The COOLEST ideas from the CommuniCater!

It’s in your email inbox NOW!  The September/October volume of the  ICA CommuniCater

This edition of the  CommuniCater is filled with

  •  a “cool” cover story created by Chef Elgin Woodman of A Joy Wallace Production
  • comprehensive coverage from the 2011 CaterArts Conference
  •  a fabulous profile of Chef/Owner Debby Stein of Cartewheels Catering
  • a thorough look at the pros and cons of trendy camera apps by Cade Nagy
  • sales and marketing strategies

and SO much more.  Lots of delicious recipes too– and we saved Debbie Stein’s beautiful and savory Venetian Seafood Salad recipe for our ICA blog readers!

Venetian Seafood Salad

Seafood Poaching Liquid:

1 Celery Stalk

1 Medium Onion, halved

1 Medium Carrot

1 Bay Leaf

3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (about one Lemon)

1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 quarts Water


1 lb C cleaned Calamari cut into rings and tentacles

½ lb Sea or Bay Scallops, foot removed

1 lb medium to large Shrimp

1 lb Octopus

To poach the seafood you will need a large saucepan fitted with a colander insert. In the bottom of the pan combine the poaching liquid ingredients and bring to a boil.

Place Calamari in the colander and cook in the simmering water for 2 minutes. Remove from the water and set aside. Place Scallops in the colander and cook until opaque, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and place in the bowl with the Calamari. Large Scallops may be cut in half after cooking, bay Scallops may be left whole. Place Shrimp in the colander and cook until pink, about 3 minutes. Remove from water, peel, devein and cut in half horizontally, adding to the other cooked seafood.

Remove the colander from the pan and place the Octopus directly in the saucepan, adding more water if necessary to completely cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer until tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer Octopus to a bowl and rinse under cold running water until completely cooled, about 5 minutes. Use your fingers and a small paring knife to remove the outer skin. Discard the hard mouth and head sac. Cut tentacles and octopus on the bias into 1 inch pieces and add to the cooked seafood.


1 cup julienned tender Celery

1 cup julienned Carrots

½ cup julienned Red Bell Pepper

½ cup julienned Yellow Bell Pepper

1 Scallion julienned white part only

2 Tabelspoons Chopped Fresh Parsley

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil

2 large Garlic Cloves minced

6 Tablespoons Freshly squeezed Lemon or Lime Juice

1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar

½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ teaspoon Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Combine all with the cooked Seafood. Can be served on a bed of Field Greens. We also serve it in a Martini Glass.

 Variations: Steamed Mussels may be added. To extend the recipe and add a new texture dimension, ½ cup cubed, peeled, cookedIdahopotatoes and/or ½ cup cooked or canned cannelini beans (drained and rinsed).  Although it isn’t traditional, a hint of chopped cilantro (about 2 teaspoons) can also be added.


The CommuniCater is an informative resource and *MEMBERS-ONLY* benefit of your ICA membership.   Read yours today!

Success and Regards,
Jody Wimer, JPC Event Group
ICA Marketing and Communications Chairperson


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Inside the Recipe Box…

One of the REALLY great things about the ICA and the ICA Culinary Council members is that we are always sharing amazing ideas, recipes and knowledge with one another!  This helps each of us to grow, stretch our skills, and strengthen our business acumen, which in turn raises the profile and professionalism of our industry as a whole.

Take the 2009 ICA cookbook  “Inside the Recipe Box of the Catering Chef” for instance.  This book is packed with innovative and savory recipes along with ground breaking culinary techniques shared by 11 fantastic ICA member chefs.  And guess what?  It SOLD OUT! 

But two lucky CaterArts 2011 attendees have won the highly coveted book and will receive them at the opening session of the conference.


Sebation Barcos of Ebamar S.A. in Uruguay

Bryan Dunlap of Kimble’s Events by Design in Georgia

And in the spirit of all that is the ICA… I wouldn’t leave you without sharing something from the book.

Cade Nagy’s“Shrimp and Cotton Candy”:  Thai Glazed Shrimp with Wasabi Cotton Candy from page 83 should do the trick.  

12 large shrimp (16/20) peeled and deviened with tail removed

1/2 cup Mae ploy thai chili sauce

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

2 tbsp. mirin

1/2 tsp. curry paste

2 Tbsp. coconut milk

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. coriander

2 tbsp. fine granulated sugar

1 tsp. wasabi powder

Combine all ingredients minus the sugar, wasabi and shrimp.  Mix well and coat shrimp.  Let chill for 4 hours.  Place the shrimp on bamboo skewers lengthwise so they are straight.  Place on a hot grill and cook through, about 4 minutes.  Chill for 1 hour.

For the cotton candy, follow the manufacturers instructions for the machine using plain sugar.  Using a paper towel, remove all moisture from the skewered shrimp by squeezing lightly.  Roll the skewered shrimp in the cotton candy as it forms in the machine.  Dust with a little wasabi powder to finish.  Serve immediately.  It will not last very long.  Any moisture from the shrimp will dissolve the cotton candy.


Cade {Catering by Design} credits Chef Eric Levine for the idea of doing savory cotton candy,  and suggests trying the recipe with other dried powders as well like jerk seasoning, ginger or even garlic.

Tell us what you think?  Should we create another exciting ICA cookbook?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Success and Regards,
Jody Wimer, JPC Event Group
ICA Marketing and Communications Chairperson

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


We’ve heard the catch phrase…”food as art…” many times, but international ICA member FoodArt by Cacique is living the motto.  During the recent 2011 Paradise Plates event, their dynamic chefs showcased an interactive “Wild Garden” welcoming guests to sample Mango Shots, Gazpacho Shots, Chili Prawns and Thai Beef Coconut Rolls with edible flowers while the event successfully raised charitable awareness and funds for the Hands for Hunger organization.

Sponsored by the New Providence Development Company Limited and Tommy Hilfiger, the creatively presented event sported a lavish array of gourmet food prepared by chefs from Nassau’s premier restaurants, fine wine and spirits, and live entertainment with all proceeds benefiting Hands For Hunger, the non-profit, humanitarian organization committed to the elimination of unnecessary hunger and the reduction of food waste throughout New Providence in The Bahamas.


 A fabulous display concept,  and recipes too!


Thai Beef Coconut Rolls

Prep Time: 45 min

Total Cooking time 20 min

Serves 15


8 ounce Beef Tenderloin

Sweet Thai Marinade

Whole Fresh Coconut thinly sliced

Yellow Bell Pepper thinly sliced



Marinade Beef Tenderloin for 20 min or over night. Roast Beef Tenderloin at 375 for 5-7 minutes for Medium Beef, or to your liking.  Brush the meat with excess marinade for added flavor. Let Beef rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice so each strip can easily roll. Using a Mandolin slice coconut strips and the yellow bell pepper.  Stack the Beef, Fresh Coconut and Raw Yellow Bell Pepper strips and roll them in a wheel then thread on a bamboo skewer or strong toothpick.


 Chili Prawn Skewers

Prep Time: 25 min

Cooking Time: 10 min

Serves 30


30 large raw prawns

2 ounces Butter

1 clove garlic (crushed)

2 teaspoons soft brown sugar

2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

2 tablespoons fresh coriander sprigs, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce


Preparation: Remove heads from the prawns, then peel leaving tails intact.  With a sharp knife, slit each prawn down the back and devein.  Heat the butter in a large frying pan or wok. Add garlic, sugar, juice, coriander, basil and sweet chili sauce.  Mix thoroughly, add the prawns in batches, then cook over medium heat for 5 min, or until the prawns turn pink and are cooked through.  Thread the prawns onto bamboo skewers or strong toothpicks. Serve warm.



Thank you to KellyAnne Smith {Marketing, Public Relations & Branding Manager for  The Cacique International Ltd. Group of Companies} for sharing the concept, menus and vibrant photos with me, and KUDOS to the FoodArt by Cacique culinary team!

Success and regards,
Jody Wimer, JPC Event Group
ICA Marketing and Communications Chairperson


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Liquid Candy!

With July being National Culinary Arts month, the ICA CaterArts conference couldn’t come at a more perfect time!  Amazing opportunities will exist for chef’s to stretch their culinary muscles, flex their food art skills, and embrace artisanal processes.  And…to just plain take away the most sizzling ideas.

Sizzling ideas like this TOO WONDERFUL “liquid candy buffet” shared with us by Joanne Purnell, Chef de cuisine of Good Gracious! Events in Los Angeles.  Joanne is the co-chair of the ICA Culinary Council and is working hard alongside Ken Barrett to create a schedule of education not to be missed.

Consisting of Mango Coulis Shooters, Coffee Milkshakes, Dark Chocolate Ganache Soup, Berry Soup Shots, Kiwi Mint Coolers and fresh made Lemon Swizzle Sticks, this would be a hit at any event and WOW your guests!

Joanne shared recipes with us for the Mango Coulis shooter and the Kiwi Mint Cooler…for the other innovative and refreshing recipes…well…you will just have to attend CaterArts for those!


 Makes: 1 quart

 3 mangos

1 cup simple syrup (equal parts water and equal parts sugar)

2 Tbl lemon juice


1)    Peel the mangos and chop into cubes to puree in the food processor..

2)    Add simple syrup to taste.

3)    Season with a few drops of lemon juice.  Pass through the food mill or strainer.



 Makes: 16 x 1oz shot glasses

 1 cup simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar)

8 green kiwis, roughly chopped

⅓ cup lime juice (3-4 limes)

½ cup, mint leaves firmly packed, extra for garnish

2 cups ice cubes

*if serving as a cocktail, can top with sparkling wine or water


1)     In a Cuisinart, blend all ingredients above.

2)     Pour into shot glasses and garnish with mint leaves.



Thank you Joanne for always providing innovative inspiration, and for all the hard work the culinary council is putting forth to create a one-of-a-kind culinary conference– CaterArts!

Success and regards,
Jody Wimer, JPC Event Group
ICA Marketing and Communications Chairperson

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A CaterArts “Sneak Peak!”

The CaterArts conference is just around the corner filled with culinary tips, inspirations and a bevy of top pro chefs sharing their skills!    Chef Elgin Woodman of A Joy Wallace Production has been gracious to share a sneak peak recipe from her upcoming session with Ron Dando of Thomas Preti Events to Savor on bringing your dishes to life with scintillating sauces and accompaniments.

{Chef Elgin Woodman  Photo Credit:  Roy Llera}


“Tuna Nicoise”


1 lb Fresh Tuna

2 tbs Mustard Seeds

½ tsp Dijon Mustard

2 oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to Taste

2 lb Yukon Gold Potato

Juice of one Lime Juice

1 tbs Aji Amarillo

3 tbs Mayonnaise      

Salt and Pepper to Taste

80 French Green Beans

16 Quail Eggs

16 Grape Tomatoes

32 Nicoise Olives

1/2 cup Mayonnaise

1/4 cup Pitted Nicoise olives

Micro Greens and Lemon zest for garnish

Chive Oil to Drizzle


Marinate the Tuna in the Olive oil, Mustard seeds, and Mustard for ½ hour. Season with Salt and Pepper. Sear on a hot pan, turning it to get a nice even sear along all the edges. Extreme caution must be taken to not overcook it. When seared, cool.

Boil the potatoes, skin on, until tender. Peel the potato. Dice half of the potatoes and pass the other half through the ricer. Toss with mayonnaise, lime juice, Aji Amarillo and season with salt and pepper. These last ingredients can be modified depending on your taste. You can make it tangier or less tangy by increasing or eliminating the lime juice. You can also adjust the spiciness level with the Aji Amarillo. Using a ring mold place the potato in the mold and chill.

Blanch the green beans. Cook and peel the egg.


Push the potato out of the mold and place it on the plate. Top it with the green beans. Slice the tuna and place it on top. Toss the micro greens with lemon zest. Paint the plate with olive mayo and herb oil. Finish the plate with the quail eggs, nicoise olives, and grape tomatoes.


Thank you Elgin for sharing– it looks stunning and delicious!  And makes me glad I am registered for CaterArts…

Success and regards,
Jody Wimer, JPC Event Group
ICA Marketing and Communication Chairperson

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

And We’re LIVE….

LIVE from the web… The new ICA website has launched and we couldn’t be happier to bring our members an effecient,  informative, and engaging platform to assist them in maximizing their membership experience!

And what are our favorite new elements of the site?

  1. A clear and concise calendar of events that quickly provides important upcoming dates for your review right from the homepage because we know you are busy and need information fast.
  2. Integrated social media that allows for engagement between ICA members around the globe.
  3. A user friendly application on the members only side to make membership renewals and event registrations quick and smooth.
  4. New content pages that will feature member profiles, event sponsors and a host of other relevant subject matter to help you get to know one another and to make your job easier.
  5. A fabulously organized and informative *FIND A CATERER* search engine for clients and brides searching for high quality catering in their geographic area which will increase referals to our members.
  6. And last but not least…our new ICA blog!  Our blog will be a place for education, inspiration, information, and so much more to keep you up to date and informed!  Watch for guest bloggers from the industry, exciting new product innovations, event recaps and ICA news.

It is our sincere desire that you will enjoy utilizing the new website and find it to be a useful tool!  Post a comment below to let us know what you think!

Success and regards,
Jody Wimer, JPC Event Group
ICA Marketing and Communication Chairperson


Filed under Uncategorized