Planning a memorable party is all in the details. While you’re busy putting together your party look, let the catering and party planning pros figure out the rest. We talk to four Twin Cities catering experts—with a combined nearly 60 years planning memorable events—for their tips.
Seven Catering has plump sushi rolls, juicy steak, and sweet treats perfect for any birthday vibe.
Alexus Koch, owner
Seven Steakhouse Sushi Ultralounge Skybar
700 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-238-7770
Years in the industry: 15-plus
“I find inspiration through just about everything from social media to magazines, or even old picture albums. Meeting with new and familiar guests that come to the restaurant is also inspirational.”
“We can create the Seven experience at your home with sushi coolers and live chefs preparing food, LED lighting, and tables and chairs. We can design a custom menu for any occasion, and provide food and beverage service as well as full staff for catering.”
From the Steakhouse Menu:
• Appetizer: Tenderloin tips
• Meal: Seven Filet, a tenderloin topped with lump crab and drizzled with honey bourbon butter sauce
From the Sushi Menu:
• Appetizer: Trinity Wings—spicy, sweet and sour wings
• Meal: Firecracker roll made with snow crab and shrimp tempura, cream cheese, asparagus, and avocado
From the Drink Menu:
From the Dessert Menu:
“For birthdays, we give a complimentary bottle of champagne or choice of a dessert to the guest of honor.”
Bat and bar mitzvahs celebrate a milestone in Jewish kids’ lives— the accompanying party shows individuality and fun. MintÁhoe has been doing it for 22 years, so they can throw a good party.
Julie Teran, sales consultant
Mintahoe Catering and Events
2850 Anthony Ln. S., Mpls., 612-253-0255
Years in the industry: 15-plus
“Pinterest is great for inspiration, but I really prefer to get recommendations from a trusted friend for a party. Kids and adults remember if they had fun—they may not remember the food or DJ or table centerpiece, but they’ll remember the memories built around the experience.”
“As caterer, we can create themed menus and food signage, themed disposable plates and serving vessels. Sports and travel themes fit well with stationary food concepts, whereas an Alice in Wonderland theme would be better as a family-style meal.”
Let the theme drive the food and drink menu options!
• Sports: Nacho bar, all-beef hot dog station, and popcorn and peanuts for sides. For drinks, a Gatorade variety station, and a hosted bar for the adults of Minnesota-brewed beers.
• Travel: Offer a variety of cuisines—Asian pot stickers and rice, Mexican walking tacos, Indian skewers and naan, Minnesota burgers and fries. Match drinks at each station: chai tea lattes at the Asian station, Mexican soda for the tacos, Indian mango lassi, and Minnesota lemonade.
• Alice in Wonderland: White Rabbit veggie trays, cupcakes decorated like mushrooms, Mad Hatter appetizers (inside-out or upside-down!) paired with tea, and brightly colored beverages with “Drink Me” straws.
Think outside the box. “I was at a recent mitzvah where the family placed new empty backpacks in the center of each table and guests filled them with new school supplies in lieu of gifts to the guest of honor.”
“Shorter mitzvahs with fewer adults, logos and hashtags incorporated into the event, more interactive food stations and food trucks, more small food stations versus large buffets, and socially responsible projects and/or gifts.”
Toast to an Era
Whether you’re honoring one year or 50 with your partner, Prom Catering works with venues around the metro to fit any look, from elegant affair to casual party.
Wendy Holly, senior event designer
484 Inwood Ave. N., Oakdale, 651-501-8191
Years in the industry: 25
“My favorite parties to plan personally are small, elaborate home parties with multiple courses and great-grandma’s china. We design the menu and our guests contribute to their comfort level in the kitchen.”
“I suggest food stations and drinks that are meaningful to the couple. We are also often asked to include favorite family recipes into the menu and we’re happy to do that!”
“I’m seeing vow renewal parties as more elaborate with larger guest counts.”
“I like to keep things fun and not too formal. I work with the couple to see what is significant to them and use those concepts to decorate tables.”
TIP: “I had a couple recently who hired a dance instructor to teach the couple a full-out swing number and they performed it at the anniversary party. It really added a personal touch to the event.”
A New Beginning
Engagement parties kick off the wedding festivities. Make a great first impression with sustainable catering company, Common Roots, which has many meal and drink packages.
Jennifer Shapiro, senior event planner
Jennifer Shapiro Events, LLC
Years in the industry: an excited newcomer
“Sitting down and talking to the couple to find out where they met each other, their favorite activities to do together, and what traits stand out most about their relationship all help when planning an engagement party.”
When you’re throwing a party with a variety of ages and dietary needs, healthy local foods is the way to go. A company like Common Roots Catering fits the bill. There are a variety of packages, including a bar menu perfect for a party any time of day. Plus, the ingredients are local and organic! For food, try a mix: frittata, egg scramble, fresh fruit, and yogurt, and add coffee, juice, or an adult beverage bar with wine, beer, and assorted spirits.
“I love personalization and the little details. I love the idea of keeping a logo or a hashtag from the beginning and going through the showers and the wedding and beyond—it’s nice for the bride and groom to see the photos tagged on Instagram. You could also have favors with the first name of the bride and groom monogrammed onto a cookie wrapper, or mini-bottles of champagne or beer with the wedding date on it, or personalized candy bar wrappers.”
“Centerpieces on tables to represent the couples are great—you could have a timeline of how the couple met or share that story. Since half the people in attendance will likely not know one another, it’s appropriate to represent the couple’s story and share things about one another.”
TIP: “I love the idea of a brunch: quiche, frittatas, omelet or waffle bar—and caterers will work with you on those stations. You can also have a bloody mary or mimosa bar for the adults.”