Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tasting at the Intercontinental: Part One

As I've previously blogged, I know a thing or two about planning events. At work, my specialty is large, semi-formal fundraisers held in downtown Chicago. We have an event coming up and most details are already in place: photographer, florist, invitations, venue, date/time, and guest list. However, with just 3+ weeks to go until the big day, it was time for my favorite part of planning corporate events: the tasting. Planning the menu, bite by bite, is quite an experience.

For the past 3 years, we've held our spring event at the Intercontinental Hotel. Very chic. And very pricey. The food and service are always fantastic. Our catering manager was kind enough to host me and 4 co-workers--when tasting several salads, entrees and desserts, it's always nice to have second, third, fourth and fifth opinions! Plus, it's a great treat for everyone in the office.

In addition to choosing the food selections, we decided on chargers, serving plates, butter pats and even the fold on the napkins. We went with the bamboo style fold.

This salad was the favorite: Caesar salad, encircled in an asiago cheese cummerbund and surrounded with caprese salad. Yum!

However, we went with this salad: mesclun greens with red onion, kohlrabi, tomatoes, and pumpernickel and rye croutons served in a red cabbage bowl. The rationale was that this would be the biggest people-pleaser as it had no cheese and no meat. The presentation was amazing.

Every detail of the meal and its presentation were discussed, right down to the pat of butter. Should we go with the rosette or more modern butter wedge?

We went with the butter rosette on the lemon leaf. Who knew butter could be so beautiful?
Wednesday, I'll share pictures of the five different entrees we sampled. Thursday, it's desserts and pictures of the venue. Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

you're so lucky. The only thing we get to sample at work is insulin needles. L

teryn j. said...

I'm with you; that caesar/caprese salad looks amazing.

Chicagolandia said...

The picture are exquisite, I'm ravenous just seeing the different salads. I can understand about the no meat, no cheese - everyone's dietary restrictions are so different, it's hard to know what will be a good choice. Though I would have devoured the Caesar salad in a second.