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Chef Heidi

Chef Heidi    |    Weddings


Color inspiration of the day- Burnt Orange and Turquoise

Those who know me know that my favorite color is turquoise. I am a Pisces who is happiest near the ocean, my birthstone is aquamarine, and my grandmother’s (and guardian angel) color of choice was always turquoise. There is just something about the color that screams serenity. Pair this with my second favorite color, burnt orange, and I have a match made in heaven! The combination of these colors just makes me happy, and it is not commonly used as a wedding color palette (which in my opinion is a very good thing…make your wedding as unique and fun as you!).

The key to this color palette is to not over do it…use bits of the colors here and there and always balance them with some neutral tones such as champagne, burlap and white. Introduce the color palette to your guests by welcoming them with an orange and champagne cocktail station. Display the champagne on a table featuring a pale turquoise overlay and topped with a burlap runner. Complete the station with flower arrangements filled with orange garden roses, orange berries, rosemary sprigs, and cascading ivy. Have your bridesmaids in neutral champagne cocktail dresses, and ask them to wear chunky turquoise jewelry of their choice. Instead of a flower boutonniere for the grooms men, have your bridesmaids assist you in making button boutonnieres made of burlap, orange berries, and fabric covered buttons featuring the color palette. That little pop of color against their blazer will make a huge impact. For your something blue,  find the cutest and brightest turquoise heels that will peek out from under your gown every once and a while throughout the night. Have your groom wear turquoise socks so you can take advantage of those adorable sock and shoe photo ops that are oh so popular these days.

For your table setting, remember to keep it simple. Top your neutral linens with burlap runners and burnt orange flower arrangements. Make some fun napkin rings similar to your boutonnieres to hold your  napkins. Scatter turquoise votive holders and bottles throughout the flower arrangements to give the table that additional pop of color. The warm glow of the candle against the turquoise glass will create a beautiful orange affect that will light up the table. Fill your turquoise bottles with sand and place taper candles in the bottle opening. It is always important to have a nice balance of high and low elements on your table setting.

Finally, treat your guests to one of Chef Heidi’s to-die-for custom designed cakes. Keep it clean and simple with a pale turquoise fondant icing, and top it with one giant orange flower. And finally, don’t forget to send your guests home with a memorable favor. I would recommend getting your friends together and making batches of homemade marmalade and apricot jam. Package the jam in individual jars, and tie with a turquoise striped ribbon. Complete the favor with a burlap colored “thank you” tag.

Just remember…the possibilities are endless!

Happy Planning!

- Sarah 


Food inspiration of the month- CITRUS!

While the lemonade sipping warm days of summer are still ages away, I am buried under a pile of summer wedding plans. Nothing thrills me more than working with summer brides whose color palettes are fresh and fun! Citrus colors and flavors seem to be at the forefront of my brides minds, and I couldn’t be happier. Nothing screams summer more to me than vases filled with bright yellow lemons, or candied citrus rind in a champagne martini, or fuchsia bridesmaid dresses paired with lime green bouquets. Bring on the summer!

There are many ways to bring a citrus element into your summer wedding. When thinking of your wedding cake, think of a lemon cream layered angel food cake topped with citrus flavored butter cream icing.   If strawberry shortcake was your dessert of choice as a kid (which it just happened to be for me), have a four tiered strawberry shortcake decorated with lime wedges in between the tiers.  What little kid hasn’t dreamed of that? Remember, let your inner child shine and incorporate childhood memories into your wedding plans. It will be that much more special for you and your guests.

As for your cocktail hour, come up with a fabulous signature drink that brings in all those summery citrus flavors. One of my favorite cocktails is my Clementine Vodka Splash. Combine 2 ounces of citrus flavored vodka with 1 ounce of tripe sec. Shake with ice and pour into a chilled sugar rimmed martini glass. Garnish with 2 slices of candied clementine on a skewer. It is heavenly!

Another refreshing element to bring into your meal is an Intermezzo Course between the appetizer and the main meal. Nothing cleanses the palette more than Chef Heidi’s Lemon Riesling Sorbet. Simply delicious!

My last fun idea for the day is to send your guests home with a homemade package of candied citrus wedges packaged in a small burlap box and tied with lime green ribbon. The possibilities are endless! If you are one of those brides whose color palette is inspired by those summery citrus colors, look to some of these photos for inspiration!

Happy Planning!

Sarah


What a weekend!

We are very familiar with busy weekends but this one was a little different.

First, Friday ran into Saturday as we produced and served 40 gallons of Roasted Salmon Chipotle Chowder at the very popular Chowderfest put on by Experience Saratoga.  That translates into just shy of 1100 servings.  

Then, I spoke at the popular and most beautiful “Well Wed” Bridal Show (check out their magazine featuring Upstate NY) at the Canfield Casino on the subject of “Green Weddings”.  I talked about the farmers I use and why it’s important to use local producers and small producers world-wide.

On Sunday we woke up very early to begin a day of sub making.  That’s right….deli subs.  These are not on our usual fare but we have dedicated ourselves to helping out a new troop of Boy Scouts, Troop #46, who decided to break off a very large troop.  Our first venture together was a Super Bowl Sub Sale.  The Scouts hit the pavement and took orders for freshly made subs delivered to them on Super Bowl Sunday.  They did quite well in sales.  We kept 30% to cover food cost and we donated the labor to produce them.  I spent four hours on the slicer!  So they have 70% of their sales to spend on some much needed camping equipment!  Our next event with this troop will be a Chicken BBQ this spring or summer.

And if that was not enough, we also produce a lot of wholesale soups for Rockhill Bakehouse in Glens Falls.  68 gallons this week!  If you haven’t eaten at their cafe in downtown Glens Falls you need to stop in.  The sandwiches are all served on their amazing bread.  My favorite?  Curried Chicken Salad with artichoke hearts and then grilled on a Panini grill!!!  And they have great soup.  


Inauguration Events

While I did watch all the events of this historic Inauguration Day, I also paid attention to the caterers of the Day.  There were many in Washington and we received some feedback from two.

One of the caterers, Ridgewells Catering of Washington, DC, had the privilege of catering one of the evening galas.  With an expected attendance of 10,000, they offered some insight into the impressive food quantities their team had prepared. “We’re preparing 95 gallons of guacamole, 400 pounds of crudites and we’ll be serving 200,000 pieces of dessert.”

Occasions Caterers, also of Washington DC and also involved in catering of the day, expected a long day with events running non-stop. Communications Manager, Davielle Shevitz was quoted as saying, “We’ll definitely be busy.  The biggest challenge of the entire day is logistics, especially relating to security. Our trucks have to stay overnight inside the security zone, so we have to be really aware of the perishability of our food and as a result prepare food that keeps well.”

Events of this nature and scale are a good opportunity for reflection.  According to Ridgewells, “We’re grateful to be here in the nation’s capital and grateful to have these events. Just grateful all-around.”     


Come to our Tasting in January

Four times a year Black Diamond Caterers opens its “doors” to potential clients to come and eat.  For the last two years we’ve held our tastings at The Batcheller Mansion here in Saratoga Springs.  Touring this amazing Inn is reason alone to attend.  With its incredibly perfect Victorian charm, the inn lends itself nicely to our quarterly tastings. 

Scheduled for Sunday, January 25, I’m not sure of everything I’m making for foods but I have some ideas.  What I like about these tastings as opposed to private tastings for clients is I can make many more foods and a much wider variety.  

One of the foods I know I will be making is our Italian Presentation available off our “Signature Hors d’Oeuvre Reception” menu page.  It’s filled with an Artichoke and Pancetta Antipasti, Gnocchi with Truffle Sauce, Shaved 24 month aged Parmesan Reggiano drizzled with the most incredible Chestnut Honey from Umbria (yum!), assorted Salumi, Fennel and Lemon Olives, my own Tapenade and my own Cannelloni spread (which I eat by tearing bread off and swiping big scoops) and lastly, my Goat Cheese and Pesto Torta.   

Now……. aren’t you hungry?  If you are in the market for a caterer, click on “Contact Us” for all the information and we’ll welcome you with open arms, a prosecco and some Torta! 


Mardi Gras in Saratoga!

This weekend Saratoga Springs is holding a Mardi Gras in its downtown area.  There will be great music, a parade and lots of great food.  Many participating restaurants, AND US!, will be serving their best tributes to the food of New Orleans.  All “samples” will be $1 and there will be voting for your favorite dishes.

On Sunday we will be serving Creole Pecan Chicken with a Bourbon Cream and Dirty Rice at Rena’s Flowers on the corner of Beekman and Ash Streets which is right on the Parade route.  Stop by and see us!

 The event will support Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council and Saratoga’s domestic sister city Waveland, Mississippi.  Waveland was a town about the size and population of Ballston Spa, NY. After Hurricane Katrina, only 35 homes were left habitable.  Coleman Ave, Waveland’s “Broadway” was reduced to a pile of rubble with nearly every business destroyed.

Read more information at www.saratogamardigras.org


Just when you thought you knew it all…………..

The culinary knowledge the average person now enjoys is due to the culinary movement of the last fifteen years.  It started with just a handful of people (like Emeril Lagasse) and blossomed into more than the TV, cookbook or magazine media moguls could have ever imagine.

I’m going to test your knowledge.  Whether you like sashimi or not chances are very good you are familiar with or have knowledge of sashimi.  But!!  Do you have knowledge of this?  Take a moment and check it out.

These are Geoducks (pronounced Goo-ee-ducks).  They are a mullosk (clam family) that are prized for their meat in Japan and adored in our Northwest for chowder and other dishes.  They can live to be over 150 years old and they are, well, interesting in shape and size. 

Watch the videos in the order listed. If you’re interested in a cooking class using Geoduck…..let me know!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VmXDTn2-xY&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raCUc5A6FHU&feature=related


The Superbowl and Avocados

Two thirds of all avocados sold in the US are purchased within three days of the Superbowl!!  That is over 50 Million Pounds of Avocados. 

Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable.  Avocados are sodium- and cholesterol-free and have only five grams of fat per serving, most of it the monounsaturated kind.  California produces about 90% of the nation’s avocado crop.   About 43% of all U.S. households buy avocados.  And…………….

they make great guacamole for the Superbowl.


Saratoga Experience!

Recently, we had the opportunity to spend time with some of the movers and groovers of the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau.  It was great to hear about all their work and all the projects they are working on.  This organization entices, pursues and pursuades groups (mostly corporations and associations) to bring their people to Saratoga Springs. 

Also known by the name, Saratoga Experience, they are dedicated to bringing people and dollars to the downtown Saratoga area and making the town more of a year round destination place.  It is safe to say Saratoga is well on its way to being a Destination Place for weddings already.  We cater quite a few Saratoga Destination Weddings every year.  Couples come from all over the country to be wed in this town.  

One of the events organized and executed by Saratoga Experience is the ChowderFest.  This event has become very, very popular.  It promotes the great restaurants Saratoga offers and it’s always quite fun.  So, if you have February 2 open……….go!

If you’re not familiar with Saratoga Experience or want to learn more details about  Chowderfest 08, check out their website at:

www.discoversaratoga.org


New York Wedding Affair at Universal Preservation Hall

If you haven’t heard of Well Wed Magazine you are probably not in the market for a wedding.  But if you were……..you would definitely want this magazine.  It is a perfect size, it has high quality photos, great articles, lots of suggestions and unlike most bridal magazines it is not 90% ads.  It focusses on Eastern Upstate NY which is very nice.  Here is the website to get one or you can pick one up at many local bookstores. 

http://www.wellwedmagazine.com/

Why do I bring  this up?  Because on Saturday, tomorrow January 19th, they are at Universal Preservation Hall in downtown Saratoga Springs with a bridal show called New York Wedding Affair.  We will be at this show and we expect it will be a very nice day for everyone attending.  There has been a lot of thought and care put into this show to benefit the bride and groom in as many ways possible. 

And if you haven’t checked out Universal Preservation Hall you absolutely must.  It’s a large, beautiful, old cathedral church that many people have vested in over a number of years to save it from a bleak future.  A large wedding could not find a better venue.  

 http://www.universalpreservationhall.org/

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