I have catered hundreds of events. To have a smooth catered event you need a strong team. Last summer I catered a small wedding in the mountains. My great friends Ben Bell, Mike Deel and Dominic Daledia helped with this event. The catering went smooth and easy. It was a fun night and did not seem like work but having a party in the kitchen. If only all of my catered events could go this smoothly.
The big difference with good food and great food comes when the people who are cooking love what they are doing. That love comes through in the quality and flavor of the food. This post was started last summer and I was reminded of it when I was looking at one of my favorite books Like Water for Chocolate. This wonderful story is about the power of love coming through in food. Read it if you have not gotten the chance yet.
When a group of cooks comes together, who love what they are doing, the food is always amazing. I could not have done this event without the team that I worked with.
The bride wanted a cupcake tower and Dominic got out his chain saw and went to work creating this lovely platform for the cupcakes.
Ben Bell is such a perfectionist that the detail work is where I task him. He once topped some pizzas before going in the oven and I swear it looked like he had used a ruler to space the pepperoni evenly. I love to watch this guy work. It is beautiful how he is meticulous and artistic.
I was reading a post from one of my favorite blogs, Things my Belly likes this morning and she asked if anyone had a cheese and maple recipe. I thought about how this post has been languishing in my drafts folder and decided it was time to get it out and dust it off.
Endive Spears with Goat Cheese and Maple Glazed Pecans
This is the most popular appetizer that I use when catering. The crisp endive spears and creamy goat cheese topped with a sweet pecan and fig jam just fly off the tray when I serve them.
Endive spears separated and washed. Let them dry on a towel for at least half an hour upside down to drain the water.
Toast pecan halves tossed in maple syrup until crispy. This will take 8-10 minutes. Let them cool completely before removing from the tray.
Mix 1 lb goat cheese with 2 tbs heavy whipping cream in a stand mixer with whisk attachment.
This will make the goat cheese easier to spoon into the endive spears.
Scoop a small amount of goat cheese into the endive spears. Top with fig jam, one pecan, a sprig of fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper.
You can make your own fig jam or pick up a jar at the market.
Here is a great recipe for fig jam from Kiss my Spatula.