All posts by Thomas Oliver

Catering Wedding Experience

How Does Catering Enhance the Wedding Experience?

As a bride, you’re excited, glowing, and gracious in accepting the congratulations and well-wishes that follow your engagement. Deep down, however, you may be feeling a little anxiety as you try to figure out how you’ll get everything done by the wedding day. One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is also among the most important: Whether to hire New York wedding catering to handle the event.

You can make a list of pros and cons, as you keep your budget and chosen venue in mind. However, it’s also important to consider whether:

  • You simply want to check an item off your Wedding To-Do list; OR,
  • You strive to enhance the wedding experience for yourself, your partner, and your guests.

Once you recognize the difference, you’ll appreciate the ways that catering can take the event from mundane to memorable.

Wedding Caterers Assist with Planning the Menu:

Catering professionals are knowledgeable about what’s necessary to feed any size group, from a few dozen family and friends to a large bash for a few hundred. These services can assist you in choosing dishes based upon your vision, as well as:

  • Your chosen cuisine and style;
  • What works for the wedding venue;
  • Portion sizes;
  • Sizes and accompaniments;
  • Kosher, vegetarian, and specific needs of guests; and,
  • Many other details.

You Can Rest Assured the Food is High Quality and Consistent:

People may rave about your chicken marsala, but you can probably see how the quality of any dish may suffer if you try to prepare it in large quantities. Caterers excel in creating large portions of food on a large scale, so you can be sure the meal is as flavorful as it is plentiful. Plus, they have solid, long-term relationships with food purveyors and suppliers. You’ll know that quality ingredients go into the preparation of your wedding feast, and you’re getting the best prices on fresh, seasonal items.

Caterers Deliver Show-Stopping Meal Presentation:

As the saying goes, “we eat first with our eyes.” Therefore, aside from quality of the food, you’ll also want it to look fabulous for guests and photo opportunities. A catering professional will focus on the visual aspects of food service, so that the presentation compliments the venue, décor, and overall style of your wedding.

Hiring a Wedding Caterer Saves You Time:

Taking matters into your own hands and planning your own wedding reception is the equivalent of a part-time job if you want to do it well. Though you can tackle the big picture preparations, it’s the little details that you don’t expect – but which can derail your hard work up to the moments before the wedding.

Wedding caterers anticipate the challenges in planning these events, down to the minutiae you may not have considered. They’re also prepared to take on other tasks that have nothing to do with food service. Based upon your needs, you can trust a caterer to help with:

  • Booking the ideal venue;
  • Retaining an officiant;
  • Design, preparation, transportation, and presentation of your wedding cake;
  • Vetting and working with the band or DJ;
  • Choosing and assembling flowers;
  • Taking the lead on other wedding décor; and,
  • Hiring bartending staff or other types of beverage service.

You Won’t Stress About Last-Minute Emergencies:

Even best laid plans can go awry when unforeseen circumstances arise – and Murphy’s Law dictates that these emergencies will occur at the worst possible time. A wedding caterer is your go-to resource when disaster strikes, so the stress of a crisis doesn’t creep in to affect your big day.

Wedding Catering Allows You to Be the Bride:

To a certain extent, the role of a bride encompasses hostess duties. If there are issues with the food, drinks, music, unruly guests, or service, who will be the first to hear about it? YOU, unless you have a wedding caterer to run interference. On the biggest day of your life, you don’t want to be finding a clean fork for your nephew, uncorking bottles of wine, or hearing about your cousin’s gluten intolerance.

Your wedding day is the one, rare opportunity where you should be wearing a veil – not multiple hats. Be the bride and let wedding caterers tackle the rest.

Learn More About the Benefits of New York Wedding Catering

If you’d like to hear about additional ways that a catering service enhances the wedding experience, please contact Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering & Events. Our professionals offer the full array of catering services for weddings, including assistance with the menu, flowers, cake, venue, and other essentials.

Tip the Caterer

How Much Do I Tip The Caterer: Tipping Etiquette 101

It’s a common scenario when planning a wedding, corporate meeting, or other special event: The big day has arrived, and you’re feeling very satisfied with the preparations. You’ve checked off every item on your list, including booking the venue, hiring a New York catering company, determining the menu, and organizing the guest list. Because you considered every expense and planned for any contingency, you’re set to go.

Though you may think you’ve covered all details, there may be one item that eludes you: How much to tip the caterer. It’s a point that’s easily overlooked during preparations, but the tip is something that you should at least consider making part of your budget.

Why Do You Tip Caterers?

Tipping is defined as giving a person or company a sum of money as a way of rewarding them for providing the services you’ve procured. It’s not considered part of the transaction – a tip is extra. It’s part of social convention in many environments, including catering.

While tipping is routine in restaurants, and in some cases required by an added gratuity, there are fewer unwritten rules as applied to catering. The general rule of thumb is that you tip because you’re satisfied, happy, or even thrilled with the experience. You add a tip when the services, food, music, venue, and all other arrangements were handled impeccably and professionally by the catering company.

How Much Do You Tip a Caterer?

Once you understand the reasons behind it, the next important question is how much to tip the wedding caterer, event coordinator, or other company hired to help you host an event. In some cases, it may even be in the contract and the decision is made for you. Other times, you’ll need to determine a strategy – preferably in advance – of how you’ll calculate the caterer’s tip. Examples include:

  • You may choose to tip on the basis of the total catering bill, at a rate of 15 to 20 percent.
  • You could provide a tip that accounts for the food and beverage cost, usually around 18 percent of the combined sum.
  • A flat rate fee per person may be appropriate, as follows:
    • For servers, food runners, and non-chef kitchen staff, a tip of $25-$50;
    • For the executive chef and catering management, a standard tip may range from $50 to $100; and
    • For bartenders, the going rate for a tip is usually around 10-15 percent of the total bar bill, if separate from your catering services.

In addition, you should note that the amount of the caterer’s tip is also based upon the type of event. For instance, you may provide a higher rate for a wedding as compared to a corporate event. Your big day is a personal, momentous occasion, so your gratitude should be reflected monetarily.

How Do You Tip Caterers?

Besides how much to tip the caterer, it’s important to comply with protocol on who, when, and how. In general, you’ll pay the tip to your agent at the catering service – the person who had taken the lead on all the details and consulted with you throughout the planning process. You’ll want to wait until your wedding or other event is drawing to a close, especially since performance of the catering services is a major factor in determining the amount.

As a practical matter, you should plan to pay the caterer’s tip in cash. Many times, the service will dole out tips to service staff immediately after wrapping things up. All those involved with assisting in your event appreciate being able to go home with cash in their pockets.

Consult with a New York Catering Professionals About Wedding and Event Details

Hopefully, these answers to common questions about tipping will help you guide you on the bigger inquiry: How much to tip catering delivery, the caterer services, and any other professionals that assist with your event. There is no right or wrong way to handle it, but DO make sure you at least consider an extra amount for great service, fantastic food, and attention to every detail.

Please call to set up an appointment with a New York catering company who can assist with your event, and will inspire you to tip accordingly for professional services that exceed your expectations.

New York Catering Company Food

What Type of Food Does a New York Catering Company Provide?

Menu and food service are among the first tasks you’ll need to tackle when planning a special event, but you may be wondering how the process works when you partner with a New York catering company. Generally, you can rest assured that caterers will strive to exceed your expectations for a wedding, gala, or corporate event. However, you should also be aware of the types of food a catering company can provide to make the occasion special.

4 Types of Food You’ll See at Top Events by New York Catering Companies

Recently, caterers for weddings, parties, corporate meetings, and other special events are less focused on presenting a specific cuisine or course. You may see the typical entrée choices of fish, beef, or vegetable replaced by an experiential menu. The food might represent the lifestyle or preferences of the couple or be a complement to the venue itself. Some examples of the food you’ll find at a catered event may include:

  1. Farm to Table: The trend that’s hit the restaurant scene in recent years is carrying over into catered events, with organic produce, locally produced meats, and artisan cheeses topping the menus. Guests feel a sense of connection with their meal when they know it was sourced just a few miles away.
  2. Brunch: People love brunch, so it makes sense that this breakfast-lunch crossover would find its way into high end events like weddings, anniversary parties, and engagement celebrations. Mimosas and Bloody Marys are the ideal accompaniment to a mid-morning meal with omelets, fruit, breakfast meats, and other offerings.
  3. Midnight Snacks: After a night of dancing and revelry, more couples are providing late night sustenance to guests before they depart the wedding. The menu could be as basic as pizza and burgers, or as elegant as passed appetizers.
  4. Small Plates: Catering services are moving toward a meal that’s more akin to a tasting menu than a three-course meal. Instead of the routine salad/entrée/dessert, you may see an amuse bouche paired with an aperitif, followed by 3-5 small plates, wrapping up with a tiny, sweet bite.

3 Types of Catering Food Service and Presentations

To New York wedding catering services, the presentation and style of service is every bit as important as the food. However, more couples and event organizers are eschewing the sit-down dinner or buffet for more creative choices.

  1. Themed Service Stations: Everyone’s got a hankering for a certain kind of food, and themed food tables are a way to satisfy their cravings. Top theme options to consider include:
    •  A seafood tower;
    • Cupcake display;
    • Pasta bar; and,
    • Choose your stir fry station.
  2. Food Trucks: Another trend that’s carried over into weddings and special events is food trucks, a budget-friendly, rustic presentation that creates a no-fuss, casual atmosphere. Fusion tacos are a popular choice, blending the flavors and spices of Mexican, Cuban, Thai, Korean, Hawaiian, and many other global cuisines.
  3. Interactive Food Service: You may also see more catering professionals bring out interactive experiences at weddings and events, which makes the guest part of the preparation process. For instance:
    • If you love guacamole prepared at your table, you’ll love how caterers are taking the show out of the restaurant and into event venues. Guests can choose their toppings, such as veggies, cheeses, seafood, and other add-ins. Then, they can mix it up themselves in a traditional molcajete.
    • Rolling your own sushi isn’t as tough as you think with the right tools and guidance. Guests can select what they want and the style, such as sashimi, nigiri, or hand-roll. When the ingredients are pre-chopped and all the necessary supplies are handy, roll-your-own is an unforgettable interactive experience.

Additional Factors Regarding Types of Food Served by New York Catering Companies

Of course, there are also other considerations to take into account when deciding on food types for a catering professional. With any of the above ideas on types of food and service options, your budget is a priority. Fortunately, some of these concepts are reasonably priced, and you can move up the budgetary ladder from there.

The venue is another concern, as the setting and layout of the structure will dictate some of the details. Still, some of these ideas are just as home at a high-end, elegant affair as they are at a backyard event.

Trust New York Catering Professionals to Cover All Your Event Needs

Whatever your vision for a wedding or other special event, you can expect your catering service to be flexible and accommodating to meet your needs. Please call to set up an appointment with a catering professional who can help you in laying the groundwork for a memorable occasion.

Tips for Planning a Spring Company Party

Spring is nearly here and you have been thinking that it’s time for a spring corporate party to wake everyone up after cold, dreary winter. We have all made it through these crazy, miserable Nor’Easters and it’s time to celebrate spring. A company party is the perfect idea to motivate, energize and wake up the fresh ideas for the rest of the year. Events like this are a perfect way to get all your employees on the same page and reconnect as a team. There’s nothing like a delicious meal, enjoyable entertainment and socializing in a quasi non-work setting to spark creativity. The thoughts of putting it all together alone sounds unbearable however. Gathering supplies, food and everything you need for a spring party is just too much for even a couple people to do alone. What you need are the specialized skills and experience from the staff at Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering to help you plan a smashing success of a party. You need the most delicious options when it comes to corporate catering in Manhattan and we have got you covered.

The best spring party starts with a good idea

Theming for your company party is a fantastic idea as it will help your employees recall it better years down the road. Themed parties also have an energy that flat, themeless parties lack. Coming into a room with dinner and speakers is nice, but coming into a room with a Hawaiian Luau theme is a whole lot more exciting. And you want to wow your employees, right? Let our New York corporate catering team help with these fun ideas:

Beach Day Party:  What better way to encourage warmer weather than to celebrate it with our beach themed meals. Macaroni salad, pickle chips, teriyaki steak and chicken jerk kabobs and chipotle corn are just a few summer feeling dishes served up with this theme. We provide all the paper goods and tablecloths, what can be better than that?

Mexican Fiesta: Nothing is more lively than a colorful, Mexican fiesta. Mexican food is savory and a favorite of many. Serving up marinated, grilled fajitas, soft and hard shell tacos, nachos and flan will be a complete hit. The food is exciting and this theme is a real crowd pleaser.

Hawaiian Luau: You can almost feel the warm summer sun with this themed corporate catering New York event. A tropical garden salad and grilled chicken breast, garnished with sides of Hawaiian shrimp creole and stir fried pineapple and wild rice is one of the tastiest summer fun dinners you can organize for your company party. We do all the difficult work of set up, clean up and providing all the tableware of course. You can’t lose with this theme.

Go fancy with a buffet: Our corporate Build Your Own Dinner Buffet option is a great idea for a little more swank and formal atmosphere. You have a lot of flexibility in this area and area options are many. For the entree, select from chicken roulade, southern fried chicken, Korean style steaks, BBQ ribs or herb crusted salmon just to name a few from our incredibly delectable entree list. Our list for sides will make your mouth water. Honey roasted baby carrots, herb roasted potatoes, baked sweet plantains, three bean salad or tropical quinoa are a few sides everyone will enjoy. But you can’t forget dessert! The Italian Dessert Platter with biscotti, chocolate mousse, cream puffs and cannolis is divine. Our moist selection of moist yogurt loaf cakes, the brownie platter or even a make your own ice cream bar are great ideas to go along with any dinner theme. Our list of choices in the buffet area will blow you away so if you’re curious, ask and we will be happy to go into detail.

Stress free corporate catering in Manhattan

Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering is all about helping you deliver fabulous meals for any corporate event and taking the stress out of the planning. We clean up, set up and deliver the food so you don’t have to worry about it. Need venues, party equipment or center pieces? We have resources here as well. Stop fretting about your next corporate spring party and let us help you. Call us today to get your corporate party planned.

5 Reasons You Should Hire a Party Planner

Anyone who has ever planned a party or a big event can tell you what exhausting work it is. You kill yourself before the party, getting all the details ready and seamless and losing sleep at night wondering if you are forgetting anything or how you can make this or that perfection. Then on the day of the actual party, you run around all in a lather, stressed about getting food prepared, making sure the tables are ready, setting up the decor, coordinating the entertainment and so much more. By the end of the party, you need 3 days just to recover from the stress, fatigue and intensity of planning and putting together the event. Whether your event has 10 people attending or 100, making sure all the details of an important party or event flow together flawlessly can be a big task. It is way too much for 1 person alone to accomplish and that is why hiring an NYC party planner can simplify your life in more ways than you can imagine.

1-You will save time

This is the number one reason because everyone knows, there just is never enough time in the day to get things done and in many incidents, time IS money. Time is a precious commodity and if you can have a party planner take care of details like the food, set up, location, music and decor, you can concentrate on your guests and other details only you can finish.

2-You will save money

Most people skip the party planner because they are on a budget. “If I do it myself, I’ll save money.” This is surprisingly untrue. First off, tell your party planner your budget. Many times when people plan their own events, they hope to stick to a budget but as the purchasing, planning and organizing happens, suddenly they exceed that budget. A party planner does this for a living and knows how and where to purchase things as well as how to maximize your cash to your advantage. They also have relationships with particular venues that can save you money and help your event look spectacular.

3-You will be less stressed

As you sit down with your party planner and explain your vision, their desire is to bring it to life. Go over every detail so nothing is missed. And after that? Just sit back, relax and take care of the other little things needing your attention. Your party planner will create magic and all without you sprouting gray hairs and getting ulcers. You don’t need to fret over dinnerware or tablecloths, food or servers…you can simply focus on the purpose of your event and enjoy it.

4-Your event will look fabulous

A party planner’s sole purpose is to take your conception and materialize it. It is important for you to write down all the details you desire, talk about the food, the venue, the decor and let them get to work. The average person does not plan parties very often so whipping out a grand event can be an arduous task. For a party planner however, they do this every day. They create elaborate events with their eyes closed. Handing it over to the experts will only make you look good.

5-You can spend time with your guests

Whether your event is a wedding, a birthday party, a corporate dinner or a family reunion, your focus is on your guests and purpose for the event. By having an NYC party planner take care of the details, you can enjoy the special things, cultivate relationships and actually breathe. The alternative is running around, stressing over details that won’t matter later and missing all the important moments. It’s time to cherish those seconds and an event planner can help you do that.

Relax and let an NYC party planner do the work

Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering and Events is not only an exceptional catering team but has access to dozens of party and event planning connections. Enjoy sitting back and letting our professional staff whip up the most delicious and succulent dishes, serve your guests and prepare the tables and decor. We have relationships with numerous beautiful venues, NYC party planning teams that specialize in any kind of event such as weddings, birthdays, reunions and corporate events. Everything you need from equipment rentals, floral arrangements, wedding cakes, photographers, videographers and more are at your disposal with Thomas Oliver’s exceptional services. Don’t hesitate to call us, we look forward to assisting you with your next NYC event.

Popular Themed Events for Your Corporate Party

It’s been decided, your corporate event is in the works and it’s time to start the planning. It’s a daunting task because you don’t want the event to bomb as that bodes negatively for your company. Not only does a lackluster party make you look bad, but it puts your business down a few notches and the purpose of corporate events is to not only make progress for the future but also to make a good impression. Keeping your employees and business supporters happy and satisfied is a big task. Selecting a theme for your event sets the tone and will have a memorable impact on the attendees. But where to start? What theme is appropriate for the occasion? Knowing your audience as well as the goals of your event will help you make this determination. If team building and getting to know fellow co-workers is the goal, a casual, light hearted event might be in order. Or perhaps introducing new concepts and showing employee appreciation would best be suited with a formal tone.

Determine the tone of the event

Determining the type of event will help you guide your decision towards the type of theme. You can’t have hot dogs at a fancy dressed gala and posh hors d’oeuvres will not mix well for a corporate party at the park. The food needs to match the mood. Any company can have a corporate beach retreat but toss in Thomas Oliver’s Day at the Beach BBQ theme homemade macaroni and potato salad, jerk chicken, teriyaki steak and pepper kabobs with grilled chipotle corn and fruit kabobs, the food fits the mood. A Hawaiian Luau theme is another perfect choice for a casual, summertime event. On the flip side, a formal event needs an elegant, sumptuous feel. This is accomplished with lavish themes such as the French Connection with succulent chicken francois, rosemary roasted potatoes and string beans almondine. What could set the elegant atmosphere better than creamy mashed potatoes in martini glasses with delicate toppings? Deciding the mood of your event with our themed catering menus is a great place to start.

Select the perfect venue to compliment your event

Once you decide the mood of your event, you need to find the best place to hold it. Casual events in the summer are perfect for outdoors and Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering can help you deliver that with our event and corporate planners. By subtly reinforcing the theme in small ways throughout your event, it creates a lasting impression. You don’t want your guests to be smacked in the face with garish and tacky theming. Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering will help you tastefully put together the perfect meal and ambiance so you can focus on the important business aspects of your event. It is also key to ensure that the purpose of your event not be overshadowed by the theme and we can help you achieve this delicate balance. In the New York area, we have established relationships with upscale venues for our clients. These include the high tech Loft 227 that is a spectacular venue for smaller, intimate corporate events as well as Smooth Sailing Celebrations, a swanky, luxurious yacht that is sure to impress. Wherever you decide to hold your event, Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering is excited to deliver the most exquisite themed catering menus to thrill your crowd.

Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering for all your NYC corporate catering needs

Whether your event or meeting is big or small, we are happy to serve and aim to delight. Our corporate menu is extensive and offers options for business breakfast, brunch or lunch meetings. On a grander scale, a corporate dinner buffet is the perfect choice when you need to concentrate on the finer details of business but want a sensational meal with little worry on your end. Our full service catering company is sensitive to those with food allergies so just ask, we are happy to make the appropriate accommodations. Feel free to bring up any dietary restrictions when you schedule your event and options will be given. Your satisfaction is important to us. Transforming your home, office or event space into a special occasion that will linger in their memories for a long time is what we are all about.

Weird Food Combinations That Make You Go EW

From the beginning of time, humans have been trying to concoct up the interesting and delicious. Putting foods together to see if they create something magical and incite a mouthwatering reaction can be an exciting but also nerve wracking part of cooking. Is it going to be good? Will it be disgusting? You never know till you try it. Who knew way back in the early 1900’s that combining peanut butter and jelly on bread would create something irresistible children would crave for decades? Still though, there are just some food choices that might never catch on.

Oddly Strange

Veritable PB&J: Sometimes even something as amazing as a peanut butter sandwich can be altered into something odd. Do you like the taste of dill and peanut butter? If so, feel free to add pickle slices instead of your standard jelly. Now you have a peanut butter and pickle sandwich. If vinegar, dill and peanuts aren’t your thing, there is another form of peanut butter sandwich that might make your tastebuds sing. If you like Elvis Presley, you might want try his take on the PB&J. Instead of jelly, you add slices of bacon, mashed bananas and honey to your peanut butter sandwich. After one bite you might begin to realize why he created the song, “I’m all shook up”.

Poppin Pizza: Everyone loves chocolate, and almost everyone enjoys a slice of pizza. Why not combine your favorite cheese pizza with melted chocolate. It might sound like something that was created by mistake, but will the mixture of flavors across your tongue make it mouth watering, or will you need to water your tongue to wash down the flavor. The only way to find out is to give it a try.

Sweet and Citrus: Speaking of chocolate, you might be a fan of chocolate and oranges. If so, grab your box of oreos, but skip the milk. Pour yourself up a tall glass of orange juice and send those cookies for a dip. The only way to find out if cookies and orange juice is better than cookies and milk is to make the first plunge.

HD&J: Having a hot dog in a bun with ketchup and mustard might be odd to other cultures, but it is the thing to eat when you are at a baseball game. Could there be a way to make the hot dog even stranger? Of course! First, forget the ketchup and mustard, then grab your favorite jelly. Now add a generous layer of jelly to your bun and finish it off with a piping hot, hot dog. Could the hot dog and jelly, or HD&J, become the new PB&J?

Popcorn: When it comes to variety, you can find it with popcorn. Popcorn comes with cheese, caramel, white and milk chocolate, butter, but have you ever thought of adding a bit of ketchup? You eat ketchup with french fries, why not popcorn? Next time you sit down to watch a movie with the family, grab yourself a bag a popcorn, but don’t forget the ketchup.

You Can Expect Gourmet Masterpieces at Thomas Oliver’s

After you have done your due diligence and tried a bunch of strange food combinations, you might want to get back to well crafted entrees. Here at Thomas Oliver’s we pride ourselves in providing mouth watering, irresistible food choices that will go with any themed event. Using fresh ingredients, we create combinations that will leave your tastebuds satisfied and your stomach wanting to taste more, our culinary masterpieces will add life to any party.

Common Thanksgiving Questions and Traditions

Thanksgiving is one of America’s most treasured holidays but not everyone knows why we celebrate Thanksgiving and where some of the popular dishes came from. American Thanksgiving dinners are full of the most scrumptious foods you crave all year. This holiday is filled with family traditions, but where did these traditions come from? Most first graders can tell you that Thanksgiving started with the pilgrims coming together for a meal of peace with the Indians in 1621. Even though this was a big step in history, it actually took 200 years for this history making dinner to become a celebrated holiday. Here are a few more questions you might have wondered about on this holiday.

Why do people eat turkey on Thanksgiving?

It is speculated that the pilgrims and Indians ate turkey or some other wild fowl, because that was what was available. Turkey was a familiar bird to the colonists so it has become the traditional meat for this special dinner.

Why do Americans celebrate thanks on this day?

The pilgrims and Indians gathered together for this meal after a very successful harvest season and in those days, this was a great thing to celebrate. These people were happy and thankful to have such an abundance of food, thus the reason gratitude is such a prevalent theme on this day.

What are the most popular side dishes for Thanksgiving dinner?

Ranker ran a poll asking America what their favorite side dishes were and here are the top 15 people voted in:

  1. Mashed potatoes
  2. Stuffing
  3. Gravy
  4. Bread
  5. Macaroni and cheese
  6. Green bean casserole
  7. Corn on the cob
  8. Baked sweet potatoes
  9. Crescent rolls
  10. Sweet potato pie
  11. Green beans
  12. Cranberry jelly
  13. Garlic bread
  14. Whipped sweet potatoes
  15. Cranberry sauce

Other symbolization comes into the meal such as pumpkin pie, symbolizing the squash and pumpkins the early colonists frequently farmed. While sugar was scarce or unheard of, these people did their best to sweeten dishes naturally with sweet fruits and vegetables.

What are some Thanksgiving traditional family activities?

This holiday is not just about the Thanksgiving turkey, it’s about spending time with loved ones. Some of the best traditions involve the activities done together after dinner. Here are few fun Thanksgiving activities you can incorporate:

  • Put together a 2,000 piece puzzle while you eat Thanksgiving pie
  • Gather the family for a rousing game of flag football, perfect for all ages
  • Watch old home videos of years gone by
  • Walk off that Thanksgiving dinner together with a nature hike if the weather is nice
  • Play games together like Thanksgiving pictionary or bingo.
  • Create a scavenger hunt with fun prizes at the end
  • Put together a craft for the kids like finger painted turkeys or make pilgrim hats
  • Have a talent show

How do Americans set up the Thanksgiving dinner table?

Presentation on the table sets the tone and ambiance as you are gathered around the Thanksgiving turkey. Fall leaves, pumpkins and candles are nice pieces you can add to the center of the table. Bring out the special china for this meal or if you’d like to make things easier, you can purchase special, fall themed paper products. Adding names to place settings around the table as well as setting each place with pretty napkins brings it all together.

What ways can you show thanks around the Thanksgiving dinner table?

You can keep it simple and have everyone go in a circle and say what they are thankful for. Another creative way is to cover the table in butcher paper and crayons before you set it so during dinner, everyone can write the things they’re thankful for on the table covering. Or, maybe toasting is your thing. Set aside champagne or sparkling cider and take time for toasts to things you are thankful for.

Don’t stress over the food, let Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering help you

Thanksgiving often means guests staying at your house from out of town. It’s hard to prepare the house, the table and the decor when you have to spend hours, even days preparing the biggest meal of the year. There are many other aspects of the day that need your attention. Our answer to this is SIMPLIFY! Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering can help you add these scrumptious elements to your Thanksgiving dinner so you can spend time on other areas, like family relationships, preparing your house and much more. Our homemade garlic mashed potatoes are to die for, the sage cornbread stuffing is full of flavor and you cannot forget the harvest roast turkey breast which is succulent and practically melts in your mouth. Don’t start out the holiday with stress, simplify and let Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering take care of the meal so you can concentrate on grandma’s perfect pumpkin pie recipe.

Looking for an Event Venue? Consider Loft 227, Smooth Sailing Celebrations, or 91 Horatio

New York City is a vibrant, exciting place to host any event. But your event can be even better with the right location. We highly recommend three different NY venues for your next event, party, or conference. Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering & Events will bring the amazing food and quality service.

Our Top 3 Recommendations for New York City Events

Each of our recommended locations offers something unique and memorable. One is a well-known and happening high-tech arts space. Another company provides a variety of yachts and boating adventures for your next event. The third is a friendly, smaller location that works great for events like boutique weddings.
We are proud to have partnered with these Venue & Event Space Services. We’re sure you will find something to love about them.

Loft 227: Tech-Friendly Artistic Community Space

Loft 227 is a creative technology and arts-incubator in the heart of Manhattan. The venue has presented more than 500 live events in five years in support of theater, film, music, dance, and fine art.
Founded by producer, choreographer, and community activist Robin Sokoloff, the venue was started in part to create a “minority friendly and affordable space in New York City for artists and entrepreneurs.” Loft 227 is now a community hub that supports arts as well as political action.

Loft 227 has, in fact, become so popular and successful that they are looking for an even larger location so they can expand. In the meantime, they have a very attractive event space complete with movie screens, comfortable lounge seating, and multicolored lights to set just the right mood.

Smooth Sailing Celebrations: Fun and Sun on the Hudson River

Experience something extra special by chartering a yacht for your next wedding, party, or celebration. Cruise the Hudson River while enjoying the stunning New York City skyline. Smooth Sailing Celebrations offers both luxury yachts as well as casual yachts. In fact, the company has more than 45 Coast Guard-certified luxury yachts with a variety of options.

For example, the Cornucopia Majesty luxury yacht comes with a large ballroom with dining decks that overlook the dance floor. The Aqua Azul, named in part for the pretty blue lights that decorate the outside of the upper decks at night, offers an open-air covered rooftop with a dance floor. It also boasts a piano deck (complete with a baby grand piano).

91 Horatio: A More Intimate Space for Those Special Events

Designed for boutique weddings and other more intimate events, 91 Horatio can seat 20 to 200 guests in this quaint but contemporary event venue. Located in Greenwich Village, the space offers oak floors, high ceilings, and barrel-vaulted brick arches. With white walls, the location offers a chance for decorators to truly make the space original and memorable. Two main rooms are available.
91 Horatio gets excellent reviews on the wedding website “The Knot.” “The raw space, with its exposed brick, arched entryways, soaring ceilings, and gleaming hardwood floors, is, of course, spectacular,” wrote one reviewer.

Not Sure Which NY Event Location is For You?

Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering is happy to work with you on selecting the right event venue. With extensive experience catering large and small events, we are happy to provide suggestions and recommendations based on what you want to accomplish with your event. And if you want a hip, tech-friendly space, an outdoor adventure on a beautiful yacht, or a more intimate, cozy venue for your next event, we highly recommend our partners Loft 227, Smooth Sailing Celebrations, and 91 Horatio.

Salad Addons

Tips for Catering Your New York Wedding

wedding catering

Your wedding day is not just one of the happiest days of your life, it is also an investment in your future. Many people believe that their wedding day is a reflection on how their marriage will continue. Whether you are superstitious or not, making sure your wedding day is a picture of perfection is important to everyone. The food for your big day is one of the key elements in planning because the food sets the tone, the mood and is the anchor for your reception and party. When you sit down to eat with your favorite people on this special day, you want the food to be spectacular. Not only will you be hungry (who has time to eat the day of their wedding??), you will be trying to make an impression on the people that mean the most in your life. They came there to celebrate you and your spouse’s life-changing event and the food you provide is your gift to them. Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering wants you to get the most out of your catering experience with these simple tips below.

Create a budget

Before you decide what to eat, it’s important to plan and budget the amount of money you can spend. Whether it’s a wedding breakfast or reception dinner, it is important to know how much you are able to spend before you sit down with your caterers and select the meal choices. As we work with your budget, your New York wedding caterer can deliver something spectacular and beautiful you will be proud of.

Figure out the numbers

Once you know how much you can spend, determine how many guests will be coming to the event. You don’t need to know exact numbers but by figuring an approximate number, it will give you an idea of what you can plan. No matter the size, no matter the venue, your caterer can pull off something fabulous.

Pick a theme

Selecting a theme for your meal can be a real showstopper. Decide the type of ambiance you want for your wedding meal. Do you want it light-hearted and casual? Maybe swanky and formal? Whatever theme you go with, make sure the food matches. Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering has dozens of themes and menu options that can fit the atmosphere you select. Here are a few options to give you an idea:
Casual Meal:
Hawaiian Luau: For a backyard or beachy wedding, this is a perfect choice. Hawaiian shrimp creole, grilled chicken breast, wild rice and fruit skewers are delicious and light for outdoor themed weddings.
Mexican Fiesta: Who can resist the flavors from Mexico with our marinated, grilled fajitas and hard shell tacos paired with the freshest toppings, nacho chips and flan milk custard.
Formal Meal:
Mashed Potato Martini Bar: Wow your guests with this creative meal. Delicious, flavored mashed potatoes served in a martini glass alongside mouthwatering sage seasoned turkey breast, slow roasted pork or garlic and pepper beef.
Buffet stations: To serve parties large and small, buffet stations are a hit. A seafood bar with New England’s freshest oysters, shrimp and clams next to a pasta bar with all kinds of sauces and noodles to please every palate.

Dietary requirements anyone?

Once your guest list is picked, it is important to see if anyone has any dietary restrictions. You want all your guests to enjoy the meal and that is possible with your New York wedding caterer Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering. From gluten free, dairy free, sugar-free and more, we have substitutions to match any restriction and can create specially designed meals around that requirement.

Wedding catering in New York

Making your special day an exciting event you can remember for the rest of your life is what we are committed to. We will help you pull out all the stops. Our team strives to bring the best food in New York City to your incredible day. Call us today to plan your upcoming wedding, we look forward to serving you on this life-changing day.