Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Aside from the really exciting rush of a high volume, highly successful a la carte dinner service, few things are as fun as putting out a successful banquet. Watching the faces of happy diners light up as they see copious amounts of food flood a dining room - served shotgun, course after course - is very satisfying. Hearing the rave reviews, and maybe getting a hug and a kiss from a happy bride is equally satisfying, but banquet service is one way of impressing people that has many rewards.

Here are a few shots of me working at an Iron Chef Dinner at one of the local wineries for the Okanagan Wine Festival last year. One hundred and fifty guests were served six courses (and a whole lot of wine!) inside the production room of Adora Estate Winery in Summerland. It was a really fun evening for the guests and they actually had the opportunity to watch the chefs prepare and plate the food, so they got the inside scoop on the logistics of putting out a high-end banquet successfully.

The teamwork required for such a service is important and the intensity of the team members is usually high as each course is assembled and sent out to the diners. At the end of the day, however, food quality, presentation and timely service are still the main ingredients to a successful evening and the guests evaluate all of these factors by judging how smoothly the mealtime passes.

So, whether a la carte or banquet service, a kitchen must always be prepared and organized in impressing guests who want excellent food served efficiently and with style.

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