It’s raining here in Chicago and I would like to suggest that you put on your catering hats! What I mean is that as April showers bring May flowers, so arrives the party season and the best time for all things catering.
With Communions, Mother’s Day, Graduations and summer entertaining around the corner, it’s an opportune time to think about catering. If you are a restaurant owner without a catering sector, it might be time to consider how catering might impact your business. If you are a restaurant owner with a catering sector it’s time to take a look at your catering menus and see what needs to be done to improve and fine tune.
Catering for restaurants is a great way to build relationships with your existing customers, to make use of your kitchen in low traffic periods, to allow your culinary staff to flex their culinary muscle with new ideas and creativity and to create a broader revenue stream with a very good ROI.
Catering is not right for every restaurant but if you think it can work in your environment, now is a good time to check the competition and conduct a little market research. Talk to your staff and see what they think, explore the items on your menu that might transfer well to catering and start small. You can always add to a catering menu and in fact, catering menus are best when they change with the seasons.
How about a trip back in time … can you remember the last time you had some Butterscotch Pudding?
For me, I had the pleasure of visiting my cousin in Tucson last year about this time. We went to a restaurant called Wildflower and had a fabulous dinner. Deciding to indulge in dessert, we ordered what they had on special that evening. I can’t remember what it was exactly … but there was butterscotch involved! It was the most wonderful taste sensation and brought me right back to my childhood. Since that evening, I have wondered what happened to butterscotch and why it has not been a part of my last 40 years.
When I returned to Chicago, I had butterscotch on my mind for awhile and thought I’d do a little research. But then, as often happens to those of us in the industry, I got sidetracked and forgot all about the butterscotch … until a couple of weeks ago. A friend of mine who is moving to Indy, sent me a recipe for Butterscotch Pot de Creme that needed to be converted to ounces from grams. She was having a major craving and wanted to take the recipe to Indiana, get settled in her new home and then make it as a reminder of comfort and joy.
I consulted with a couple of my peeps and we did the conversions. However, I took it a step further of course, and I’m thinking you probably already know what I’m about to say. Yep, had to make it myself and found the perfect occasion. Last night there was a little farewell party for my friends and I volunteered to bring dessert.
Knowing it would be a great surprise and a great comfort for my friend, I sought the best Butterscotch Chips (Guittard), indulged in a fresh Vanilla Bean and set out to create these little pots of butterscotch pleasure.
Oh my. Topped with a little whipped cream and chocolate, there was indeed audible moaning going on around the table last night! If you haven’t had a little butterscotch in a long time, I encourage you to go for it, click on the link for the recipe, you will not be sorry. Enjoy!
Butterscotch Pot de Crème