Newsletter – February 2018

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Le sigh. Are you with us? Now that the holiday hubbub is over, we’re recharged, rested, and ready to march steadfast into 2018. And while we’re happy to bid adieu to December’s parties and presents and settle back into our regular routines, we can’t help but feel a little extra excitement for what’s in store this year. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s next for CRAVE Catering.

  • We have major news about a new venue that will blow. Your. Mind. You know the old saying; go big or go home? Well we’re following suit with this site, all.
  • This time of year is all about starting new, but building on a strong foundation too. So we’re looking at a few of our favorite venues and events from December to inspire you for your next soiree
  • Our Chief-of-Chefs, John Chesnut, is sharing a recipe you can make at home. Even if you can’t tell the difference between cast iron and stainless steel, you’ve got this. We promise.
  • All you brides, grooms, and everyone in between. Trust that we’ll never forget about you. This month we’re launching a new series: You’re Engaged, Now What? It will answer all your most important questions about the planning process, from selecting a venue to creating a guest list to what you should (and shouldn’t) worry about as you prepare for your big day.

So a very happy new year to you and yours. We can’t wait to show you what’s in store for 2018. Next month we’ll be spilling more details about Quincy Hall and how we chose its location, plus recapping all the A-List parties we’re putting together for Super Bowl 52.


Quincy Hall Teaser

Who’s growing tired of outdated ballrooms, bad lighting, and venues that are a tight squeeze for your growing guest list? You asked; so we’re building. We’re excited to announce Quincy Hall, what will soon be the most buzz-worthy venue in the city. It’s an 18,000 square foot space that can seat 1,000 for dinner and serve 2,500 reception-style. And it’s on track to open fall 2018.

We know location is everything and that’s why we selected historic and happening Northeast Minneapolis. Not only will Quincy Hall be home to one of the most intriguing neighborhoods in the Twin Cities’ history, it will be a stone’s throw away from the most in-demand breweries, restaurants, and major thoroughfares in the city. Think industrial vibes with a nod to a modern aesthetic: vaulted ceilings, an open floor plan, bright natural light, and an expansive outdoor patio. Another perk you that sets it apart? 150 complimentary onsite parking spaces.

Why Northeast?

What says celebration more than churches and bars? Both are go-to locales for all the major milestones: weddings, holiday gatherings, and everything in between. When we were scouting sites for a new event venue, we felt inspired by the sheer number of them in historical “Nordeast.”

Not only is Northeast the oldest settlement area in Minneapolis, it boasts the longest standing church, too. Built in 1849, Our Lady of Lourdes was founded as the First Universalist Society. We counted more than 20 congregations between the mighty Mississippi and Stinson Boulevard to the east. And among them, countless longstanding neighborhood haunts that have been the tried-and-true gathering places for local residents for decades.
We’re excited to join a community with a rich history of celebrations. One that loves a good party as much as we do.


Super Bowl Countdown

We’re gearing up for Super Bowl 52 and can’t wait to recap all the celebrity events and VIP parties with you next month. In the meantime, here’s a breakdown of the big day in numbers.


Recipe Feature

John Chesnut has been at the helm of the CRAVE catering kitchen for almost five years, and an industry veteran for decades beyond that. He’s all about creating custom experiences for clients and if you work with him, you can always expect an element of fun and surprise. This month, he’s sharing an approachable recipe you can make at home.

Lobster Mac & Cheese

  • Butter……2 lbs
  • Garlic (fresh, chopped)……4 T
  • Shallot (chopped)……8 T
  • Heavy Cream……4 qt
  • Grueyere (shredded)……1 lb
  • White American Cheese……4 lbs
  • Swiss Cheese (shredded)……2 lbs
  • Parmesan (Grated)……1 lb
  • Radiatore Pasta……10 lbs
  • Lobster (cooked, drained)……4 lbs
  • Tarragon (fresh, chopped)……1 cup

1. Melt butter and sweat garlic and shallots. Strain mixture.

2. Return 1 ounce of butter 1/3 of garlic and shallot mix to pot.

3. In a bowl, place 2/3 of the shallot and garlic mixture, pank, and 2 cups of parmesan. Mix and set aside.

4. Add cream to pot and head to 140*. Slowly add cheeses as listed above.

5. Parmesan will act like a thickener, so you may need less or more than a full pount, less than two cups.

6. Bring water to a boil in another stock pot…DO NOT SEASON WATER.

7. Add pasta. Cook until done but still firm.

8. In a large bowl add your pasta, half of cheese sauce, half of tarragon and begin tear your lobster into large chunks. Mix thoroughly.


Very Important Venue: Brookview

A modern golf club in the heart of the Twin Cities, Brookview is one of our go-to partners for events large and small. With a dynamic offering of newly renovated rooms and patio space, they’re able to accommodate weddings and parties of almost any size. And thanks to their recent renovation, the feel is updated and modern — with sleek lines and on-trend lighting and details.


Event Recap: Gillette Children’s Hospital Gala & 120th Birthday Party

When: Friday, October 27th, 2017
Where: Union Depot in St. Paul
Headcount: 600 guests, seated dinner

Heidi LaSalle, one of our CRAVE Catering experts, took on the task of planning a combined gala and historic birthday celebration for Gillette Children’s Hospital. It took nine months to plan the seated formal dinner, and no detail was overlooked. CRAVE incorporated elements of a birthday celebration in the menu, like popcorn croutons in the salad and birthday cake centerpieces designed for every table.


Event Recap: Martin Williams Holiday Party

When: Sunday, December 10th, 2017
Where: MUSE Event Center in Minneapolis
Headcount: 150, standing

Heidi LaSalle also executed a themed holiday party for a local agency. The theme? Apocalyptic Blizzard. They used faux snow, uplighting, and textured lighting effects to create an ambience of a white winter night. The menu was themed around comfort foods that would warm even the coldest winter’s eve (think roasted veggies, savory short ribs, and butternut squash ravioli). And the specialty cocktail, aptly named the “Hypothermia,” was a red bull vodka drink.


You’re Engaged; Now What?

They asked. You said yes. Congrats to you both! Now what’s next?

Being the toast of the town has its perks. (You know, wedding showers and dessert tastings and that blushing bride or groom glow.) But behind the scenes newly engaged couples are often overwhelmed, thanks to budgets and a barrage of outside opinions. Before you get bogged down by the wedding checklist or start stressing over whether or not to invite your second cousins, take a breath and read on. We’ve got you covered in our monthly wedding section that will break down all our trade secrets to help you plan a seamless and stress-free day.

This month we’re covering the basics of social media etiquette. Here are our top four tips to consider before you go viral.

  • Announce your engagement to your inner circle in person, not online. Trust us when we tell you your mom/dad/great grandmother Jean want to hear the news from you, not your computer.
  • Find a good hashtag and share it with your guests. By now everyone expects a trackable hashtag to collect searchable images from your big day. Don’t hesitate in sharing it via invitations, a wedding website, or onsite signage.
  • What happens at a wedding, should sometimes stay at a wedding. Did you document an impromptu beer bong or the groom’s uncle putting a few too many back? While the photos may be funny to some, they might not be to all. Think twice before you post. Not everything needs to be shared.
  • Being present is the best present. Whether you’re a guest, bride, or groom; the day is about commemorating an important chapter in a couple’s life (not getting the most flattering selfie). Remember to take time to put your cell face down and soak in the joyfulness of being fully present throughout the day.
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