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Trend Alert: Drinkable Desserts

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Neapolitan Milkshakes, photo: Blue Plate Catering

Neapolitan Milkshakes, photo: Blue Plate Catering

When you’re dining at a restaurant or enjoying a meal at a special event, do you often find yourself torn between choosing to indulge in a cocktail, after-dinner beverage, or dessert? We can relate. And that’s why we’re excited that drinkable desserts are growing in popularity, with an increasing number of restaurants adding their unique twists on this trend. From variations on the classic milkshake to dessert-inspired cocktails, you’ll see creative offerings of drinkable desserts showing up on many menus.

Why Drinkable Desserts?

Drinkable desserts are not only a tasty treat, but they’re nostalgic as well. Think back when you were a kid and enjoyed an old-fashioned milkshake or a root beer float with your family or friends at your town’s favorite ice cream shop or restaurant. Today’s drinkable desserts bring back that happy, carefree feeling while adding modern styles and flavors to these classic dessert beverages – making them unique and playful.

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In the Kitchen with Blue Plate Catering: Jams

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Photo credit: Blue Plate Catering

Photo: Blue Plate Catering

 

It’s the refrigerator staple reminiscent of childhood lunches, the token condiment of late-night diners, and the tasty culmination of summertime berry harvests. Whatever you call it — jam, jelly, fruit preserves — the reduction of whole fruit into a spreadable delicacy is the ingredient you didn’t know your life needed until it’s dolloped atop buttermilk pancakes, slathered with peanut butter or spread on toast.

Jam adds natural sweetness to dishes and follows a simple recipe: fresh fruit cooked down with sugar, pectin and acid for consistency if needed. Jams can take savory spins using ingredients such as onion and tomatoes, or fresh herbs, bacon and even peppers. The list is endless.

At Blue Plate, we like to go outside the ordinary with our jams by combining savory with sweet ingredients such as our peach tarragon jam or our strawberry balsamic jam. And we like to think about creative ways to present it. With summer approaching, check out our tips below for incorporating your favorite jam into your next menu or party.

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At the Bar: New Spring & Summer Cocktails

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Spring & Summer Cocktails

As we shift into the warmer months, a new crop of fruits and vegetables become available for us to enjoy. And as we change what’s on our plates, we also change what’s in our glasses. At Blue Plate, fresh and seasonal are at the core of not just our innovative dishes, but in our mixology as well. Being one of the few catering companies with an in-house mixologist, we consistently strive to stay ahead of the curve, always looking to adopt and incorporate the newest trends in beverage.

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At the Bar: Creative Margaritas

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Credit: Blue Plate Catering

 

With Cinco de Mayo approaching, we’ve got margaritas on our mind. Tart, bright and slightly sweet, this classic cocktail is the quintessential patio drink and the perfect pairing to Mexican cuisine. Outside of its traditional recipe: tequila, Cointreau, and fresh-squeezed lime or lemon juice served up on on the rocks, margaritas can come in many variations including fruity as well as frozen. The key is to use fresh, quality and even seasonal ingredients.

With the season in mind, our mixologist Lov Carpenter has another creative idea for margaritas that can add a twist to your parties: using fruit flavored ice cubes as part of the drink element. “Fruit ice cubes are a simple, fun, and healthy way to add dimension to your margarita. Simply throw your fresh or frozen fruit into your blender, add a teaspoon of water (add more if needed), blend, then pour into ice cube trays and freeze for about three hours. When ready to serve, place your fruit ice cubes in a glass and pour your margarita over them. As your ice melts, your cocktail will infuse with the flavor of your fruit. Watermelon and strawberry are both refreshing and easy ways to start, but your options are unlimited. Also, try mixing purées to create even more unique flavors.”

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10 Things We Learned at Catersource 2017

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Credit: Catersource 2017

Credit: Catersource 2017

Catersource celebrated its 25th anniversary this year by returning to its roots of New Orleans, Louisiana, a city widely known for its stamp on American gastronomy and culinary influence. As THE industry conference to attend, Catersource is an event we at Blue Plate look forward to every year. Outside of inspiration, it allows us to reconnect with colleagues and peers and the many creative and talented individuals that make this business of hospitality something we truly love.

The Art of Catering Food, the renowned culinary training program, also joined the conference for the first time this year with a three-day culinary immersion school directed by Blue Plate’s Executive Chef Paul Larson, with help from several of our field chefs.

This year we brought five members of our team representing our cross-section of experience across culinary, sales, service and even human resources. Each member participated in several educational sessions addressing topics on human resources, building a strong service team and managing a sales team for peak performance. We also facilitated the show’s first ever education program called “Gather Around the Campfire” that invited participants to a more intimate, speaker-in-the-round setting. Pastry Chef Ashley Harriger’s Fruit Salad Chiboust also received a nomination for Best Dessert.

Below are ten things our team took away. Stay tuned for Catersource 2018 in Vegas!

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