Blog

Event Catering Bay Area Tailgate

Tailgating Done Right: Planning a Party for Football Fans

Make the Handoff this Season: Catering Lets You Enjoy Your Party as Much as Your Guests The San Francisco 49ers have seen it all over the past several years, witnessing the stunning emergence of Colin Kaepernick at QB, a championship bid in 2012 dashed by the Baltimore Ravens, and the loss of Coach Harbaugh to Michigan last year after a lackluster team performance. All this action and anticipation has meant that Bay Area fans have had plenty of reasons to tailgate. To that end, here are three tips to help you plan a game party no one will forget. 1. Prepare the space. During the game, your guests will need plenty of seating. You will also need tables for food, plates and utensils. If you will be hiring a catering company, ask them how much space they need before you begin preparing the room. Once your tables and chairs are in place, use ribbons, streamers and balloons to make the atmosphere more festive. A wall graphic of 2 of your favorite player(s) can flank your screen or greet your guests as they enter your property, and it never hurts to have a football or 2 on hand half-time fun or for a family atmosphere where...

Read More

Halloween Event Catering Not Just for Kids

Halloween Corporate Catering Event or A Themed Party at Your Home Kids aren't the only ones who enjoy a good Halloween party. Whether you’re hosting an office costume contest or a themed party at home for friends, you can always add items to the menu tailored specifically to your adult guests. As you plan your party, we hope you can use some of these ideas to plan an event that your guests will remember. Themes tie everything together. Choose a theme for your party – such as Spooky Spidery Stuff, Back to The 1980’s, or Attractive Zombies in Love -- and use it to plan decor, music and food. If you’re working with an event catering company, be sure to clue them in on your theme, so they can prepare the right dishes. (Vodka-spiked peeled grape “eyeballs,” anyone?) Offer a variety of choices to please everyone. If you expect guests of all ages, vary your menu to suit everybody. Most private and corporate catering companies offer some kid-friendly options, such as chicken tenders, along with other choices designed for a more mature palate (e.g. the aforementioned vodka-spiked grape eyeballs or a vampire inspired blood-like beverage). Also...

Read More
bay-area-wedding-catering-food-allergies

Planning for Dietary Restrictions with Bay Area Event Catering

Bay Area Event Catering Helps Your Guests Avoid Adverse Reactions Whether you are hosting a wedding, a graduation or a Bar Mitzvah, the food you serve plays a huge role in your guests' enjoyment of the event. Thus, if one or more of your guests suffer from a food allergy or adheres to a special diet, you need an event catering company that can accommodate those requirements and simultaneously please everyone who walks through the door. A Wide Variety of Food Allergies can Make Planning Difficult More and more people are going gluten free. Some may have slight sensitivities which can cause discomfort while others may experience severe distress or medical issues due to accidental consumption. In addition to the growing gluten-free trend, allergies to nuts, certain legumes, berries, citrus, dairy, and eggs can cause anything from annoyance to life-threatening reactions in extreme cases. It is important to know your guests and understand their dietary restrictions to prevent issues. As you plan your event catering it may be wise to include an area on your RSVPs for guests to include special dietary requirements. Inexperienced Caterers Put Guests at Risk Inexperienced or untrained caterers sometimes misunderstand special requests, including allergy issues. For example, an untrained caterer may not realize that allergens can transfer...

Read More
menlo-park-wedding-catering-cocktail-hour

Bay Area Wedding Catering for Foodies

Cocktails to Dessert: Bay Area Event Catering finds Foodies Looking for Something Special When it comes to wedding catering, Menlo Park companies offer an impressive and exciting variety of options. The most flexible companies can tailor their menus to meet the (often quite finicky and specific) requests of their clients. Below are some tips to help you plan a menu that is sure to wow your guests, whether you’re throwing together a paleo-style barbecue or a vegan/gluten-free formal affair. 1. Plan cocktail hour carefully. Cocktail hour may not be the main event, but that doesn't mean it can't be a delightful diversion and culinary adventure for guests. Put a wild spin on traditional offerings, or try something new and bold, like gourmet popsicle cocktails or soup shooters. Work with your caterer to get creative. 2. Use your own recipes. Many companies that specialize in catering Menlo Park gatherings will allow you to submit some of your own recipes for appetizers, dinner or dessert. These recipes may need to be modified to accommodate the load and logistics of planning for several hundred people. 3. Print or post a menu. Guests want to know what they will be eating at dinner. Post a menu or hand out printed menus that...

Read More

Wedding Catering: Brunch to After Dinner Drinks, Entertain Smart And Save

4 Tips for Palo Alto Wedding Catering Services that Won't Break the Bank Whether your boyfriend of several years just proposed - and you’re still giddy about planning your life in Palo Alto together - or you have found yourself suddenly daunted by the cost and complexity of wedding catering, you’d like insight into how to ensure that your guests will have an amazing time without putting the two of you into debt. Here are some ideas: 1. Eschew traditional meals. Rather than have an expensive wedding dinner and dessert, for instance, consider having an early morning affair. A wedding brunch in Palo Alto can be delicious and festive, and you can generally feed more people for less. Conversely, if you're night owls and you have a young crowd, save your money for late night action, such as amazing drinks and a coffee/dessert bar. 2. Find small fixes to get your average per guest cost down. A recent Time magazine article said that “the average bride and groom fork over $66 per guest on food and drinks alone.” Event catering services tend to make their biggest and easiest money on liquor, beer, and wine. Consider bringing your own liquor if possible. Rather than paying a marked...

Read More
event catering bay area

Fall Wedding Catering for Bay Area Foodies

Wedding Catering Should Take Advantage of Fall Produce Although we’re entering the heart of the summer, autumn beckons around the corner with its colorful leaves, brisk breezes and cool nights. Especially in the beautiful Bay Area, fall can be the perfect time to host a wedding. Here’s a nice plus: if you’re a foodie planning a wedding during this season, your catering options are virtually limitless. Below are some ideas to consider as you game out your wedding menu. 1. Autumn-Themed Appetizers. Consider soups that include squash or other fall vegetables. If you would rather serve a salad, opt for salads with fall toppings, such as cranberries or pumpkin seeds. The best event catering companies should be familiar with these types of dishes and be able to create flexible and even spontaneous menus. Just be sure to taste samples before you make your final choices! 2. Entrees. For fall weddings, you can choose to serve traditional entrees, such as salmon, steak or chicken. However, you can also opt for something more “harvest season oriented,” such as Cornish hens or veal. Serve the meal with a fall-friendly side, such as candied carrots, cinnamon apples or sweet potatoes. 3. Desserts. As you consider the dessert options provided by your wedding catering...

Read More

How to Pick Fresh Fruit & Veggies at a Farmer’s Market

The Benefits of Using Local Produce When Catering Events  Our commitment to using locally grown food enables us to provide nutritious and delicious results when event catering in the Bay Area and surrounding neighborhoods. Thanks to the many farmer’s markets across the region, every meal we prepare offers a fresh and unique appeal that is specific to great California cuisine. For large parties that require corporate catering in the Bay Area, our chef makes multiple stops to the farmer’s market so that the quality of food remains high, and does not take on a “commercialized” taste. While we are trained to know what to look for when selecting food at a farmer’s market, more often than not, people go to the farmer’s market unaware of the best things to purchase and avoid. We have put together a short, comprehensive list so you can know exactly to look for (and avoid) the next time you visit the local farmer’s market: Bell Peppers Surprisingly, green bell peppers have as many antioxidants as their red and yellow siblings, but tend to be cheaper. Why not “go green,” and save a few extra dollars? Your pocket-book will thank you, and you’ll still enjoy almost an equal amount of nutritional...

Read More

Unique Menlo Park Corporate Catering Request

Water Tank Themed Bay Area Catering Dessert Handheld Catering is delighted to have had the opportunity to provide corporate catering for Menlo Park events serving the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford (PIE), as we greatly appreciate the goals and efforts of the institute. For their event PIE presented us with an interesting goal, the client wanted a dessert constructed in such a way that it resembled the hot water tank housed at Stanford Energy Systems Innovations (SESI). While considering many different ideas and trying to avoid a basic cupcake, as might be provided with typical event catering, we wanted to provide something special for the distinguished, plated event. We decided to go with a dark chocolate mousse with fresh strawberries, blueberries and garnished with mint. We were happy with the idea, but our problem still persisted. How could we make our dessert idea evoke the handsome new water tank that serves as a symbol of the efforts made through SESI? We needed to come up with a design that matched the industrial look of the new facility, but still maintained the architectural lines and modern, simple feel. Midori, Handheld’s Director of Operations, stepped up to the creative task and found the perfect vessel in...

Read More

About Our Corporate Catering Client: Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford

Stanford Event Catering in Menlo Park   Handheld Catering recently provided corporate catering in Menlo Park for the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford. The Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford (PIE) serves as the hub of a broad and deep network of experts from various scientific, technological, behavioral, and policy disciplines who are working independently and collaboratively to solve the world's most pressing energy problems. Out of this collaboration and research facilitated by PIE comes a combined new system – Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) – which has made Stanford one of the most energy-efficient research universities in the world. SESI’s innovative heating, cooling, and power production and management plan for Stanford far exceeds the aggressive goals of California's AB 32 Global Warming Solutions Act, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Stanford President John Hennessy spoke on the subject at the recent PIE conference stating that, "SESI [has achieved] a stunning and unprecedented reduction in Stanford's carbon footprint and water usage… We believe this system can be a model for others equally concerned about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and willing to make an investment in the future. SESI is a transformational energy system for the 21st century, and we...

Read More

Bay Area Catering Tips for a Successful Summer Party

Picture this: Refreshing winds dance in the warm summer sky, creating the perfect ambiance for your special event. Guests arrive and are instantly greeted by a bountiful spread of local, colorful cuisine and summer food favorites. You look around and notice plates piled high, and satisfied looks on faces as guests engage in rich conversation. At the end of the event, compliments flood your way, and the scarce pickings of leftover food reveal the popularity of the night's menu....

Read More