Behind the bespoke catering industry are companies that do far more than just make and serve canapés. The best in the business are illusionists who have mastered the art of the showstopper, and pull all the strings from out of sight. From selecting themes and personalizing menus to setting the scene and even capturing the event with flawless photography, an experienced caterer does it all. For clients this means unforgettable affairs that their guests will remember for years. We meet the maestros of event organizing for whom the wow factor comes as standard.
Peardrop, London, UK
Only five years ago, recipe-obsessed Rose Lloyd Owen turned her back on a career in film and theater (she was an assistant to a talent agent), and started Peardrop so she could deliver salads to offices around London. Not formally trained, Lloyd Owen had cooked since childhood and was always interested in healthy eating. Since then, Peardrop has blossomed into a full-scale event planning and catering company for titans in fashion, film, and media, including Jimmy Choo, Stella McCartney, and Vivienne Westwood, as well as Vogue and Apple. Recently Lloyd Owen catered a music industry party, during which a “very famous pop star” (she’s too discreet to name names) came into the kitchen to wax lyrical about the food, then booked Peardrop on the spot for an upcoming party. “Lots of people eating our food is the best marketing, and it makes me incredibly proud when clients repeat book with us,” she says.
Tastings NYC, New York, USA
Alexandra Morris has been catering to the Big Apple’s most discerning hosts for almost two decades, launching Tastings NYC in 2001. Working with chef Cédric Durand and sous chef Jeremy Enriquez, Tastings NYC’s clients include Upper East Side families, political officials, and fashion brands looking to make a splash with a stylish product launch. When Margherita Missoni and fashion brand Splendid partnered for a private shopping experience, Morris and her team created a flower crown-making station, and served traditional Italian Aperol spritz, along with savory bites and candy stations piled with colorful Italian sweets. “It was an event that left everyone smiling,” says Morris, who studied marketing and advertising before deciding to focus on her true love: food. “It was exactly what the client wanted and we were delighted to be a part of such a memorable affair.” Tastings has planned and catered events for Dior and Jimmy Choo, the French Consulate, and countless private clients.
It was exactly what the client wanted and we were delighted to be a part of such a memorable affair.
Invisible Kitchen, Hong Kong, China
A professional chef who’s trained in Michelin-starred kitchens, among them England’s legendary Fat Duck, Tom Burney counts a five-week stint as the private chef for Keanu Reeves and Chris Hemsworth, and a media lunch for Bentley Motors among his top-tier gigs as a private chef. When his clients began requesting his culinary prowess for high-profile events and special occasions, he launched Invisible Kitchen in 2014. Burney and his team recently catered for the VIP spectators of the Volvo Ocean Race during its Hong Kong stop, which meant feeding 1,000 people spread over 50 boats with free-flowing food and drink. He recently catered a family birthday party where the dad was a keen cook, and had been dining in top restaurants for more than 30 years. He was apparently reluctant to hand over his kitchen to Burney, who focuses on modern European cuisine, though eventually happy he did. “In the end he said it was the best meal they had ever eaten and the family was blown away,” says Burney.
Related: How To Work With a Private Chef
Daniel et Daniel, Toronto, Canada
With decades of experience under their toques, the team at Daniel et Daniel are known for creating innovative and memorable events. “Our event planners and chefs know what it takes to create something really unique,” says managing partner Dave Stratton. While menus lean toward French-Mediterranean, a nod to Parisian founders Daniel Megly and Daniel Clairet, any wish can be fulfilled at this full-service catering company. From vegetarian canapés such as watermelon poke, to sit-down dinners of braised short ribs and pan-seared halibut, one need only look at a sample menu to relish the mouthwatering choice and creativity. At one outdoor event for more than 3,000 people, Daniel et Daniel had waiters riding mini trains to various parts of the venue, stepping off with trays laden with hors d’oeuvres and beverages that showcased various regions of Canada. “We are constantly challenged to create authentic and unique experiences and cuisine for our guests, and there is joy on a daily basis when they see the result. It is an amazing feeling,” says Stratton.