Guest Star: Nicole Fitzpatrick on the chaotic world of catering

For many of us, simply cooking a whole dinner for family and friends is a job!  When it comes to preparing food, there’s a lot a chef needs to keep in mind: timing, presentation, table settings.  Every little aspect matters.  Nowhere is this more true than in the wild world of catering, where your big dinner party would be their average evening!

Nicole Fitzpatrick has spent years in the business and currently works for Calihan Catering.  Based in Chicago, Calihan is a family-operated company and strives to give each client a unique touch for their wedding day or special event menu.  Nicole was nice enough to open up and give us a few stories and tips from her experience:

Stitely Entertainment:  How did you get started in catering?

Nicole Fitzpatrick:  I went to school for Hospitality and Tourism Management.  I started working in the hotel industry and three years ago moved into off premise catering.

SE:  How do you develop a menu?

NF:  I get my inspiration from each event.  I also do a lot of research based on the themes.  I then meet with the chef to go over options and how this will translate to catering.

SE:   Since you work with food for a living, do you enjoy cooking at home?

NF:  I would if I had time! 🙂

SE:  What is the craziest event story you can share?

NF:  We were working a house party and there were 300 people in attendance.  We cooked out of the garage.  The crowd was so tight that we had to walk the food around the block to serve food and beverage.

SE:  What sets you and your company apart from other caterers?

NF:  We are a family owned company that specializes in cooking food from scratch.  We customize all menus to compliment each event.

SE:  What advice would you give to couples when working with their caterer on their wedding?

NF:  Make sure to ask lots of questions and feel comfortable with your representative as they will be working with you through out the process!

SE:  Put your iPod on shuffle. Which three songs are played first? What are the first three songs that come up?

NF:  Beastie Boys- Root Down, Taylor Swift-Picture to Burn, Joni Mitchell- Both Sides Now


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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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