February 22, 2012

Lots of Hats

Written by: Susan Cope

I have spent countless hours planning and outlining the unveiling of The Hanger in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is an 11,500 square foot blank canvas. I am talking your dreams can come true here kind of venue. And let me tell you that this girl was so excited to paint her own Picasso. During the process, this caterer wore more hats than you could ever imagine.

I was an Artist.
I went and did a walk through of the empty airplane garage. I let it tell me a story. I thought about the space and took everything about it into consideration. In the most cliché way possible, I allowed the venue speak to me.

I was a Used Car Salesman.
I dressed up in fancy clothing. I faced the day with a shining personality. I met with my clients. I laid out a game plan. I sold my service.

I was an Architect.
I drew multiple buffet blue prints and oversaw their construction.


I was an Interior Designer.
I meticulously researched and picked out furniture from kool. Party Rentals. I trusted the work of a florist/event designer, Mark, at Angelic Grove to embellish the look. And in total Tim Gunn fashion, I made, “…it work.

I was a Writer.
I thoughtfully penned menu descriptions for my clients and their guests. I got to use fancy French culinary terms and whimsical adjectives.

Crudités for Two
Fresh Winter Local Farm’s Root Vegetables served with Sun-dried Tomato Aioli and presented in a glass cube.

That’s right I just made you want raw carrots, turnips, beets and radishes.

I was a ‘Sous’ Chef.
It took multiple versions and extensive dialog with Executive Chef, Greg to nail the menu for venue’s premier debut.

I wanted it to scream me. And I am fully aware that selfish me invaded this event. But I am in no way apologetic for it. Remember this was going to be my modern masterpiece.

Ball Canning Jars are perfect in every way. I love, love, love them. For me, they represent a time when food was food. And they are sexy. They show off what they have to offer, and in a their own way, live out loud.


So I present to you, The Pickle Bar!


It was natural. It was colorful. It was healthy. It was rustic. It was perfection.


Plus, it included tempura battered deep fried dill pickles.

And nothing goes better with fried pickles than tomato soup.


Yes, we brought entire the pot!


When Chef Mark masters tomato soup, we add crème fraîche. It happens!

And let’s just step it up…


…with golden gazpacho garnished with red gazpacho sorbet and fresh basil.

I would never claim us to be ‘sandwich artists’, but we did manage to whip up these paninis with manchego, figs and proscuitto .


I cannot even explain the amazing.

Since no meal is complete without dessert, why not add in some Cookies ‘N Cream!


Someone must have been dreaming of trip to the ice cream shop, bakery.

Peanut butter cookies filled with mint chocolate chip ice cream!


Of course that occurred!

I may have also been a Guest.
And no way was I taking the photo before I took a bite.

The food was stunning. The Hanger was shining. And I was conducting a symphony while wearing my catering hat.

Post by Susan Lynn Cope, Catering Sales Manager, Director or Programs and Education for ISES Arizona