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Expert advice from Peter Callahan, the creator of the mini-menu



peter-callahan-caterting-tips-gay-wedding

New York caterer Peter Callahan is well known for his creative, bite-sized menus. He has catered large corporate events (Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is one of his clients) as well as intimate cocktail parties and, of course, weddings. His new book, Bite by Bite, is filled with 100 recipes of some of his most popular dishes, including pigs-in-a-blanket two ways and caprese tea sandwiches. A great cookbook for entertaining at home; you may want to add it to your registry.

We asked Peter to share some tips for couples who are interviewing prospective caterers for their wedding. Here’s what he had to say:

EW: What’s the most important question a couple should ask when meeting with a caterer?

PC:
Couples should ask each prospective caterer the following three questions:
•  Why should they hire that caterer?
•  What does the caterer do differently than other caterers?
•  What is their fee?

EW: Is there one must-serve item that every couple should have on their wedding menu, either for cocktail hour, the reception meal or dessert?
PC:
Passed hors d'oeuvres, they are the most fun and popular part of the meal.

*I always suggest pigs-in-a-blanket with a Gulden’s mustard. They are everyone’s favorite.—Anne

EW: When a bride shops for her wedding dress she should keep her location in mind. What should a couple keep in mind when planning their wedding menu?
PC:
The season it is held in because food should be reflective of the season.

EW: While a couple will hire a caterer months before their wedding at what point do they have to finalize the menu?
PC:
A menu should be finalized one month before the reception, but be open to last minute ideas from the caterer; maybe they have a new idea after the menu was sent that is great.

EW: What’s your favorite way to surprise or entertain guests with food at an event?
PC:
Show your guests something they have never seen before that is delicious.

EW: If someone wants to try some recipes in your new book, Bite by Bite, which would you say are the simplest that even the novice chef couldn’t mess up?
PC:
Watermelon lollipops are super easy, plus the mini burgers with the short cut for how to make a mini bun from a store-bought bun are super easy and have high impact.

Anne Chertoff is the author of The Wedding Organizer available at russellandhazel.com

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