Wednesday, May 24, 2006

If it isn't enough.....

On Saturday......we loved the bride and groom. Fun, happy, loving hippy-like kids who got engaged twelve hours after they met. That was the good news. The bad news was that all their friends worked on some random reality show on Bravo......and everyone had been fired at once. Thank God for deposits.

The people were so dumb that one guy came to me on the line and said, "What is that?" It was tri-tip. "Lobster, sir....." "Wow, that must have been a big one!"

Jesus, save me.

I am attaching the entirety of my communication with a new bride. The venue is controlled by the mom of a friend of my boys.....incredibly hot, smart and fun. We named a salad after her.....

Hey! Don't laugh! Peach Melba was named for Nelly was the toast. She was the Paris Hilton of the turn of the century. She turned Escoffier's head....the Thomas Keller of then. (Later, Escoffier had a famous Vietnamese salad guy who was working while he studied at the Sorbonnne......good salad guy, bad politician, according to Escoffier.

Ho Chi Minh. What are we to think of Nellie Melba? Bomb the Dikes!

Anyway....Las Fuentes.......Beautiful spot........ gorgeous, smart, evolved Mom of Brendan's Girlfriend #8675309.....don't even talk about the daughter.

Her salad is jicama, royale mandarin, cilantro and toasted cumin.

Anyway....this is what we deal with:

HI Michael,

It was nice to chat with you today in regards to my possible wedding reception at Las Fuentes in Carmel on October 6, 2007.

Please note my parents, fiancé and myself will be viewing Las Fuentes this Sunday May 28th at 1030am I was hoping we could do a food tasting at 1145am as we have another appointment around 1:30pm. Please let me know if you will be able to accommodate this.

As I told you it is very important to me to work with a caterer that is willing to do the same. With that said here is what I want please generate a quote for me as I will need this for before we meet you (father of the bride requirements)

Bride to supply:

Table Chair possible linens, china rentals
Beer, wine and hard alcohol (this is a must)

Caterer to provider: sit down dinner for about 100 guests

Sangria upon arrival for guests (I can get you a home recipe)
Three passed app.’s: ceviche spoon, fruit kabobs (pineapple strawberries and grapes) and something beef (no more then this as this is what I want J )
Guests choice of one main entrée: filet mignon, halibut (maybe chicken) and a cheese ravioli with marinara (vegetarian)
Plated desserts (one scoop of vanilla ice cream in a martini glass with two chocolate covered strawberries)
Bartenders ECT.
China and glass wear
Bar set up (with ice)

Please include all other costs i.e. tax gratuity etc. Thank you


PS. One more thing I forgot to add a salad in there sorry I would like to do a hearts of romaine with cumbers, tomatoes, carrots and ranch dressing.

and of course bread and butter at the tables



Dear Katrina

That will be tight timing. Depending on your 1:30.....we are 40 minutes from town. You are welcome to come out...directions attached.

Also attached is our list of appetizers. The reason we do more than three appetizers is: not everyone eats each kind; people bore really quickly. Rarely can we get people to eat two of the same......and we do this twice a week, every week. This means that your cocktail time should be twenty minutes....or we, and you, will start looking bad. There is no cost savings between preparing many different appetizers that people will enjoy and eat.....and the same number of individual servings that people will quickly get tired of.

Ranch dressing? We make all our own stuff.....even the bread and pasta. We have ranch-like dressings.....that you could try on Sunday. We maybe know too much about ranches, and their the bloom is off the rose. Ditto the vanilla ice cream. We make our own.....we have a really nice bay ice cream....(and we argue about mountain laurel vs. bay laurel....), and Brendan just made a fabulous, subtle fresh peach on Monday.

We are all about the food.....and the service. If you just want someone to repackage commercial food and serve it up, you have the wrong caterer. Unfortunately, the good service goes with the good food. Companies that do commercial food repackaging tend to use temps or workers that can no longer work for good experience and no subtleties. Why rent a beautiful venue and have mindless, non-English speaking drones doing the serving?

It is way too early to give you a bid......There is no chronology attached: when do we arrive, how long are the various stages of the day?.....what are the breakdown requirements of the venue and the rental company......and who is the rental company, and what kind of stuff do you have? Folding chairs? Chivari chairs? What kind of china and silver? Does it have to be cleaned on site, or taken away, cleaned and returned? How many wines? Water glasses? the table or later at the cake cutting, or both? Coffee service....on demand, or served at the table?

Food: what kind of flexibility are you going to build in for order changes? (people change their minds or forget what they ordered, and ask for whatever looks best to them on the day. How many extra meals of each type should we prepare?)

We do not mark up rentals, booze or wine. We sell the wine and booze to you at cost. There is no corkage. We also do not charge a service or gratuity. There is no advantage to you supplying your own fact a serious penalty, since you must provide for any contingency or be prepared to run out.

It sounds like your food cost should be in the $45 range. Staff should be roughly 15 or so, with five captains. I have no idea of the chronology, or the rental situation and cleanup, so I can't pretend to predict these costs. Seven hours? Eight hours? Some people can be sent home early. The rate is approximately $25 per person per hour. Possibly $25 per guest for the event.

Our rentals are competitive with others.......figure 40 cents an item.

Let me know your thoughts....

Warmest regards,

A Moveable Feast


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