with Craig Trostle, owner/operator of Greenery Caterers
Hiring a caterer can be one of the most daunting tasks when planning a wedding. Craig Trostle, owner/operator of Greenery Caterers, offers some sage advice in the form of questions you should ask the caterer before you sign on the dotted line.
Q: Does the caterer offer special meals to satisfy dietary restrictions?
A: In today’s world, dietary restrictions have dramatically changed modern etiquette for culinary services. An invitation to dine should be considered an invitation to be treated like family. Therefore, it is crucial to take people’s dietary restrictions and allergies into consideration. A good caterer will have the capability to offer separate meals for vegan, vegetarian, lactose, gluten-free and other dietary restrictions without affecting the primary menu. These meals should be kept in a separate holding oven to maintain quality and be ready to serve when needed.
Q: Does the caterer customize menus based on the client’s culinary desires or theme?
A: A good caterer must have the chef-talent required to meet all menu issues as well as fulfill the client’s specific requests that correspond to an event theme, special vision of the bride or any other special wish. This requires the ability to create a variety of dining options while being creative with both the menu and the presentation in a way that will speak to the hearts, minds and souls of the guests and be remembered long after the reception is over.
Q: How should one determine the reputation of the caterer, the quality of their services and the demeanor of the staff?
A: The reputation of a caterer is determined by customer service, quality of cuisine and the relationship formed with the client. The only way to know this in advance is to seek references from previous clients and read impartial reviews. Although often overlooked, this is one of the most important aspects in selecting a caterer. Here are some questions that should be answered:
- Did the caterer value the client’s input on the menu selection and style of service?
- Was the caterer easy to work with?
- Were they sensitive to the client’s culinary and budgetary goals?
- Was the caterer efficient and friendly?
- Was the personality of the catering company and the staff friendly and sincere?
Q: Does the caterer offer an on-site wedding coordinator for your special day?
A: This is a key question that all brides should ask the caterer because an experienced wedding coordinator is vital in making their wedding day stress-free and enjoyable. For all the weddings and receptions handled by Greenery Caterers, we make certain that the coordinator has a complete understanding of the bride’s needs and expectations, so they can effectively oversee the staff and keep things running smoothly. From start to finish, the coordinator is responsible for maintaining the timing and flow of the ceremony, assisting with refreshments for the bridal party, overseeing the serving of hors d’oeuvres, as well as keeping everything flowing properly and meshing perfectly.
Q: What is the proper way to serve food from a buffet?
A: I believe in the value of food presentation. Guests eat with their eyes, and if the food looks appetizing, it will taste better—always. Therefore, even during a buffet, a staff member should be in charge of plating the food. Of course, guests can still have what they want and the quantity they want. This way the food will be presented creatively on the plate and not just shoveled there by the guests. As a detail-oriented caterer, Greenery Caterers makes certain that the placement of the food on the plate is done with a very specific design in mind so the serving looks balanced and not cluttered. The sauce for the protein should always be separate and put on the protein as the food is being plated, never in advance.
As owner/operator of Greenery Caterers, Craig Trostle has been providing creative culinary expertise for nearly 40 years. In addition to distinctive catering services, Greenery Caterers operates The Carriage House at Rockwood Park, a unique venue for weddings, receptions, as well as other social and corporate functions.
Tucked away on the secluded grounds of this historic 19th-century country estate, the 150-year-old Carriage House offers stunning outdoor settings among massive trees, walled gardens and verdant open areas, as well as indoor ceremony and reception spaces highlighted with gorgeous stone walls and rustic wooden beams. This one-of-a-kind location belies its proximity to I-95 and numerous hotels for out-of-town guests.