Posts Tagged ‘chicago cultural center


guest star: Food for Thought caters the event to you

Food for Thought works exclusively with Adler Planetarium

For this month’s Vendor Spotlight, we look at Food for Thought, which provides café, contract dining and conference catering services for thousands of customers daily. Working with venues such as The Field Museum, Chicago History Museum, Millennium Park, Café Brauer and the Chicago Cultural Center, Food for Thought works with their clients to create the perfect event. Stitely sat down with John Rudy, Vice President of Catering, and learned about his start in the business and how Food for Thought can individually cater the event towards each client’s specific needs.

Stitely Entertainment (SE): How did you get started in catering? 

John Rudy (JR): I came back from Europe after studying abroad and had run out of funds.  My brother started a new job at the Roostertail in Detroit and said he could get me job as a “cater waiter”.  I didn’t really want to as I had changed my major out of hospitality management.  Since I needed the money I took the job and was hooked!

SE: How do you develop a menu? 

JR: The client really develops the menu.  We make every effort to get to know them and their guests personally so that the menu is reflective of their needs and what they want to accomplish.  We ask good questions, listen to the answers and let the talented folks in the kitchen make us look good!

SE: Since you work with food for a living, do you enjoy cooking at home? What are some of your favorite things to cook?

JR: Since I don’t really cook at work, I love to cook at home.  I really hate to waste that culinary degree!  My favorite meal to make a home is jerk chicken, red beans and rice, my mom’s potato salad and cole slaw, lemon curd with berries and shortbread.

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

JR: I once worked with a bride who refused to move her ceremony inside despite the inevitability of rain.  She wouldn’t listen to me, her parents or her planner.  She walked down the aisle and the sky opened up soaking her and her guests.

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

Without a doubt, it is our culture.  This is a people business and if your internal customer is not taken care of the paying customer never will.  We set the bar high, provide the best tools and communication we can, create a team environment, keep it positive, respect each others talents and hire the best.

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

JR: If they don’t ask about you as a person, go to the next caterer.  They’ll never be able to understand what you need unless they ask a lot of questions.  If they do all the talking you know who is most important to them.  Narrow down your choices to 2-3 before asking for proposals.  Chances are the proposals will be more defined and you’ll be looking forward to working with someone you like.  Getting proposals and doing tastings with people you have not talked intimately with about your wedding is a waste of everyone’s time.

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

JR: Europa by Santana, All Along the Watchtower (Live) by Dave Mathews and Soulshine by The Allman Brothers.


Official Opinions: Stitely’s super summer weddings

Stitely Entertainment has the unique pleasure of sharing in one of the most magical and memorable events in a young couple’s lives: marriage.   Since the company was founded in 1995, Stitely bands have provided the music for literally hundreds of events.  And it just keeps getting better!  We love to share in these wonderful events in which couples show off their individuality, and we try to play an active role in that expression.  Here are just a few of our recent weddings where we got to join the fun:

Colleen Grogan & Jarod Garbe

May 21st, 2011

This first-day-of-summer wedding reception was held at the La Grange Country Club (La Grange, IL).  The Stitely Orchestra played a special request for the couple: “Buddy Holly” by Weezer!  What a fun night!

Event Photographed by Jason Kaczorowski

Courtney Davis & Erik Larson

May 28th, 2011

This beautiful wedding reception took place at the Chicago Cultural Center located right on Michigan Ave. downtown.  The Sttely Orchestra even played the (rival) college fight songs from the schools Courtney and Erik went to!

Event Photographed by Stitely intern

Heather Book & Jeff Green

June 4th, 2011

This romantic, mid-summer wedding was followed by a reception that was held at the Womens Athletic Club Chicago.  Top Chicago Wedding band, The Stitely Orchestra, performed throughout the evening and ensured that guests stayed out on that dance floor!

Event photographed by Eric Meng.


Official Opinions: Chicago civil union ceremony a hit!

Click on the photo to see more Stitely pictures from the ceremony!

Yesterday, over 30 homosexual couples gathered in Wrigley Square in Millennium Park in one of the first civil union ceremonies performed in the state of Illinois.  (For more information see Wednesday’s post). Stitely Entertainment is so pleased to have been able to provide a string quartet to play before the ceremony and during the reception.  I was lucky enough to be there and watch this joyous moment in history.

By and large my memories from this day are just overwhelmed with the sense of joy and hope, but mostof all love.  People of all shapes, sizes and colors were represented in yesterday’s ceremony, and they came together for one reason- to openly demonstrate and legally recognize their love for their partner, now wife or husband.

Their supportive family and friends, often wearing a celebratory purple, were there to witness their joy, as were the bystanders that lined the fence along the Square who cheered them on.  To me, the most beautiful sight was the children of the newly-weds and their friends. These kids were just precious! They ran and played all over the square, dancing to our string ensemble and tossing rose petals with wild abandon, as I saw one little flower girl doing.

Stitely Entertainment is so proud to be part of yesterday’s historic ceremony!  Everyone seemed to really enjoy our string quartet, who serenaded them as they

arrived and as they celebrated their new unions at a reception. Stitely Entertainment supports marriages and unions, and we celebrate the love of all people.  As Governor Quinn said in his opening remarks to the crowd; “This is indeed a historic day, a special day that all of us in the land of Lincoln can celebrate…There are all kinds of families in Illinois, but we are all the family of Illinois.”  We could not have been happier to share our talent with those who so richly deserved their long-awaited legal union.


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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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July 2020