All posts in Dinner Parties

04 Jun

5 Tips to Glam Up Your Summer BBQ

In Catering,Dinner Parties by Crave Culinaire / June 4, 2018 / 0 Comments

Summertime is upon us. Longer, warmer days are paired with relaxation, making summer the ideal time to host a BBQ. However, you may want to forget about the paper plates, plastic silverware and flimsy cups for your next soiree. We’re here to let you in on a little secret….it’s time to glam up your summer BBQ. Here’s how.

It’s All In The Details

Choosing a theme for your summer BBQ is a perfect place to start. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. It could be built around a set of colors or a movie theme. Any way you want to go about creating your theme works, and that’s where the fun begins. Find décor that corresponds to your theme to accent the space, and try glamming it up with a unique centerpiece for each table.

Food with a Twist

Take classic recipes and add a fresh, modern twist to them! Add a unique ingredient to a simple dish or even change up how that dish is served. The key here is to keep it simple. Take plain, old corn on the cob, for example. Mix it up by throwing it on the grill and sprinkling some Parmesan cheese over top to add a new twist to a classic summer BBQ staple.

Pour the Drinks

No BBQ is complete without some fun, refreshing drinks and let’s face it…the last thing you want to do at your summer BBQ is constantly play bartender. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep it simple and easy in this area also. Choose drinks that your guests can pour themselves. Even consider making a signature cocktail that you can serve out of pitchers or drink dispensers that corresponds to your theme.

Guest Entertainment

Your guests want to be entertained…that’s a fact. It doesn’t mean that you have to lose your glamorous appeal though! Choose yard games that are fun for your guests, yet tasteful, like:

  • Croquet

  • Horseshoes

  • Bocce ball

  • Rustic cornhole

  • Giant Jenga

Keep your guests entertained, while also having designated areas for entertainment that are separate from where your guests want to eat and socialize. This way, your guests will feel like they have their own space for what they want to do.

Keeping It Relaxed

Summertime is a time for relaxation. That’s why it’s important to keep your summer BBQ relaxed. Simple foods with glamorous twists and fun entertainment will have your guests wanting more! Be sure to make the food and drinks easily accessible. A good idea is to serve it buffet style, so guests can serve themselves as they wish. Pull it all together with a low-key summertime playlist in the background. Keep the drinks flowing and the food plentiful, and you’ll be on your way to a BBQ your guests will never forget!

Do you need some help with your summer BBQ menu? Let the experts at Crave Culinaire help you design the perfect food menu to go along with your summertime theme. Call (239) 292-1529 or visit www.craveculinaire.com to get started today!

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12 Mar

Raise Your Bar with Innovative Cocktails

In Catering,Dinner Parties by Jennifer Nalevanko / March 12, 2018 / 0 Comments

However you say it, no celebration is complete without a toast, and what better way to toast than with a signature cocktail created just for you? Innovative cocktails are fun and easy ways to add some extra personalization to your party or special event. All you need are cocktail ingredients, personalized items to make them special and a creative way to present them.

 

Step up your bar game at the next event you’re hosting with few different cocktails so everyone has something that they enjoy. Break it down with:

 

  • Different types of liquor
  • An assortment of beers; light and regular
  • Red, white, and rose wine

 

Your guests will appreciate the fun touch and the variety.

 

Whether the cocktails are made with unusual ingredients such as mushrooms, almond fat–washed rum, served in unusual vessels or featuring trendy techniques, we are currently awash in smart, forward-thinking drinks. Here are a few of the most innovative craft cocktails to drink right now.

 

Jasmine Blossoms Cocktail

 

This unique Whiskey cocktail is aromatic, citrusy, and easy to drink.  The Whiskey used, Manhattan Moonshine, is a lighter, simpler Whiskey that is aged for less than one hour and so it does not have the heavy barrel flavors that make brown Whiskeys harder to mix.  Enjoy the hint of apricot alongside the fragrant jasmine flavors in this light and summery cocktail.

 

Bubbly Cocktails

 

Bubbly is an undeniably timeless tradition, but it’s taking off now more than ever. Everyone’s enjoying champagne and sparkling wine, from people at home to those in the restaurant world. Offering more champagne and bubbles at an event turn everything into a celebration. Mix the champagne or prosecco with fruits, candies, and spices to keep them fun.

 

The Root to Longevity Cocktail

 

How often have you seen beets used in a drink? Probably not often, if at all, but they work and they work rather well. In this recipe, a sweetened beet puree steals the show and pairs perfectly with Plymouth Gin, lemon, and mint. It’s a simple recipe and perfect for a fresh from the garden taste.

 

Carrot Cake Cocktail

 

It’s time to have a little fun with cake vodka and it’s definitely not the ordinary profile for vodkas of this sort. As the name implies, the drink does attempt to emulate a home-baked carrot cake and it does a fair job at it. The mix includes UV Cake and carrot juice, adding in milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon with a splash of soda to liven it up. If you love carrot cake, you may want to consider this one, just have your juicer ready because carrot juice can be hard to find.

 

Crave Culinaire has been known to push the boundaries when it comes to cocktail design and creation. Crave Culinaire can work with you to make a more intriguing cocktail based on your drink of choice for your event. The party will revolve around the mixing and pouring of drinks, and the unique cocktails will mesmerize you all night. Next time you’re planning an event and looking for a caterer, contact Crave Culinaire for delicious food and spectacular cocktails.

 

To learn more about Crave Culinaire and innovative cocktails, call us at (239) 292-1529 or visit our website at https://www.craveculinaire.com/

 

20 Nov

Champagne 101: Your Guide to the Bubbly

In Dinner Parties by Crave Culinaire / November 20, 2017 / 0 Comments

A glass of champagne is a spectacular way to celebrate the holidays, special occasions or… who are we kidding, any occasion really. With the many different varieties of champagne, food pairings, and cocktail options out there, we decided to assemble a 101 guide to help you navigate the bubbly. Here is Crave’s Champagne 101:

 

Champagne Glossary:

 

  • BLANC DE BLANCS

 

Champagne made exclusively from white grapes; true French champagne

 

  • DOSAGE

 

Sugar that is added to champagne to counteract acidity

    

  • BLANC DE NOIR

 

Literally translation: white from blacks. These are white champagnes made from the skins of darker colored grapes.

 

  • BRUT

 

Or “Dry,” meaning that the dosage added to the bottle contains little sugar.

 

  • EXTRA DRY

 

As a popular sparkling white in the United States, “Extra Dry” actually has a mildly sweet taste to it, as it contains a dosage with a small amount of sugar.

About Champagne:

All true Champagnes are made in the Champagne region of France, and are acclaimed as some of the best sparkling wine in the world. When there is a celebration, someone is usually bringing out the champagne. Champagnes are sparkling wines, usually made from a blend of grapes. They range from dry to sweet, and different producers have various flavors and styles. Price range varies widely depending on the champagne.

Fun Cocktails:

Whether you are getting ready for New Year’s or Sunday Brunch – there are plenty of delicious cocktail creations you can make with a bottle of bubbly. Try these recipes, and feel free to get creative with your own special touch!

 

Passion Fruit Mimosa: The mimosa is the tried and true beverage for Mother’s Day, Easter, or any brunch! Put a twist on this classic by subbing the OJ for some Passion Fruit Juice.

  • 1 Cup Chilled Champagne
  • ½ Cup Passion Fruit Juice
  • 1 Strawberry (optional garnish)

 

Pomegranate Royale: This is a fun and festival holiday cocktail. The red pomegranate seeds add a beautiful color to this drink.

  • 5 Pomegranate Seeds
  • 1 oz. Pomegranate Liqueur
  • 4 oz. chilled champagne

 

Classic Champagne Cocktail: If you want to keep it classic and classy, this is the perfect go-to.

  • 1 Cube Sugar
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Chilled Champagne to Your Taste
  • Lemon Twist

 

Great Pairings:

 There’s nothing better than a glass of champagne that just goes perfectly with a delightful meal. We picked out some of our favorite champagne pairings for you to try! 

 

Oyster Rockefeller: We had to pay homage to this New Orleans classic. It’s no secret that champagne goes fabulously with oysters. Get the full recipe here.

 

Bagels and Lox with Cream Cheese: This is great for breakfast, brunch, or lunch to pair with your Passion Fruit Mimosa! You can get creative with your bread and opt for an English muffin or baguette instead of the bagel!

 

Seared Pork with Roasted Grapes: This is an entre that would pair perfectly with brut champagne.

 

Champagne is an elegant and tasty beverage option to bring out in times of celebration and get-togethers. If you need help finding the perfect bottle, or creating and serving cocktails, Crave Culinaire offers personalized private and large-event catering services. Visit www.craveculinaire.com for more food and beverage inspiration.

“Too much of anything is bad. But too much champagne is just right” – F. Scott Fitzgerald.

 

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26 Sep

Top 5 Fall Catering Trends

In Dinner Parties by Crave Culinaire / September 26, 2017 / 0 Comments

As summer begins to fade into fall, we are so excited for all of the new autumn ingredients, flavors, colors, and themes. Whether you are planning a wedding, corporate event, social gala, Bat/Bar Mitzvah, or dinner party, fall is a beautiful time of the year to come together with loved ones to celebrate. Here are our top five fall catering trends to keep in mind as you are planning your fall event:

Cozy Appetizers and Starters

Now that the weather is becoming cooler, you may want to skip the light summer salad and opt for more hearty and warm appetizers. Roasted corn and crab bisque are delicious ways to warm up guests. You may also want to incorporate seasonal ingredients such as nuts, pumpkin seeds, figs, and squash.

Food and Wine Pairings

As autumn brings a variety of new flavors, food and wine pairings are great ways to impress and entertain guests. Here are some of our favorite flavor combinations:

  • Pumpkin

->  Viognier or Barrel-Aged Port

  • Apples                             

-> Gewürztraminer or Vouvray

  • Pears               

->  Sauternes

  • Figs                            

-> Tawny Porto

  • Wild Game

-> Red Bordeaux, Barbaresco, or Barolo

  • Butternut Squash

-> Dolcetto or Prosecco

  • Brussels Sprouts

-> Sauvignon Blanc

For entrees, we are all about incorporating the cozy classics such as: roasted chicken, rack of lamb, filet, and Shepherd’s Pie. After you have selected a main dish, choose seasonal vegetables to use as garnishes and sides such as mushrooms, carrots, and gourds.

Bonus Tip: These are hearty meals, serve smaller portions so guests can enjoy their parings and still be comfortable for dessert; this will also provide you with higher yields.

Get Creative with Your Venue 

Fall is a special time of year where you can host your event both indoors and outdoors comfortably. Whichever you choose, there are many fun fall-inspired design options. Decorate with jewel tones such as gold, silver, rose, and floral to bring out rich fall colors. Provide cozy-seating options such as couches and chairs with pillows and throws that have a mix of cool autumn tones. Weddings can be absolutely stunning in the fall. Take a look at some fall wedding inspiration.

Delectable Desserts

Desserts are an exciting way to showcase the sweet flavors of fall. Consider a dessert trio to give guests a variety of options. Ginger spice cookies, coffee cake, caramel apples, and apple pie are all great examples of delicious fall desserts.

Bonus Tip: Serve hot coffee and apple cider to warm up guests if the evening is expected to be especially chilly.

Interactive Table

The hottest upcoming trend for fall events is farm-to-table food. Including an interactive demo or display table is a creative way to get guests out of their seats and mingling. Take a look at this Everglades table inspired by local ingredients that was created by Crave Culinaire:

Fall is such a magical time of the year to come together with friends and family to make memories that will last a lifetime. If you need help planning your fall event, Crave Culinaire offers fully customizable menus, interactive display tables, hors d’oeuvres, and themed catering. Visit www.craveculinaire.com for more fall event inspiration and to begin planning!

 

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17 Jul

Why a Professional Caterer Will Be Your Best Friend at Your Event

In Dinner Parties,Uncategorized by Crave Culinaire / July 17, 2017 / 0 Comments

You’ve got a lot on your plate when planning an event…literally! From the guest list to the décor to one of the most important aspects, the food, it may seem like your to-do list is never-ending. At some point, you may realize that you can’t do it all on your own and choose to hire a professional caterer to help you with one of the most important tasks on your list. During this revelation, you may also find that your caterer may just become your best friend at your event. Allow us to explain…

Crowd Control

You may have had experience cooking for a small dinner party before, but nothing can prepare you for preparing a meal for a large group. Serving a large group takes a great deal of planning and organization, and your professional caterer has the experience needed to ensure that all of your guests are happy and enjoying a delicious meal. Your caterer makes sure that all food is prepped accordingly, and they also prepare for any obstacles that may arise. They also ensure that all guests are served a hot meal at the same time. There’s nothing worse than half of your group being served earlier than the other half. This makes for grumpy guests at your event.

Professional Experience

Your caterer employs a team of professionals who are well-versed in serving groups. This includes cook and wait staff, who ensure that all guests are cared for from the start of your event until the very end. You can rest assured that your event will run smoothly when a team of professionals are taking care of one of the most important aspects of the day.

Stress Reducer

You’ve got enough to deal with during your event, and while your caterer can’t quite help you with the guest list or some of the other items on your list, you can limit your stress by knowing that they’re handling what they’re good at, and your guests will thank you for it later. Delegating this task to a professional can give you the energy to tackle the next item on the list and helps you to enjoy the event more.

Idea Assistant

Your professional caterer has seen an event or two in their lifetime, and this is why it’s a good idea to bounce your ideas off of them. They may be able to provide some insight on what foods to serve and help you to nail down a theme for your event. Your caterer may give you ideas that you’ve never thought of before, based on an event that they’ve catered in the past.

Enjoying Your Event

At the end of the day, you want to be able to enjoy your own event with the people who are important to you. Being responsible for prepping and cooking all of the food severely limits the time you will get to spend with them, whether your event is big or small. Hiring a professional caterer can ensure that you’re free from this responsibility, so you can get out on the dancefloor with your guests and dance the night away!

Remembering these key points will help your event run smoothly. To recap:

  • Professional caterers have experience serving large groups, ensuring that all guests are served in a timely manner and are enjoying their meal.
  • Your caterer can serve as a stress reducer, helping you to deal with the other items on your to-do list.
  • They can help with ideas and assist in choosing the appropriate food for your event.
  • You’re free to enjoy your event and focus on your guests.

Don’t try to go it alone! Enjoy your event and your guests by choosing to hire a professional caterer. They could prove to be your best friend at your next event. The professionals at Crave Culinaire are ready to help! Give us a call at (239) 292-1529 or visit www.craveculinaire.com to get started with our team.

 

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22 Jul

Dinner Parties

In Dinner Parties by Crave Culinaire / July 22, 2013 / 0 Comments

dinner-partiesCrave Culinaire strives to give you and your guests a culinary experience you will never forget. Call to meet with Chef Brian anytime to discuss the details of your next event! Dinner parties from 2 to 200, without hassle of prep, setup, execution, breakdown or cleanup. Crave’s team of professionals will handle all the details so you can enjoy your experience with your guests.

22 Jul

Summer “POP UP” Dinner Series

In Dinner Parties by Crave Culinaire / July 22, 2013 / 0 Comments

dinner-seriesAs we like to say at Crave Culinaire, expect the unexpected! This is especially true this summer with our “Underground” Dinner Society dinners.

Subscribers to the fun will enjoy a variety of venues and surprises including Dinner on the Farm, in an exclusive Private Naples Club, on a Yacht, and possibly Dinner and a Show. This is a great way to enjoy Naples’ most exciting cuisine with an element of surprise!


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