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Posts Tagged ‘The Deliciious Dish’

Looking for more about food?  Visit Deb Weiner’s catering company — named, of course, The Delicious Dish!

Years ago, in Connecticut, I went through a period where I was underemployed.  In addition to being a radio talk show host and a freelance arts fundraising consultant and events producer, I decided to diversify.  First, I started working with friends who had opened a flower shop in New Haven.  I had always had a flair and a passion for flower arranging, and here were friends who needed help.  I learned about the proper way to cut stems, take the ‘work leaves’ off roses, names of things like lisianthus and tuberose and bear grass.  I made lovely arrangements and bouquets for folks;  I had a great time.

Then I decided to branch out a little more.  Another friend was starting a catering business out of her little gourmet store.  She needed some extra help, so I came in and started making things.  First, buckets of fruit salad and fruit skewers.  Then, palmiers, chicken almond salad, wild rice salads, cookies, and then some of my own ideas.  It was fun — but not all the time.  We started doing events.  I enjoyed making the harvest table displays out of veggies and dips and fruits, and the charcuterie and cheese tables, featuring different kinds of baked bries and more pates than I had ever known of before.  But fighting the drunk party-goers who positioned themselves right outside the kitchen door at a party so that they could snatch handfulls (I am not kidding) of hot hors d’oeuvres — not so much.

The most challenging gig was a wedding reception which took place at a home, on a wickedly hot and humid Connecticut day in August. Not only was there no air conditioning, the kitchen was about the size of a postage stamp…and there were about fifteen stairs going down out of the kitchen to get to the yard where the wedding reception was taking place.  Back and forth the wait staff went, schlepping trays of hors d’oeuvres and bowls of salads and grilled tenderloins.  The mother of the bride wouldn’t stay out of the kitchen, the circuits blew from our convection ovens, and it was so hot that the small chocolate mousse balls we had on plates as a ‘before the cake is cut’ treat, melted in the heat.  I remember coming home, where the air conditioners were blasting, and dropping one item of sweaty clothing after another, as I walked like a zombie toward the shower…where I stayed for a very long time.

Still, it was fun to produce good food that people enjoyed, and so I kept it up.  After I moved to Massachusetts, I would do occasional gigs for friends, or to pick up a little extra money at holiday or vacation time, and I took to ‘selling myself’ at our annual church auction — for a respectable fee, of course. I didn’t have a name for my little company, though, until I saw the Saturday Night Live skit about the two NPR reporters who have a food show.  This was the famous interview with Alec Baldwin as Pete Schweddy which had me on the floor crying with laughter.  That was it:  I would call my company “The Delicious Dish,” the name of the NPR show in the skit.

Since The Delicious Dish has started, I’ve done a number of engagements over the years, and I continue today.  I’ve catered parties for 100, cocktail parties for 20, surprise birthday events, and more.  They’re fun, creative, and a great way for me to share some of the recipes I’ve developed with others.  Some of you have read my rant about bad food, cheap.  What I enjoy is making good food, at reasonable prices, knowing that others appreciate it.

I view catering as part of my portfolio of other interests…it’s not the main thing that I do, but something I enjoy, that uses my creativity, and that I do pretty darned well.  When the local produce comes in and my garden starts to ramp up, I start thinking:  what could I make out of that item that people would enjoy?  So if you have an event coming up, you might want to make a date with The Delicious Dish.  I hear she’s great at a party!

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