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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

wedding archbackyard country weddingdog wedding ceremony

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.  

backyard wedding

wedding signagerustic backyard wedding

elegant rustic wedding

bbq backyard wedding

wedding catering

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.

bbq weddingbackyard weddingbbq wedding buffet

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. 

rustic wedding cakerustic wedding cake

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wedding desserts

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 

 

 

 

Graduation Season: Mocktails Anyone?

Posted by Pepper's Team Blog on Thu, Jun 11, 2015

Graduation Season: Mocktails Anyone?

Mocktails….oh my!


Everyone enjoys a delicious cocktail at a party, but a “mocktail” bar can be just as fun, especially for a younger crowd! A pre-prom party or graduation are perfect events for mixing up a few “mocktails” for the teenagers. This can be set up just like a regular bar with fancy glassware, decorative signage & décor and all of the typical bar fixings - minus the alcohol, of course.


Consider mixing up an Arnold Palmer with a lemon wedge or a lovely Lavender Lemonade with a pretty fresh Lavender sprig. It’s so easy! Squeeze some lemons and limes to make fresh juices, brew a pot of sun tea and ice it down and then add some fun ice cubes to your drink with frozen berries or fresh herbs inside! Top your drinks off with a fun straw or garnish and ENJOY!  

The possibilities are endless...

 

 

Bridal Shower Season: Time to Celebrate!

Posted by Pepper's Team Blog on Wed, May 20, 2015

 

 

  

Bridal shower season is here once again and that means it’s time to celebrate! This cake was made for a special bride whose shower was held at Cyprian Keyes Country Club. The bride wanted something in pale pastel colors with an elegant look. We selected shades in pale pink and pale green with simple chic pearl drops and fresh flowers. The cake flavor had to be something absolutely delicious! We decided on a double tiered round cake with two separate distinct flavors. The first tier was our popular Pink Lemonade cake, a delicious three layered cake in pink ombre colors, filled with fresh lemon curd. The second tier was a hit for the chocolate lovers, an amazing chocolate raspberry fudge combination.

After the shower, the bride (Gail Arcieri) let us know how much she and her guests enjoyed the cake with this great feedback: “We LOVED it! As a matter of fact, people thought it was one of those fake ones because it looked so pretty!! We put some rose petals around it on the display table which was just enough to set it off. Thanks so much-it was a big hit and we told everyone where we got it!!” 

Brighten up your table: Rhubarb Salad

Posted by Pepper's Team Blog on Fri, May 08, 2015

Rhubarb Salad

 

Spring?

 

What does your Spring taste like?

After this past Winter, many are saying, "Thank goodness"!

But seriously, what local foods do you look most forward to every Spring?

Ramps, Asparagus, Peas, Rhubarb, uuurrrrppp?

 

* Rhubarb isn’t on your short list seasonal Spring food sourced from local farms?

* Rhubarb only goes with strawberry and it’s in a crust !

 

Stop for a minute and ponder these rhubarb ideas...

* Made into a chutney and napped over grilled chicken

* Roasted with golden & Chioggia beets and combined with Berkshire Blue Cheese

* Pickled sweet & sour rhubarb over deviled eggs

* Wheatberry Field Green & Spelt Salad, Rhubarb Mint Dressing

 

OK, are you still with me?

We spoke with one of our favorite local food sources, farmer Tim Wheeler over at Indian Head Farm, in Berlin, the other day and he expects to see his first of the season Rhubarb in his food stand in mid-May. His asparagus is in and it is yummy. Rush on over and prepare this terrific salad.

 

We'd like to suggest trying a Spring Salad with a roasted beet combo, roasted rhubarb, local blue cheese and orange section garnish as a delightful first course for Spring/Early Summer Entertaining.

 

Beet, Blue Cheese and Rhubarb Salad

2 Lbs. Beets, peel and cut into bite size pieces

3/4 Lb. Rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces

1/4 cup Sugar

2 tbsp. Kosher Salt

1 tbsp. Pomegranate Molasses

1 tbsp. Sherry Vinegar

2 tbsp. Maple Syrup

1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil

2 pinch Allspice

1 each Red Onion, peeled, cut in half, then strips (julienne)

1 cup Parsley, coarse chop

4 oz. Blue Cheese, Berkshire Blue or other creamy Blue Cheese

Salt and fresh peppers grinds

Pre-heat a 375 degree oven set on convection.

Combine the cut up beets, dust with kosher salt and 3 tbsp. of the olive oil in a bowl and toss for 20 seconds.

Place the beets on a cookie sheet and roast till softened. 30 minutes should be close.

Combine the rhubarb with the sugar and a splash of olive oil and also roast for about 10 - 12 minutes, let cool.

Place the vinegar, molasses, maple syrup, remaining oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a

few grinds of pepper, along with the onion into a bowl and let this sit for 15- 20 minutes to soften the onion a bit.

Combine this mixture with the roasted beets and give everything a stir or toss.

Add in the blue cheese and rhubarb to the above ingredients and give it a gentle mix.

Taste, adjust the salt & pepper and serve, topped with the chopped parsley or arugula sprouts.