An expatriate of New Orleans – and professional chef – who has lived in Los Angeles since her childhood, blogs about the journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles back to New Orleans, and points along the way.

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Your Catered Feast and ” The Last Chinese Chef”

By on Nov 28, 2008, 8:06 am in Reflections on the Catering Life, Shameless Self Promotion- Sharing Successes, Small Pleasures Catering | 0 comments

"Apprentices have asked me, what is the most exalted peak of cuisine? Is it the freshest ingredients,
the most complex flavors? Is it the rustic, or the rare? It is none of these. The peak is neither eating nor cooking, but the giving and sharing of food. Great food should never be taken alone. What pleasures can a man take in fine cuisine unless he invites cherished friends, counts the days until the banquet, and composes an anticipatory poem for his letter of invitation?"

                                                              – Liang Wei  "The Last Chinese Chef", pub. Peking 1925

As I mentioned in my last post, the wonderful little novel The Last Chinese Chef: A Novel by Nicole Mones, develops the theme of creating a whole culture of the giving and sharing food with others.

When I first read this opening quote from the book, I couldn't help but think it was almost an anthem for the great catered party. I've always felt my job is much more than solely providing great food. Okay, so food is pretty important, but I consider it my mission to create memorable celebrations for those special moments in my clients' lives. And creating a memorable celebration goes beyond food.  A good caterer should be able and willing to help a client create a whole experience.

Need suggestions on a theme, decor, flowers?  Looking for a great photographer? Need music to enhance or enliven the mood? Your caterer should be able to make suggestions and point you to other vendors who can help you create the experience. A caterer can rent the perfect table coverings and bring just the right serving platters and decor items.They can hire a great florist for you, and book live entertainment, or a great DJ . I have even, on occasion, provided appropriate CD's for a client.

And while not every caterer will feel comfortable composing an "anticipatory poem" for your invitation, they can certainly point you to a great designer and printer.

A good caterer is always on the lookout for, and will have relationships with several other party providers. So leverage your time and your caterer's experience by using your caterer as the great resource they are.



P.S. Would you like more great insights into how a caterer can help you create a whole experience for your special celebration? Order my new E-book at

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