A Day in the Life of a Texas Caterer: Event Day Edition

 

Whether you’re planning a massive wedding, a unique corporate event, a glitzy nonprofit gala, or an intimate dinner party, one thing always matters: your experience and that of your guests. However, that experience doesn’t exist without a lot of moving parts from a lot of people… which is why choosing the right Texas caterer is such an important decision.

At Vestals Catering, we employ a team of talented, incredible people who love making your experiences equal parts magical and memorable. Our dedication to unmatched hospitality starts with those very people we call part of our team and family and translates into flawless, memorable events for you.

During each event — and with every team member — we strive to create meaningful experiences, make delicious, excellent food, and never falter on our unwavering passion for hospitality. Our team, which is a few dozen people deep, is built on that framework and weaves it into every party we help produce, no matter how big or small.

Day in the life of a Texas caterer: event edition

Depending on the day or the season, we can have anything from a massive gala to a small elopement on the books. Every client who comes to us for catering builds a relationship with their event specialist, who helps them craft a vision for an experiential, delicious menu. Then, it’s up to our team to bring that event, no matter the size, to life. 

By the time we get to the day of an event, we’ve already worked for months on each and every detail. From deciding on tablescapes and menu selections to handling logistics and staffing, most of the event has already been put into motion. However, when the morning of an event gets here, it’s really showtime.

Wondering how we do it? Come along for a day in the life with three of our team members: Arin, one of our sales managers; Jose, one of our lead event chefs; and Nate, one of our warehouse specialists.

Photographer: Natalie Barrett (https://www.nbarrettphotography.com/) Venue: On The Levee

 

Spend an event day with the people who make it happen

Jose: One of our Vestals Catering lead chefs
 


As one of the lead chefs for Vestals, Jose describes his job as being “responsible for making sure all event food is flawless.”

For Jose, event day mornings start bright and early. He heads straight to the kitchen to get started on any necessary prep work and connects with the rest of the kitchen staff. The kitchen team typically packs up and heads over to the venue in the early afternoon, and then the magic begins: warming the food, getting it ready for plating, and making sure it’s up to taste standards.

“I get to cook, which is what I love to do,” he says.

Nate: One of our Vestals Catering warehouse specialists


As one of the warehouse specialists for Vestals, Nate is responsible for “making sure all items are pulled for the event.”

For Nate, mornings kick off with a lot of logistics: pulling anything still needed for the event from the warehouse, unloading the vans, and heading over to the venue. He has an opening list that he references as he goes and, along with his team, makes sure that everything necessary is where it’s supposed to be.

This usually includes ice chests, beverage urns, cambros, hot boxes, chafing dishes, and more. Nate also inventories and packs all of the alcohol for each event with bar service, confirming the amounts are all correct. Then, once the events are out for the day, Nate immediately resets the warehouse and begins preparing for the next day’s events.

“Everyone is so nice to work with,” he says. “I feel happy where I’m at.”

Arin, one of our Vestals Catering sales managers


As one of the sales managers for Vestals, Arin explains that her job “encompasses taking my client’s vision for the event and making it come to life. This is especially true on the event day by ensuring that all of the details we spoke about are executed.”

For Arin, mornings on an event day are a culmination of everything she’s already worked on with the client. She wakes up, checks emails in bed to make sure nothing has popped up, and then spends her morning drinking a black iced coffee and taking her pup Alfred for a walk. Then, she’ll tackle her pre-event checklist, head to the venue, and give everything a double-check along with her team: making sure that the vans are unloaded, checking inventory, and cross-checking rentals.

“My favorite part of the event day is when the room set is complete, and you get to see your client’s reaction to the space for the first time,” she says. “It’s truly one of the most rewarding feelings.”

Photographer: Madison Shewmaker (https://madisonshewmaker.com/)

 

Our event philosophy at Vestals Catering

Once the event is wrapped, our team tackles different things to get ready for the next event. Arin focuses on her post-event top 3 to round out the experience: sending out thank yous, checking for client satisfaction, and sending photos to vendors. Jose goes right into kitchen clean-up — from packing up and loading the truck all the way to mopping and sweeping — while Nate works through his closing list back at the warehouse.

No matter what, every team member is laser-focused on one thing: creating the most impeccable experience for everyone in attendance (and for their own teams, too). From the reaction of our clients to the enjoyment of the guests to the fulfillment of our Vestals family, no detail is too small — and this is never more true than on event day. 

Photographer: Natalie Barrett (https://www.nbarrettphotography.com/) Venue: On The Levee


Plan your 2024 event with our Texas catering team

Regardless of the event, our team works together to alleviate all stress from our clients and deliver an impeccable, taste-filled event… and we’d love to treat you to the same experience. From planning a Texas wedding to hosting a DFW corporate event, our expert team is your top choice for crafting a memorable, tasteful day.

Whether you’re dreaming up your delightful event with Arin, eating culinary masterpiece food from Jose, or sitting near a display thoughtfully decorated with items from Nate’s warehouse, we can promise that your event will be one you’ll never, ever forget.

Tell us about your 2024 event here, and we’ll be in touch. We can’t wait to meet you!

Trends in Wedding Catering: Infusing Texas Flavors into Traditional Wedding Menus

It’s officially engagement season, and you know what that means — it’s soon to be wedding season, too! While we operate like the wedding season is always in full swing over here (there are always weddings to attend and to cater), this is the time of year that we start to pay special attention to trends in wedding catering for our clients. 

Why, you ask? 

Well, it’s simple: people are planning 2024 weddings now, and every bride and groom wants a culinary experience that they know their guests will love. So, if you’re planning a 2024 or 2025 wedding (or you just love weddings and events in general), you’re in the right place! 

What’s trending in wedding catering?

While more traditional wedding menus will always have their place, trending wedding catering is veering into a more experiential, eclectic space. At Vestals Catering, we’ve been seeing a push for everything from raw bars and fusion taco stations to late-night snacks and signature dishes. However, more than anything, we’ve seen a big shift to focusing on local ingredients, seasonal produce, and interactive dining experiences.

This means that these days, people aren’t usually looking for your typical chicken breast and roasted veggies dish. While simple and cost-effective dishes will always be great for those planning weddings, people are also looking to strike a balance with menus that feel exciting, fresh, and inspired.

How we focus on infusing trends in our wedding catering

As a Texas caterer, we’ve long been using trends in catering to create experiences for weddings that fuse together Texan flavors, seasonal menus, and innovative types of serving. With a focus on sourcing locally wherever we can, we spend time helping our clients curate menus that excite every guest. 

Here are some ideas for doing the same with your wedding menu:

Infuse Texan flavor into your wedding catering

Some people may think of Texan flavor as a simple brisket or BBQ, but we think of it as so much more than that. To us, Texan flavor is a beautiful combination of everything from mesquite-smoked meats and southwestern ingredients to bold Tex-Mex and spicy, fresh produce. Whether it’s focusing on wild game like venison, serving pecan-forward desserts (and smoked meats), or playing around with Gulf seafood, there are endless ways to infuse Texas flavor into your menu.

At Vestals Catering, we have many signature Texas flavors that we love cooking at weddings — and our clients have a special love for dishes like our signature applewood bacon-wrapped apricots, roasted chicken flautas with salsa crema, and smokehouse BBQ buffets. However, we can work with you to bring your idea of Texas flavors into your menu… whatever that may be!

 

Have interactive food stations at your wedding

You may picture wedding dinners as sit-down affairs, but they can be more interactive (and fun!) than that, too. Wondering how? Consider trying out taco bars, raw bars, charcuterie stations, mashed potato bars, stir fry stations, or even a pasta station. Interactive food stations like this let your guests be involved in the experience, which creates a more fun, personalized meal that they’ll remember long after your wedding. 

Plus, you don’t need to make your entire dining experience interactive (unless you want!). Instead, consider adding an interactive element to one specific area of your catering: for instance, cocktails, appetizers, main courses, or desserts.

Need some inspiration? Here are some more creative ideas for interactive food stations at your wedding:

  • Coffee, margarita, or espresso martini bar
  • Wine & cheese pairing station
  • A made-to-order pizza station
  • A chef-carved prime rib station 
  • Build your own bruschetta/salad bar
  • Sushi roll station
  • Oyster bar 
  • Midnight snack to-go station (some ideas: breakfast tacos, ice cream sundaes, honey butter chicken biscuits, or cookies and milk)

Psst… want to see some in action? Here are a few interactive food stations we’ve done recently with our Vestals wedding clients:

CHAMPAGNE DISPLAY:

 

PRETZEL STATION:

 

Create seasonal wedding menus

At Vestals Catering, we focus on seasonal (and local) ingredients whenever possible. The way we see it, properly sourced and timed ingredients taste better, make a bigger flavor impact, and create a more sustainable experience for everyone involved. We build our menus around the seasons and find a ton of produce inspiration through The Texas Farmers Market.

Wondering what’s seasonal around the time of your wedding? Here are some of our favorite seasonal Texas wedding menu items:

Seasonal Texas produce for winter weddings:
  • Salads with arugula, chard, or spinach bases (with pairings like cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, carrots, and radishes)
  • Herb-forward flavors like basil, cilantro, dill, fennel, garlic, oregano, mint, and parsley
  • Hearty sides like beets, squash, and sweet potatoes
Seasonal Texas produce for spring weddings:
  • Spring salads featuring strawberries, tomatoes, and cucumber
  • Herbs like cilantro, dill, garlic, oregano, parsley, and rosemary
  • Edible flowers for cocktails and desserts
  • Fresh sides that incorporate beans, fennel, or tomatillos
Seasonal Texas produce for summer weddings:
  • Desserts that feature juicy peaches, strawberries, and blackberries
  • Fresh pepper flavors, from sweet and bell to jalapeno and banana
  • Herb-forward flavors like thyme, rosemary, and parsley
  • Vegetable sides that include okra, eggplant, summer squash, and tomatoes
Seasonal Texas produce for fall weddings:
  • Fall flavors like sweet potato, persimmon, pumpkin, squash, and onion
  • Pecan-forward desserts and sweet flavors like pear
  • Herb flavors rich in basil, lemongrass, thyme, tarragon, and sage
  • Green dishes that include things like bok choy, beets, mustard greens, or turnips

 

Are you ready to plan your Texas wedding with a caterer who knows how to balance experience, trends, and seasonal flavors? 

At Vestals Catering, we specialize in delivering an unmatched experience to every wedding and event, whether it’s through our culinary experience or dedication to hospitality. We want your wedding to be a meaningful, memorable experience, and we’re here to create an event your guests will never forget.

Whether you’re planning a Dallas wedding, a Fort Worth Wedding, an Austin wedding, or somewhere in between, we’re here to make your Texas wedding catering choice the easiest, most delicious, most trustworthy one yet. Alongside your Vestals specialist, you’ll get to build a carefully crafted menu that speaks to every one of your wildest culinary dreams — whether it’s through a seasonal menu or with an interactive station. 

We’re booking weddings for 2024 and 2025 now, so get in touch with us here! We can’t wait to meet you.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Caterer in Dallas, Austin, or Fort Worth

So, you’re ready to look for a caterer in Dallas, Austin, or Fort Worth? Congratulations are in order because it seems like you’re planning a party! Whether you’re planning a wedding, a corporate event, or a dinner, we believe that any party is worth a celebration — and every celebration is better with great food. 

However, we also know that choosing the perfect caterer can be tricky… especially when you’re in a bigger metropolitan era. There are a lot of great caterers out there, and scoping out the right one for your specific event is important.

This is why we’ve produced the ultimate guide to choosing the perfect caterer in Dallas, Austin, or Fort Worth! Scroll through to read our tried-and-true tips for finding a caterer you can trust (and whose food tastes delicious, of course).

First up… what are you envisioning food-wise at your event?

Before you start searching for a caterer, it’s important to have an idea of what you’re looking for. While the right caterer will help you flesh out your ideas and plan a personalized menu, make sure you’re not going in blind. 

For instance:

  • Are you envisioning a sit-down, steak-and-shrimp meal for an elevated wedding? 
  • Are you envisioning an easy-to-navigate buffet during a laid-back corporate event?
  • Are you envisioning a curated small plate experience for donors at a nonprofit meeting? 
  • Are you envisioning an intimate in-home dinner party to celebrate a special occasion with your nearest and dearest?

By having an idea of what you’re looking for from potential caterers, you’re able to get a more accurate quote and clarify the caterers’ scope of expertise. Then, you can start to create a list of local and semi-local caterers who are in line with your needs. For instance, some caterers may only provide smaller, fixed menus that aren’t aligned with your vision. Being clear on what you want and need is key to ensuring that the caterer you choose is able to help your event really reflect you  — and, when you choose the right caterer, you can trust that your vision is in good hands

Ask the right questions to potential caterers

When you’ve narrowed down a shortlist of your favorite caterers, it’s time to schedule a tasting and get on the phone to ask any questions you might have. If you need a cheat sheet of the best questions when choosing the perfect caterer, we’ve got you covered! 

Here are the questions you should ask when choosing the perfect caterer:

Questions to ask your caterer

Scope out reviews, ask your community, and trust your gut.

As you build out a potential list of caterers, take the time to look through reviews (Google Reviews, website testimonials, The Knot, and Party Slate are all great places to search). While every catering company you see is likely going to have a few not-so-great reviews, the catering company you choose should have overwhelmingly positive ones. Take a look at common themes in the reviews — for instance, do you see tons of reviews speaking to delicious food, or are you seeing a bunch of people commenting on the lateness of the staff? 

Plus, don’t forget to ask your friends, family, and community! Chances are, at least one person you know has planned or attended an event similar to the one you’re throwing. Ask them about their experience with the caterer, find out any lasting memories of their meal, and discuss whether or not they recommend who they worked with.

More importantly, though: Trust. Your. Gut. If you have a good feeling about a caterer, it’s probably right — and if you have a bad feeling about a caterer, it’s probably right, too. You deserve to make your decision with confidence, and your intuition matters.

Are you looking for a caterer in Dallas, Austin, or Fort Worth? You’re in the right place!

At Vestals Catering, we work to create the most tasteful catering experiences across Texas by offering the highest standard of food and even better service. We pride ourselves on going above and beyond the responsibilities of your average caterer to anticipate our client’s needs. We always promise personalized culinary excellence and an unwavering commitment to pulling off your event without a hitch — and as a Texas caterer who loves nothing more than to help produce memorable, special, and delicious events, we’d love to chat! 

Whether you’re planning a DFW wedding, an Austin corporate event, or anything in between, our team is ready. We believe that your event should always be a reflection of who you are, which is why every menu is carefully crafted alongside you and your Vestals specialist. Along with a custom approach to each event and menu, we place a huge emphasis on seasonal, fresh ingredients and over-the-top service. Our goal is always to serve life’s most important moments with joy and intention.

To get in touch with us for your Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, or Greater Texas area event, contact us here. Our team cannot wait to meet you!