30. January 2011
Richard Nix, Jr.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Known for Seasonal cuisine with a focus on flavor, presentation, and quality
Where to Find Him At Butler’s Pantry (he’s the president)
Top Tip Don’t rush to finalize your menu. Over the course of the planning process, trends will change and you’ll develop new ideas. Wait until a couple of months before the event, and it will feel fresh and current.
How can couples find a good caterer?
Word of mouth is everything. Ask friends for recommendations, and find out which companies have exclusive arrangements at the notable venues in your area. Once you get a list of names, spend time browsing their websites. Blogs, where you can see their work in action, are another indication that they have their finger on the pulse of the industry.
Anything to look out for?
Be cautious about multitaskers who insist they can also help with the ceremony. They should be dedicated to the food and service at your party, nothing else. If they balk at providing a cost breakdown, that’s another bad sign. Also ask: Are you going to be present at my wedding? A good caterer will guarantee it. And, if they don’t offer a follow-up tasting, reconsider.
What are your recommendations for couples as they choose their menus?
Try not to fall for overly complicated food fads. A foam garnish, for example, can add a nice flavor, but it’s hard to pull off for a big crowd. What works in a dining room for four people doesn’t always translate to a crowd of 200. Your best bet is to keep things simple.
How can couples personalize their food?
Incorporate childhood favorites, things you ate on a memorable vacation or on your first date, or dishes from a beloved restaurant. Or look back even further in time. One of our brides, for instance, requested table-side Caesar salads, which her parents had at their wedding. And if two cultures are coming together, serve a dish from each one as a starter.
Any creative ways to dress up that ubiquitous chicken entree?
For winter, I like a Cornish game hen covered in a Bing-cherry and port demi-glace on a bed of toasted farro. Chicken Napoleon, layered with puff pastry, mushrooms, and goat cheese, and finished with chive veloute, is also divine.
Thoughts on waiter service versus buffet?
Sit-down meals are more traditional, but they tie guests to their seats. If you have a lively crowd, you might want to have a buffet, which lets people get up and move around. That said, it’s not necessarily less expensive than a sitdown. The savings can be eaten up in quantity.
Any suggestions for those who’d like to save money without sacrificing quality?
You can easily save 15 to 20 percent on food and service by choosing a Friday or Sunday in the off-season (usually the colder months). Dinner is the priciest meal, but it’s possible to lower your expenses with a cocktail-style set-up: heavy hors d’oeuvres and seating for only half the guests. Or serve lunch or afternoon tea instead. It’s more affordable and just as elegant. I also love a good brunch — with a crepe station and a do-it-yourself Bloody Mary bar.
Along the same lines, does serving only beer and wine save a ton of cash?
Actually, no. Depending on how many options you offer, liquor bars can be more cost-effective. There are about 25 drinks in a liter of vodka, whereas a bottle of wine has just five.
24. January 2011
Butler’s Pantry was recently selected as one of 25 finalists from across the nation for the Achievement in Catering Excellence Award sponsored by Catersource Magazine. As 1of 5 companies chosen to represent the Midwest Region we are honored. The winner will be announced at a ceremony for 3,000 plus attendees in Las Vegas in early March.
Some of the following criteria used in the finalist selection were:
* maintain the highest standard of ethical and moral behavior
* demonstrate innovation in sales and marketing strategies, operational management, human resource programs, service standards, menu design, food quality and presentation ideas
* illustrate a lasting impact on their catering marketplaces
* charitable giving and contributions to the community
Congratulations to our entire team that continues to provide “5 Star” service and innovative menu design.
17. January 2011
Take a look at our fabulous winter decor from this past holiday season!
1. January 2011
“I want to thank you for orchestrating an exceptional evening for our annual holiday party. Every aspect was handled seamlessly; the wait staff was very accommodating and helpful, the food was delicious and the displays were laid out very efficiently, all of which made for a nice flow to the evening. My assistant, Lorraine, expressed how much she appreciated your help with the necessary preparations an how enjoyable you were to work with. We have received many compliments regarding the elegance of the venue as well as the organization and presentation of the meal and we would definitely consider working with you again in the future. Again, please accept my sincere gratitude for a wonderful job.”
Corporate Holiday Party, December 10, 2010
“The food was beyond excellent! Many said it was their best meal ever, especially their best meal ever at a wedding. Maggie was very understanding and helpful. The tasting was an enjoyable time, just in itself. We were all very pleased with Palladium Saint Louis.”
- Marcia, Mother of the Bride
Wedding Reception, October 2, 2010
“Thank you so much for a wonderful evening. Our wedding was everything that we dreamed of and more. The staff was so friendly and everyone was helpful and made the evening very personal. The venue was beautiful. We couldn’t have asked for more!”
- Sara, Bride
Wedding Ceremony + Reception, October 10, 2010
“Maggie, thank you so much for being our coordinator! The wedding would not have been as great without you! You really made the whole planning process a very enjoyable and stress free time. My whole day was perfect and I cannot express how grateful I am to have had you helping!”
- Erin, Bride
Wedding Reception, October 23, 2010
“Our wedding at Palladium was amazing. They were pleasant and very helpful throughout the entire process. To start with, they negotiated with us on some details of the contract with a reasonable and professional attitude and we were able to arrive at a mutually satisfactory conclusion. Our coordinator was well organized and didn’t let any detail slip – she definitely asked me about things I would have not thought of, and as a result everything ran smoothly on our wedding night. She ended up having to leave town the weekend of our wedding, which made me a little nervous, but her boss was present at the wedding instead. She filled him in on every detail of the night and nothing was overlooked. The food was wonderful – not only did we enjoy it, every guest we have talked to has mentioned how good the passed appetizers, three course dinner, and cupcakes were! The quality of food was outstanding, especially considering 150 people were being served at once. Palladium did a wonderful job with our signature cocktails, and were accommodating on finding some specialty wines for us, also. They coordinated well with all of our outside vendors so everything was set up before guests arrived. Finally, the venue itself is really beautiful. It has the right amount of drama without being garish or ostentatious, and lends itself well to any color scheme. The room provided a beautiful backdrop for our flowers. I didn’t really care about LED lighting at first, but using silver and gold lighting created a candlelit look that complimented the actual candles around the room. Furthermore, we felt additional table enhancements, like the colored linens and chargers (which we thought we would want) were not necessary because their standard settings were simple and beautiful. All in all, I, my parents and my husband were happy with Palladium, but our guests have also commented on what a great venue it was.”
- Alyson, Bride
Wedding Reception, October 30, 2010
“Thank you for all your hard work in planning our reception. It has been a pleasure working with you and Butler’s Pantry. We cannot thank you enough for your help – it made everything less stressful. Thanks again!”
- Angie, Bride
Wedding Reception, September 4, 2010
“The evening could not have been better. I think everyone left having had a good time. Thanks so much to everyone that made the evening memorable.”
Corporate Anniversary Party, September 10, 2010
“My Mom arrived to the wedding reception early to ensure everything was in place. She has told me repeatedly that the service exceeded all of her expectations and that she could not say enough about how responsive and helpful all of the staff was.”
- Amanda, Bride
Wedding Reception, September 11, 2010
“I want to thank you for helping make Julie and Ian’s wedding such a splendid affair. The Palladium and Butler’s Pantry were the right choice and every one of our friends and relatives continue to give the venue and food rave reviews…good luck – best wishes of continued success.”
- Lyle, Father of the Bride
Wedding Reception, August 28, 2010
“Elizabeth, thank you for all your help and for being there on the big day. We heard many compliments and are still hearing compliments on the food as well as the place. The food truly was top of the line and how you served it hot to 200 people is a mystery. Almost a miracle! I agree the food was wonderful and perfect and totally delicious. And the place was unique and beautiful. Thanks for everything!”
- Christy, Mother of the Bride
Wedding Reception, August 7, 2010
“Palladium is an amazing venue – a new and unique place to host a wedding in St. Louis. We had our wedding ceremony and reception there and we couldn’t be happier with our decision. We worked with Maggie, and she was very professional and very timely in communicating with us. She worked with us on every detail until we had planned our perfect day. They truly offer 5-star service from the planning phase to the event coordination and catering the day of the wedding. Our friends and family raved about the venue, the quality of service, the food…everything! The rental fee is on the expensive side compared to most venues we looked at in St. Louis, but the top-notch service you receive in every aspect of the day is well worth every penny!”
- Karissa, Bride
Wedding Ceremony + Reception, July 31, 2010
“Thoroughly thrilled with how everything turned out. Maggie (and staff) were wonderful – could not have been happier with the service received. The space is amazing and requires minimal decorating and still has a ‘wow’ factor. Guests had rave reviews of the food and space!”
- Madeleine, Bride
Wedding Ceremony and Reception, July 3, 2010
“My experience with Palladium has been extremely positive. The space is stunning and the staff has been extremely helpful, patient, flexible and a pleasure to work with.”
NFP Dinner & Auction, June 4, 2010
“My wedding reception was absolutely delightful! I have heard from several people how gorgeous they thought the Palladium was! I have had people tell me it was the best wedding reception they have ever been to and that it was like a reception out of a movie!”
- Tori, Bride
Wedding Reception, May 29, 2010
“We had a wonderful experience with the Palladium staff. Everyone was very flexible and went out of their way to make our event great, which is not always easy with a group of high school students.”
High School Prom, May 15, 2010
“Maggie did a spectacular job! We were so pleased with the entire planning process and how attention to every detail was a priority! Service staff was friendly, professional, clean and very accomodating on the night of the event. The venue was beautiful and created great ambiance for our reception. Thank you so much for making our event a memorable one.”
- Lauren, Bride
Wedding Reception, May 8, 2010
“Maggie and Elizabeth were great to work with! We look forward to using Palladium again next year! Our event is getting rave reviews!”
NFP Dinner & Auction, April 24, 2010
“I would definitely work with the Palladium/Butler’s Pantry staff again. Maggie was excellent to work with. I appreciated the quick responses from her and her attention to detail. She was so helpful!”
- Niki, Bride
Wedding Reception, April 17, 2010
“Words can’t express how wonderful the Palladium was with everything. The service was impeccable, the venue was awesome, the food was outstanding and our Event Manager was top-notch. Our guests were extremely impressed by the selection and quality of the food. Thank you.”
- Christine, Mother of the Bride
Wedding Reception, April 17, 2010
“We have heard such positive feedback about this year’s event. Thank you for all your hard work – everyone was so helpful and easy to work with. I appreciate all you did to make our event a success.”
Cocktail Reception, April 16, 2010
“What an amazing space! I enjoyed working with all your staff and it is obvious from their professionalism that they take great pride in selling Palladium – the history, the features, etc.”
Cocktail Reception, April 14, 2010
“The Palladium staff was fabulous to work with; the attention to detail exceeded our expectations. And the quality and presentation of the food was phenomenal!”
Awards Dinner, February 27, 2010
“My entire experience at the Palladium was an excellent one. After the lunch I received tons of positive feedback from my members who attended the luncheon noting what a beautiful and unusual venue it was. It made me look good. Thanks!”
Luncheon, February 26, 2010