Tag Archives: Jody Wimer

You inspire us!

It’s time again! Time for YOU- the amazingly talented and creative ICA members to INSPIRE US with your submissions for the ICA INSPIRATION ZONE at Catersource 2012!

Last year you knocked our socks off with the quality and quantity of what you sent our way to create an unparalleled library of knowledge, recipes and AWESOMENESS!  Now we are calling upon you to do it AGAIN.  Nothing will stop us from bringing more inspiration to the zone this year with your help.  Last year we traveled through a blizzard,

 got stuck on the highway for 2 hours,

 and barely made it to FEDEX 2 minutes before closing to ship the zone to the Cosmopolitan-

proof that nothing will stop us from delivering the best in inspiration to our current and future members.

So send your favorite recipes, event menus, photos of amazing food and decor concepts, and something smoking hot for our new BARBEQUE section to Dan Smith [dan@goodgraciousevents.com] and INSPIRE US!

Need a little inspiration until the conference– check out the 2011 ICA Inspiration Zone video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnRuG-2yjy8   Be careful– it’s smoking hot!

See you in Vegas!
Jody

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An Island Unto Itself

Working together, ordinary people can perform extraordinary feats. They can push things that come into their hands a little higher up, a little further on towards the heights of excellence.
Source Unknown

When you consider the structure and operating persona of your catering company, do you view it as an “island unto itself” where you attempt to provide everything your client could possibly want or need, or do you relish the opportunity to  work as part of a  team of specialized vendors each contributing your expertise? 

Recently I have asked myself this question during reflection and planning for the future of our company, and I know you probably have as well.  The trend in the industry seems to be toward becoming mogul mega-companies that can do it all from food to flowers, planning to papergoods.  But I also see successful vendor “dream teams” coming together to market as a unit harnessing the power of referral between the companies, and even offering purchase discounts for clients that opt to use all of the companies.

So catering universe… tell me…

Regards,
Jody

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And the award goes to…..?

It’s award season again… and everywhere you look someone is receiving a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, A Grammy, a Spotlight Award, ….an ICA CATIE!  {have you entered yet?}  What an honor resulting from talent, dedication and hard work.  But what I really want to know is… how do you feel about awards generated by review sites like WeddingWire’s Bride’s Choice Awards, or The Best of the Knot?

There are two schools of thought on this subject.  The first says that awards such as these are not merit based, but rather created by the websites to enable them to harness the metadata power of thousands of web badges floating all over wedding websites that link back to their site, as well as optimizing their presence everywhere in search engines.  The second says that you can only land within the 5% or 10% of winning companies if brides are out there reviewing you positively- a direct response to great work on your part, but also  meaning that brides are being navigated to the review sites to write the reviews.  

So weigh in–  do you feel these awards are merit driven or not, and do you think “winning” one carries any weight with today’s bride?

 

And by the way– the deadline for CATIE Award submissions has been extended to January 19th- so let’s see your hard work pay off!

Warm Regards,
Jody

 

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Pumpkin Palooza

Happy Halloween from the ICA! 

 

It’s harvest time!  The leaves are changing and the season is filled with so much pumpkin deliciousness!

Recently our ICA friends at Someone’s in the Kitchen catered an elaborate autumn wedding in Pebble Beach,California.  To feature her favorite autumnal food, the bride requested pumpkin recipes and SITK’s  Executive Chef delivered by designing a seasonal menu  that included two delicious pumpkin courses creatively presented.

The first course was an individual pumpkin filled with Savory Pumpkin Ravioli.  The pumpkin tops were all removed by service staff in one choreographed moment of theater!

 

The Pumpkin-A-Go-Go featured mini “Elvis Lolli-Pies,” and other scrumptious flavors, handcrafted in flaky dough and skewered onto sticks that were placed atop large pumpkins.
The guests enjoyed every bite and came back for more! 

 

Savory Pumpkin Ravioli  (Serves 6)

Bowls:

six (6) 3-4 lb medium pie pumpkins 

Pasta:
2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
five (5) eggs
1 tbsp olive oil

Filling:
one (1) 2-1/4 lb small pie pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
4 tsp chopped shallot
1/3 cup butter, cubed
2 tsp minced fresh sage
¾ tsp minced fresh thyme
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
one (1) egg, slightly beaten

Sauce:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp butter
2 tsp minced fresh sage

Cut tops off 6 pumpkins about half way down the side at a slight angle and scoop out the insides with a spoon and reserve the seeds for a later use. (The pumpkin should look like a bowl with a lid on it.) Set aside.

 Place 2-1/2 cups flour in a large bowl, make well in the center. Beat eggs and oil, pour into well. Stir together, forming a ball. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes, adding flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Cover and let rest for at least 30 minutes.

 Sauté pumpkin cubes and shallot in butter until tender, then add sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Transfer mixture into a food processor, cover and process until blended. Return to the pan and stir in cream. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until thickened.

 Divide pasta dough into fourths and roll one portion to approx 1/16″ thickness; keep remaining dough covered and cool until ready to use. Working quickly, distribute rounded teaspoonfuls of filling 1″ apart across half the pasta sheet. Brush egg wash around filling, fold pasta sheet over and press down to seal. Cut ravioli into squares with pastry wheel. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

 Bring stock pot of salted water to a boil and add ravioli. Reduce heat to gentle simmer; cook for 1-2 minutes or until ravioli float to the top and are tender. Drain and keep warm.

 Bring cream to a boil in small saucepan and cook, uncovered, until reduced by half. Stir in butter and sage. Remove from heat and fold in ravioli to gently coat the pasta with sauce.

 Place 4 ravioli in each of the 6 pumpkins and garnish with a few pieces of shaved parmesan cheese (optional). Place lids on the pumpkins and serve.

 
“Elvis” Lollipies  (Makes 12 pops)

 two (2) pie dough sheets, 9″ round
2             bananas, cut into 12 ½ inch slices
36          chocolate chips
3 tsp      creamy peanut butter
8 oz       egg whites
4 oz       sugar
12           white lollipop sticks
 

Punch out 24 2″ rounds out of the pie dough sheets. Line 12 rounds about 2″ apart on a parchment lined sheet pan. Place one stick in the middle of each pop.

 Place ¼ tsp peanut butter in the middle of each round. Top peanut butter with 3 chocolate chips per pop and then push on banana slice down into the peanut butter and chocolate.

 Add 2 oz of sugar to the egg whites and brush the edge of each pop. Place the other 12 dough circles on top to complete the pops. Use another lollipop stick to crimp the edges of the pop and seal the filling.

 Brush each Lollipie with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and flakey. Cool before removing from sheet tray.

 Note: Any pie filling you enjoy using can be used for this recipe!

Thank you again to Joann and the Someone’s In The Kitchen crew for sharing their creativity and innovation with the ICA blog!

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

 

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Someone’s In the Kitchen!

Always on the look out for innovative food presentations, we turned to our award-winning  ICA friends at  Someone’s In the Kitchen for appetizer inspiration and they delivered in a beautiful and savory way!

 Thai Noodle Salad
From Our Kitchen to Yours — http://www.sitk.com/

Salad Ingredients
2 Tbsp minced roasted peanuts
1/3 cup minced red bell pepper
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 lb dried spaghetti style noodles, preferably Chinese

Sauce
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp peanut oil
3 Tbsp dry sherry
3 Tbsp light soy sauce
3 Tbsp tomato sauce
2 Tbsp lime juice + 2 limes
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp Chinese chili sauce
1 tsp grated or finely minced lime peel

Advance Preparation
In separate containers set aside peanuts, red pepper, green onions, cilantro and bean sprouts. Prepare sauce. Combine garlic with peanut oil and set aside. In small bowl, combine sherry, soy sauce, tomato sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chili sauce and lime peel. Set aside. Cut the 2 limes into wedges and set aside.

Last-Minute Cooking
Bring at least 4 qts of water to a vigorous boil. Lightly salt the water then add the noodles. Cook until they loose raw taste but are still firm, about 5 minutes. Immediately drain into a colander. Shake out excess water and transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile in a small skillet set over medium heat, sauté garlic mixture. After 30 seconds, add remaining sauce ingredients. Bring to a low boil and then remove from heat. Add sauce and bean sprouts to noodles and toss well. Turn out onto platter  and garnish with peanuts, red pepper, green onions and cilantro. Serve at once, accompanied by lime wedges. Serves 4-6.

Thank you Joann and the SITK crew!  Simply beautiful and delicious!

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

 

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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

Seafood:

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.

Salad:

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

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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.

CONGRATULATIONS goes out to:

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

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