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ACE finalist 2017: Blue Elephant Catering and Events, part 2

Mid-March, winners of the ACE awards took the stage at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. To enter, each contender was asked to identify the two events the company completed that it felt best represented the company, as well as challenges and favorite aspects.
Throughout the year, will profile the winners and nominees of the 2017 ACE awards. In the next installation of our series, we are placing a keen eye on Blue Elephant Events and Catering, a runner up in the category of catering in the east region under $2 million.
Boyadjieva/Smith Wedding
Photo courtesy of Blue Elephant Events and Catering 
This event was perfect combination of client, vendors, venue, and aesthetics for the team at Blue Elephant Events and Catering. It was a perfect weekend, stated Reuben bell, president of the company, involving three events over three days. “We had a team of professionals involved that we work well with, and a great space to work in —a great experience from start to finish.”
But there were, as there always are, some challenges. First, moving guests from location to location for different pieces of the event proved challenging, especially while the Botanical Gardens were open to visitors, said Bell. Coastal Maine Botanic Gardens is open to the public and busy during the summer months. The ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception were in different indoor/outdoor locations a great distance apart. “We had to create appropriate signage that directed guests from one location to another without disturbing the visual aesthetic of the gardens, while simultaneously having teams of staff runners to guide people from one location to the next,” said Bell. 
Timing was everything here: guests needed to be gently corralled and moved at certain times, “which was tricky because they were also enjoying the gardens themselves and often didn't want to change locations,” said Bell.
Photo courtesy of Blue Elephant Events and Catering 
Additionally, the bride was of Bulgarian descent, and asked Blue Elephant to recreate favorite Bulgarian and Russian recipes belonging to her grandmother. These recipes included Russian Vinigret Salad, Bulgarian Lutenitza Salad, Bulgarian Snejanka Salad, and Bulgarian Shopska Salad. The team also recreated the grandmother's Chicken Kiev, which had very specific seasoning and plating instructions. “Two different tastings were scheduled for these recipes, and we took great care in recreating these special family favorites,” said Bell.
Favorite touches
One of the favorite pieces of the entire event was the menu, stated Bell. “Working closely with the bride to recreate the family recipes was a fun challenge for our culinary team, and we all enjoyed the process and outcome. With these menu items in particular, it was important to us to not only offer an authentic experience to the guests, but also one that would plate well and satisfy the family's memory of the recipes.”
Photo courtesy of Blue Elephant Events and Catering 
The team also had a great time creating the decor list with their client. The bride wanted a vintage garden party feel to the reception, appropriate for the setting at the Botanical Gardens. Blue Elephant sourced props and decor items from its own prop warehouse, other event prop rental companies in the area, and some targeted shopping by the bride. The result was a combination of gold and floral pieces that complemented each other well: mirrors, frames, tableware, furniture, and decorative pieces. “We were thrilled with the results, as were the bride and groom.”
Herb-themed tablescape. Photo courtesy of Blue Elephant Events and Catering 
Next week, we will look at Forklift Catering’s Late Summer Wedding. 
Enter your best catering and events into the ACE awards, how open to accept your entries! Click here for more details.

Kathleen Stoehr

Kathleen Stoehr is the publisher and executive editor for Catersource magazine as well as all of its digital products. 



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