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Talk DERBY to Me

Posted by Peppers Team on Wed, Mar 16, 2016
 Kentucky Derby Themed Party

kentucky derby party

With the 2015 holiday parties in our past and winter on its way out, its time to start thinking about a fun spring get together with friends! How about.....a Kentucky Derby Party!!?There’s no time like the present, so call up your friends, dial up the fun, and Run for the Roses!

What a great way to celebrate the Derby with some dazzle, a dash of Southern Charm and a great mix of music and friends to get your party going. The Kentucky Derby race tradition dates back many years, are steeped in fun, parties, hats and mint julep drinkers. You can bring some of that tradition and fun right into your very own home with some helpful party tips:

  • Encourage the women party-goers to wear big hats, and men bowties. You could even ramp it up a bit by offering a horseshoe pin to your guests upon arrival. Red roses are popular when decorating your home. The more equestrian, the better!
  • Bring the South to your home by offering some traditional Derby Favorites. Think Ham Biscuits, Kentucky Hot Browns, Deviled Eggs Tea Sandwiches and Burbon Balls. 
  • Go like-the-pros in Special Event Catering and offer a signature cocktail or two. This will help simplify your menu and ease the amount of items at your bar. Try Mint Juleps, Bloody Mary's and Mimosas!  

And finally, Be sure to have the race on television, or go softer and throw on some Southern Jazz Music. Entertainment is a very important piece to an event!

To wrap things up, be sure to design your menu and evening so you aren’t spending the whole time in the kitchen heating things up. Most people plan terrific parties, but don’t spend time with their guests because of this.  So develop a good plan, a great menu and be sure to HAVE FUN!!

 derby themed partykentucky derby partyderby themed party

A Heart Picked Event

Posted by Peppers Team on Wed, Feb 10, 2016
We had the pleasure of helping Sarah Crutcher, a young and talented author, host a book signing for the unveiling of her children's book about adoption called, Heart Picked: Elizabeth's Adoption Tale. 

The tile of the book served as all the inspiration we needed to delight the guests throughout all the details of the party. 

Hors-d'oeuvres and pastries - All were heart-shaped. From canapés to macaroons, our chefs were able to truly capture the magic of this touching story with these delicious bites. Even the displays, all of varying heights, were made using covered books to match the theme and colors of the party.There's no more fitting way to celebrate a book than to recreate it's cover on the cake, which took center stage on the table where Sarah autographed books for her guests. 

Our host was thrilled we were able to capture her vision and execute it with all the finishing touches that make each of our events special. She asked for an elegant book signing for a small group and we delivered in big way! We wish Sarah tremendous success in 2016!

Bright and Beautiful Summer Wedding

Posted by Peppers Team on Tue, Feb 02, 2016

Looking for creative and colorful New England summer wedding ideas? Here’s how a recent bride collaborated with Peppers to make her special day memorable.

Crisp navy linens and white chairs created a classic but casual look. To jazz up the color scheme we added pops of chartreuse in various display linens and in the gorgeous floral table centerpieces that Peppers designed.  The visual appeal was refined, yet relaxed.   



An oyster bar was an important stationary hors d’oeuvres menu item for this couple. Instead of a basic table set up, we used a moving cart with striped awning and attached chalkboard signage to create their  “AW SHUCKS” seafood display with a touch of nautical detail.  Talk about the wow factor! We custom built the cart and yes its available for rent! 


And her wedding cake was an understated design with a bit of a twist – literally. We turned the square tiers on an angle to give it some sass and tied in navy blue and chartreuse with a ribbon on each tier and floral garnishes.   


Each design element complemented the others to bring the Brides wedding vision to life. This was an elegant and fun reception that truly reflected the couples’ personalities. 




We couldn't help but share some more amazing images of their day!

Venue: Tower Hill Botanical Garden
Photographer: Joe Dolen 

Backyard BBQ Wedding Celebration

Posted by Pepper's Team Blog on Tue, Jan 05, 2016

Backyard BBQ Wedding Celebration

This past August one of Pepper’s very own tied the knot! Morgan & Jon we’re very DIY with their wedding. For the ceremony, Jon built a birch arbor which was decorated with a giant elk skull and pretty pink roses to add a soft touch. The bridesmaids all wore cowboy boots with their light pink dresses. The Maid Of Honor was swiftly escorted down the aisle by the couple’s pitbull mix, Diesel. Followed by Morgan herself with her father, donning a handlebar mustache. For guest seating there were hay bale benches covered in blankets which were later turned into couches for guests to sit back and rest their dancing feet.

wedding signage

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wedding arbor

 The reception took place under a beautiful sailcloth tent that looked stunning next to her parent’s red colonial home. There were no seating assignments except for the bridal party who dined at a large farmers table in the middle of the tent.  

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Jon, being the handy-man he is (who spends his weekends at the farmers market with his builds for Johnny Appleseed Designs) built a bar using wine barrels and a curved wooden top set in front of a large, fully bloomed hydrangea bush. Off to the side was an actual horse trough that was used to ice down the beer on this hot summer day.

wine barrel bar wedding

backyard wedding

To bring the theme full circle, the one thing Morgan really wanted at her casual, but elegant backyard BBQ wedding was Pepper’s infamous copper boot. Filled with straw, and bright sunflowers the boot made a big statement piece on the buffet.

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The birch frosted cake on a custom made stump stand, centered on a wooden market cart was displayed throughout the night. The fun loving Groom, who usually can be seen dressed like a lumberjack, did not hold back from shoving a little bit of the Salted Caramel Devil’s Food Cake (which was a Pepper’s favorite this year) into his bride’s face when it came time for the cake cutting. 

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Even though it was raining cats & dogs by the end of the night, that didn’t stop anyone from having a great time, devouring the cake and mini sweets and dancing up their own storm under the beautifully lit tent. The combination of the Pepper’s touch and the Bride & Groom’s do-it-yourself this wedding was both perfect and personalized.  

Photographer: Joseph Gonzalez Dufresne HelloImJoe


Think Green, Live Green, Cater Green!

Posted by Peppers Team on Mon, Nov 09, 2015

Pepper's Catering was recently certified as a 2 Star Certified Green Caterer by the Green Restaurant Association, a national nonprofit organization helping restaurants to become more environmentally sustainable. 

We have taken great steps to become a leader among catering companies by maintaining several sustainability initiatives.  As more information has become available about the importance of maintaining our environment and preserving our natural resources, Pepper’s has chosen to make sustainability a key corporate value.  Over the past year Pepper’s has been inspired to take steps to limit our energy consumption, increase our recycling initiatives, and source many food and floral products from local farms and vendors.

Water Reduction:

As a provider of off premise catering, water is a critical component of our ware washing and event preparation.  By installing a state of the art energy efficient ware washing machine, Peppers has been able to reduce ware washing related water consumption by nearly 50%.  Furthermore, Pepper’s has taken steps to become mindful of wasting water in our day to day operations by installing flow regulating aerators on prep and hand washing sinks.  Flow regulating aerators have allowed our team to become more mindful of how much water they actually need to use in day to day tasks.

Electrical Reduction:

Peppers has begun to take several significant steps towards reducing electrical consumption during day to day operations.  This year a Solar Panel array will be installed on the roof of our facility.  The array will be large enough to generate 20% of our annual electrical needs, all from the sustainable energy provided by the Sun’s rays.  Peppers has also begun the process of becoming an entirely LED lit facility.  By switching to LED based lighting fixtures, Peppers is able to reduce lighting based electrical consumption by nearly 50%.  Our electricity saving initiatives extend to our culinary team as well.  Our kitchen convection ovens were recently upgraded to energy star rated models that are able to offer our chefs improved cooking performance by utilizing less electricity.

Waste Reduction:

Since April Peppers has been utilizing a single stream or all in one recycling program.  Single stream programs have revolutionized recycling by simplifying the disposal process and reducing the number of trips vendors need to make to pick up products.  Our current arrangement allows for us to recycle all paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum, and select other recyclable products with great ease.  Since inception Peppers has significantly reduce the amount of waste the company has sent to the landfill and the volume of product recycled has increased by 100%.

Sourcing Local Produce and On Site Composting:

Peppers culinary team take great pride in being able to source product, herbs, and florals directly from the company’s on premise, all organic garden.  The success of the organic garden, has been further enabled by Pepper’s on site composting system.  Our culinary team has diligently been contributing all eligible food waste into two rotating compost drums that help the food items to break down and become a natural, sustainable source of nutrients for the plants in the organic garden. Furthermore, we continue to support our local farms by sourcing our meats and produce from them. Each year we par take in a farm to table event in which all product from flowers to food is provided using local farms. 

Fuel Efficiency:

Pepper’s has taken great steps to be mindful of the impact that an off premise caterer can have on carbon emissions.  Since May, Peppers has taken delivery of three fuel efficient Mercedes Bluetech diesel powered catering vans.  Utilizing our new fuel efficient vans has represented a decrease in fuel consumption, and cleaner burning emission into the environment.  Pepper’s has been able to travel significantly further distances, while using less fuel than our former gasoline powered catering vans.


Cater green with us!


Bar Mitzvah: Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

Posted by Pepper's Team Blog on Thu, Jul 23, 2015

Rosenfield Bar Mitzvah
Pepper's had the pleasure recently of creating the Style and Design package for Sammy's baseball themed Bar Mitzvah at the Framingham Country Club. We wanted to create an environment that took guests right into the ballgame! That feeling started with custom designed place cards that looked like baseball ticket replicas, each with a different team and "game" to lead people to their tables. We set the cards up on a table with turf, a miniature sand baseball diamond and custom Red Sox signage (the favorite team!). Next we brought in the centerpieces, glass vessels full of peanuts, wheatgrass, custom printed baseballs and the team pennant to designate the table.


Rosenfield Bar Mitzvah


The biggest "WOW" factor we created, was the concession stand by the virtual baseball game. We made a custom Fenway Park 8x8 foot backdrop and brought in grass and wooden crates to create a stunning and realistic vignette. We made a table top awning (which is available to rent through Pepper's!) for the drink station, and kids could help themselves to fresh pretzels, popcorn and snacks throughout the night!


I think this party was a home run!



Hydroponic Gardening: Thai Basil & Beyond

Posted by Susan Lawrence on Fri, Jul 17, 2015
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We have so enjoyed the rewards of our organic gardens and honey from our bees, and now it is time for a new opportunity to learn about hydroponic gardening.

Hydroponic gardening refers to the practice of growing plants in nutrient solutions often under lights, and there is a much shorter growing time compared to field grown plants. For beginners it’s easy to grow many herbs, basil, oregano, mint, as well as strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, lettuces and kale.


The adventure has begun and we have started with growing Thai basil, and what a treat! Thai basil has sturdy leaves and a spicy anise flavor that is a stand out. Seriously it is the perfect ingredient for an endless variety of recipes as well as in beverages.


Want Thai basil recipe ideas – go to Pinterest. WOW what a collection of delicious and creative ideas. We recently made a Limeade with Thai basil and fresh lavender, a Thai basil pesto with cashews, and fresh summer rolls with Thai basil, avocado, kale and a spicy garlic peanut sauce.


Our hydroponic gardening opportunity began when meeting with Nancy Thibault from Rainbow Child Development Center, a non-profit early education and care agency in Worcester. She wanted the children to learn how to grow and enjoy healthy fresh herbs and vegetables that can be grown indoors all year round. She asked for our support and we wanted to be part of this effort. It has been a fun and rewarding experience. This photo above is of Nancy with the children from the center selling basil lemonade at the Worcester City Center. Not only did the children grow the basil and squeeze the lemons, they were also learning about customer service and running a business.


It’s time to start some more seeds and we think we will grow some arugula. Meanwhile it’s 80 degrees outside and I just saw a recipe for Lemongrass, Lime and Thai Basil Mojitos so I have to go for now.



Summer Fun: BBQs, Outings & Events

Posted by Pepper's Team Blog on Thu, Jul 09, 2015
Summer Fun
By: Dianne Stahl
Director of Corporate Events

Summer Outing Fun!

Summer is finally here, after a brutal winter in New England many Corporate and Family Groups are planning that one summer event or outing that brings staff and family together in a relaxing setting to explore a new location, play games, and to feast on the local farm fresh foods. Where to plan that special day that will entice your employees to break away from the office? We have a few hidden gems to tell you about that offer everything from swimming and water sports to lawn games, hiking trails, beautiful gardens, scavenger hunts and more.

The Elm Bank and Horticulture Center on the Wellesley/Dover line offers abundant and themed gardens, expansive grounds, a seasonal tent, and plenty of shaded areas for all of your planned activities. From the formal Italianate Garden to Weezie’s Garden for Children to the Goddess Garden, there is something for everyone and every age at this gorgeous property. You can utilize the grounds at this location for lawn games, bring in inflatables for the kids, plan a scavenger hunt throughout the gardens and hire Pepper’s to provide a mouthwatering BBQ or Lobster Bake for all to enjoy. Why not try our Summer Grill Menu and kick your outing up a notch with fresh, locally sourced foods prepared by our culinary team. We will even include a homemade Lemonade Stand with freshly squeezed lemons, fresh spearmint and iced tea sweetened with our own honey! Or even better, spike it with some locally distilled spirits! Now that’s a party!  

The Codman Estate in Lincoln, MA offers guests 16 acres of landscaped property that includes Dorothy’s Garden, the Italian Garden with a frog filled reflecting pool, expansive lawns for games and picnic blankets, and an old Carriage House for indoor games and music. There are numerous hiking and walking trails in the area for all to explore. A tent can be added to the grounds to enhance your day-long experience. Why not have a balloon artist or Charicaturist to provide entertaining drawings for guests to take home. Musical groups and dancing are welcome and perfect at the Codman Estate. Your fun filled outing would not be complete without a game of softball, badmitton, volleyball or croquet. Pepper’s can provide the very best BBQ you could imagine including healthy salads, entrees made with farm fresh ingredients. Top off the day with an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Stand offering ice cream cones, a sundae bar or ice cream novelties.     

Creative Cakes: Hemingway Book Replica

Posted by Pepper's Team Blog on Thu, Jul 02, 2015
Hemingway Cake Replica
by Lisa McCaffrey
Pepper's Pastry Chef

A customer came in recently and wanted to create a birthday cake for his daughter at the last minute, unfortunately he had no idea what he was looking for. We sat down and together had a discussion about Amanda and the kind of person she is, her likes and interests. I soon found out that his daughter was a huge Ernest Hemingway fan and that his birthday gift to her would be her favorite Hemingway book. This gave me a great idea: to replicate the book! Her father soon came back to pick up the cake and was beyond thrilled when he saw 'The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway' in the form of a hardcover book-shaped cake. He loved it so much that he said that they weren’t even going to eat it. Another beautiful cake and happy customer.

Happy Birthday Amanda!

Chef Inspiration: Creative Interests & Presentation

Posted by Pepper's Team Blog on Thu, Jun 25, 2015


chef inspiration


By: Chris Lawrence

As a chef at Pepper's Fine Catering for over 25 years I am passionate about food and presentation. I enjoy creating a memorable visual presentation and using different types of foods as authentically as possible.

While designing food presentations for our clients, I try to use the most creative and visually stimulating formats. I work at creating a lasting impression for our customers by arranging great food that always looks as good as it tastes. I'm left with a great deal of pride when our clients comment on my work, which continues to insprire and motivate me to research and try new ideas.

My passion extends to working in the organic garden at Pepper's and at my home. In my home garden I love to recycle and make homemade compost. For the first bed in my back yard, I made a bean crawler out of tomato stakes and rope, and in the second bed I used chicken wire and twigs to make a cucumber support. Both structures are currently working quite well, very exciting!

*photos (upper three) -  The Imagery Studio