5 Things You Need to Ask Your Caterer
If you're in need of catering for a large event you planned from ground-up, you'll need a reliable caterer to help you plan the culinary side of your event, from portion sizes to courses, dietary needs, and delivery. These five major questions will help you get started on figuring out what you need to know about your potential caterer.
1. Will your meals match the formality of my event? A pretty straightforward question. Determine how formal your event is. If your event is a birthday, baby shower or bridal party with a business casual, or more informal dress code and venue, you can get away with serving junk foods. But an engagement party, networking event, or corporate meeting will require more formal fare.
Meals that require utensils are generally a good idea. You'll want to keep your hands free of food for handshakes, after all. But you'll have to account for extra forks, knives, plates, and other kitchenware, unless your caterer provides those things at an extra cost. Never use paper or plastic utensils for formal events.
2. How flexible are you? Is your caterer willing to adapt to your dietary requirements? Reputable caterers will offer you gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian options. In terms of deadlines and delivery, reliable caterers will provide you with an exact turnover time for standard orders, the minimum being 48 hours. Some caterers will even provide free delivery to certain areas, like French Lunch does.
3. How is the food being prepared? Ensure that the food your caterer is preparing is being prepared fresh, and separately from other foods, if you're worried about allergies. Every reputable caterer will do this once you notify the business of your dietary requirements. As mentioned above, caterers will ask for notice 24 to 48 hours prior to your event, for enough prep time.
4. Is the food coming from a licensed kitchen? Your caterer should be licensed. The food you are purchasing should not be coming out of an unlicensed kitchen, but a proper shop or restaurant, owned or rented. Licensing is done by government institutions, and guarantees the cleanliness and safety of freshly-prepared foods. You don't get any of these guarantees when you choose an unlicensed caterer cooking out of a household's kitchen. Remember, you are liable for any illness that result from an unlicensed kitchen's food at your event.
5. How much time do you need? How quickly do you need your caterer to deliver? Most formal fare requires at least 48 hours of cooking time if you want the freshest meals possible. For example, French Lunch has to marinate and slow cook the meats found in coq au vin and beef provençale for at least 24 hours, so we ask for an advance notice of 48 hours.
Ultimately, catering is a fun experience that allows you to enjoy food that you wouldn't normally eat. After all, the average catering service is licensed and follows strict regulations. You'll have to go out of your way to find one that fails to meet your standards.
Are you located in the Greater Toronto Area? Need catering in Oakville, Mississauga, or Burlington? We'll make it easy for you. Try French Lunch Catering today!
Top 8 Gourmet Oils, Vinegars & Mustards
From premium black truffle & organic olive oil to stout beer mustard, there are just so many Oils, Vinegars & Mustards in our pantry to enjoy and experiment with. In this article, we present our recommendations to gourmet newbies and veterans alike. All condiments come with a 15% discount if you buy them in-store. Offer ends August 31, 2017. Don't miss out!
Black Truffle Olive Oil & White Truffle Olive Oil. Anyone desiring gourmet fare will want truffle oil in their pantry. Truffles have an earthy and uniquely pungent flavour. Dress salads, fried foods like fries and poutine, steaks, and more with truffle oil. P.S. white truffles are rarer than black truffles — surprise a gourmet lover in your life with Mussini white truffle oil!
Organic Olive Oil. This organic extra virgin olive oil from Córdoban Finca Duernas is made with hand-picked Spanish green olives. With hints of almond mixed in, it's full of antioxidants, and has a refreshingly fruity taste. A perfect fit for health-conscious individuals!
Herbs de Provence Oil. This lovely herb oil from French artisan oil company La Tourangelle is GMO-free, healthy and aromatic. Here, rosemary and thyme are infused with highly oleic sunflower oil. If you don't have fresh herbs on hand, this amazing Provencal oil will get the job done!
Páez Morilla Pedro Ximénez Sherry Vinegar. This is a nutty and aromatic vinegar has hints of aged oak in it, since sherry is fermented in oak caskets. Sherry vinegar is a gourmet staple, like truffle oil. It's also surprisingly hard to find! This variant is made with Spanish Pedro Ximénez grapes. Just one drop is enough for chicken and meat dishes, salmon, and salads.
Maple Balsamic Vinegar. If you're into gourmet, then you'll know about the latest foodie trend: balsamic reduction. This maple balsamic vinegar from Wildly Delicious is ideal for deglazing, reductions, marinades, dressings, and grilled meats. Dress BBQ kebabs and skewers with this hearty vinegar and enjoy!
Stout Beer Mustard. Wildly Delicious is back at it again with this unique beer-flavoured mustard. Mmmm. Goes amazingly well with sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, fries... insert your favourite savoury junk food here. As an aside: If you love beer you need to try our Cheddar Beer Soup!
Lemon & Chives Mustard. This mustard is tangy and lip-smackingly good. This is truly a blend made in heaven: zesty lemons meet oniony chives. You'll want to lick this off a spoon before spreading it on sandwiches!
Triple Crunch Mustard. Kozlik's has truly outdone themselves with this harmonious mix of mustard seeds, Canadian whiskey, and honey. Not to mention, garlic and spices! Use on dinner dishes like pork roasts, duck, and seafood.
Pick up these ingredients in-store and we'll knock 15% off the original price. Which one's your favourite? Visit 187 Cross Avenue more affordable gourmet and frozen fresh gourmet meals!
5 Gourmet Condiments You Need to Try Right Now
BBQ season is in full swing. What better way to impress family, friends and yourself than with affordable gourmet condiments. Some of these you may have never even heard of! That's OK. French Lunch is here to cultivate your culinary knowledge. Make fine dining a staple at your next BBQ with these five gourmet super condiments.
This amazing steak sauce from France is meant to garnish steaks, but use it to garnish sides too! This sauce consists of beef simmered in red wine, usually red Burgundy wine. A scrumptious haute cuisine staple that you can drizzle over your Parisian potatoes after BBQing them. Spread the juiciness equally!
This oil takes the traditional Provençal herb mixture, Herbes de Provence, and distills it into an aromatic gourmet condiment! A sunflower oil-infused mix combines rosemary and thyme for a lovely taste. Ideal for salad dressings.
Where would French cuisine be without confit, the famous gourmet preserve? Confits come in many varieties, especially meats — the most popular being duck confit. But as we all know, you can preserve vegetables too! This olive oil- and herb-rich onion confit will leave a sweet but hearty taste in your mouth. Who can say no to caramelized onions? Not us! Serve with steak or any main course, meat-laden or otherwise.
If you read our blog, tweets, and FB posts, you know how much we love this classic Provençal meal-come-condiment. Yes, tapenade can be eaten by itself on bread, but that’s a bit boring, don’t you agree? Try grilled zucchini with this olive & fig tapenade or serve it on crackers topped with mozzarella or brie… we recommend brie and fig tapenade because of the awesome contrast. Three flavours at once!
The humble, yet gourmet truffle is a fungus… so what on earth is it doing in honey? Sounds like a strange combination, but we assure you that it’s a fantastic one. When white truffles and acacia honey are blended together, the result is a naturally earthy and sweet taste. We recommend you glaze your grilled meats with truffle honey, especially chicken. Cheese lovers can eat it with their favourite aged cheeses. Consider baking your cheeses first!
Which condiment do you look forward to trying? Enjoy summer sprucing up your BBQ game with affordable gourmet from French Lunch.
We look forward to feeding you!