This custom catering company prides themselves in creating exactly the menu that you want. Sounds like a dream come true, doesn't it? Executive Chef, Kevin Barthelemy and General Manager, Stephen Tanner of Elevated Catering are the must see guys to ensure that the food you are serving on your wedding day is nothing less than exceptional. I got the chance to sit down with these talented two and ask them about their company, style and of course - the food. It's easy to see why they are so passionate about creating custom menus for the food loving couples of Colorado.
Where do you start?
ST: One of the first questions that we ask, and we ask an awful lot of questions is, when your guests leave and on your first anniversary – what are the three words that your guests and your families are going to use to describe your reception. This gets a feel of the emotion that they want to bring to their guests. We really want to understand their vision even before we start talking about food. All of those things inform what the ultimate menu will be. We want to know what the most important things are to them. Then we get into more of the significant questions like where was the first date, what their favorite foods are and what restaurants have significant meaning to them as a couple. We learn about all different things in addition to their tastes.
KB: It’s almost as if you are opening up your own restaurant and making your own menu – we are here to help execute that. Our jobs and expertise is to be experts in all styles and levels of service and cuisine. Whatever your nationality is, whatever the theme is and whatever dietary restrictions there might be – we can do it. We love to embrace challenge – it’s part of what we do.
What sets you apart from other caterers?
ST: As a custom caterer, we allow them to look at a menu, re-edit and we can make changes even up to the last minute. We’re smaller so we’re very flexible in that regard. We can turn on a dime if we need to. We don’t want people to get married to the menu – we want them to choose us as their caterer because they know that we’re going to take care of them and serve them wonderful food.
KB: The important part, even if it’s not directly related to their menu, is to make sure that we got the flavors down and what their palate is - which is an important part to being a custom caterer because we’re making everything from scratch. If you want to make changes of sauce, spice or substitutions – we can do that. Because our food isn’t coming out of the freezer or a box, we can make tiny adjustments so that it’s what they want, not what we serve.
What do you love most about what you do?
KB: The thing I love about catering is being in front of people. We’re not locked behind a kitchen line slinging away working in the back. I love getting the chance to hang out and socialize with people. You’re in front of them and you’re a part of that special day for that moment. We develop to be part of that family for that one day. It’s really important to us.
Do you have a favorite part of the process?
ST: My favorite part is the seeing it come together and the seeing the impact that it has on the families. So many of our menus are things we are serving for the first time and things that we execute for the first time. I love seeing the families love it. I cry at weddings – hundreds of weddings and I still cry.
KB: I think it’s easy to say that the tasting is one of the best parts. I love that we gained their confidence that our food is going to be delicious but, there’s such a long part of the process after that to get to that final point and see it all come together. And, of course, as Stephen said, to really be a part of that family during that experience and to hopefully be a part of it in the future. It’s not just serving food. There’s so much more love and care behind what we do.
What inspires you?
KB: The bride, the groom and the family. It is their feed back and the way that their eyes light up that directs the inspiration of how we come up with things. It's how we create all of our new menu items and why the long list of menu items continues to grow. They totally stem from the desires of our clients. Also, shopping for all the ingredients inspires me. Just traveling around Denver and getting a feel for what's in season and personally hand picking the ingredients that I will be using is one of the best feelings.
ST: The reason that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and wanted to have my own business is because I wanted to stop saying no to my clients. I was working for another catering company and things were so defined. It's important in a large organization but I got tired of saying, 'No, we don't do that.' Now, I never say no.
So there you have it. Elevated Catering is clearly a company that goes above and beyond just the food. See more of all the amazing things that they to offer here!
September is Set the Table Month at mywedding and we are pairing up with Crate & Barrel to bring a little style to your table with dinnerware sets you won’t find anywhere else.
Enter to win a $1,500 Crate & Barrel gift certificate here!
See you next Tuesday for more musings with Epicurean Catering.