you still end up among
the stars..... or so the saying goes.
So I have burned the crap out of my hands working sugar, built several
sprinkler can fountains with my welding set up. Got them operational.
Set up all the halide lighting, and general got all my plates rounded
Al has got all his cakes done, brought in his cool plates so we can
evaluate their use in the booth for food displays and generally kept the
entire catering operations food going out the door.
Zane has built all the copper center pieces, done his pressed mold sugar
type art, built the other two fountains we need and met with me every
night on my way home to discuss the booth so we can continue to whittle
down what we want.
To give you an idea of way these meetings are so important, Zane had
been looking at this antique wooden box for a week. He wanted to use it
but could not figure out what to do with it. I walked in and told him,
but the little fruit baskets in it that match the flavors of different
wines. Done deal. And I was really fretting about the cheese display.
Finally Zane says just build an entire cave out of our marble and we'll
build it on top of one of our Oak Wine Barrels. I said alright and I
will do some fancy lighting for it. Done deal!
Down to the plates and the plating's. As everyone keeps talking about the
plates. Today Al added in two nice presentation plates one chicken and
one beef tenderloin.
Meanwhile Mary Lou is laying out all the decorations, all the components
required so we have a great looking display. She has fretted and changed
and added and dropped a million ideas in the last three weeks. All for
one six hour show!
But this is no ordinary show, this is what fills your summer weekends
and your bank accounts, this is what decides who will be the CATERER and
who will be just catering. So big big stakes and for Al even bigger,
will Al be making cakes and catering or will all be slinging hash for
catering only. Al has a great chance at a successful launch. As Al has
great talent with these cakes. And as it happens Al is in our booth and
not stuck on his own in a corner. Of course Al is in the booth because
he is an important part of the catering business in his own right. But I
think this position will give him a leg up on the launch.
So come Sunday after the traditional beers in the lounge after the show,
we will come back to the kitchen and debrief ourselves on what worked
and what did not work, on what knocked 'em dead and what was well, not as
spectacular as we thought it would be.
I have two big ideas being tested that I hope will grow the business a
little more. I am putting forth the Bridal Shower Afternoon Tea as the
value added item all brides must have this year. And of course have set
the research on High Tea and Low Tea to cause the competitors to
stumble. And I am pushing the Cheese Cave as a line item that can be
ordered for the Rehearsal or Wedding dinner.
Zane and I are pushing the new micro dinner as heavy appies replacement.
Complete meals only in the micro version. For my part I have purchased a
dozen old Soul Food books from e-bay over the last six months and plan
to plate out the best micro soul food dinners ever. My oldest book is a
hand written collection of Soul Foods of The Alabama Black Churches,
Circa 1930. Zane has done a bunch of little seafood meals for it the
Mary Lou has the decorations and booth traffic traveling so it will trap
the people into our booth and run them all the way through without being
able to escape. This is very important when the booth is jammed from
opening to closing. We don't want people not giving at least their name
and number to us.
For Al I think he is tranque darting the brides that don't taste his
cake. Well, whatever method works to book business!
Anyway I just wanted you to know what type of stuff goes through our
minds while we are gearing up for the show in our SLOW time.
Here is hoping you open one, let it breath 30 minutes and enjoy!
Til will talk again
Chef Bob Ballantyne
The Cowboy and The Rose Catering
Grand Junction, Colorado, USA