2014 ACE Award Finalists

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January 08, 2014

Announcing the finalists for the Oscars of catering...

Each year, Catersource gives credit where credit is due with the Achievement in Catering Excellence (ACE) Awards. We’ll announce this year's six winners during the 2014 Catersource Conference & Tradeshow.

The 2014 finalists represent the best of the best in areas including culinary, business, community and professional development.

And without further ado, here are this year’s finalists, complete with just a few words on what makes them stand out in menus, staffing, sales and other key areas. Congrats to all and good luck!




Over $2 million

Connecticut Wedding Group 
Middletown, CT
"We’ve developed a cutting edge incentive bonus program for key management staff. This has created enlightened employees who understand that their positive attitudes, innovative and creative ideas, and focus-driven actions lead directly to either increased or decreased sales and costs."

The JDK Group 
Camp Hill, PA
Weddings by JDK dessert display pictured above; photo: Thomas Beaman
"We understand that none of our unique dishes and trendsetting presentations would matter without flawless execution and our talented and passionate employees."

SAVOR…Chicago at McCormick Place 
Chicago, IL
"We've gone the extra mile to create a farm-to-table setting that includes the Midwest’s largest rooftop garden and a commitment to local food producers."

Sensational Host 
Maple Shade, NJ
"We believe that being one with your market is key to the company’s success. We exist because of the communities in which we serve."

Thomas Caterers of Distinction 
Indianapolis, IN
Beef tenderloin canape pictured right
"We spend a great deal of time, money and effort in educating our design and culinary teams on what’s hot. We bring all of our event designers and chefs to Catersource to view the best and newest ideas in our industry." 

Under $2 million

Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards 
Gasport, NY
"Our booking incentives are food driven by what is available in season. For example, free chef's choice appetizers are made only with what’s growing in the fields at the time of the event."

Blue Elephant Events and Catering 
Saco, ME
"We bring each client in at the beginning to determine how the look, feel and overall tone of their event turns out. Giving them the opportunity to be an active participant in the details really makes a difference."

Exclamations Catering 
Greensboro, NC
"We make every decision very deliberately so we don’t take the wrong steps. This is permanent for us. This is our future."

Scranton's Restaurant and Catering 
Pascagoula, MS
"We empower our employees and equip them with the knowledge that allows them to make decisions and take action when taking care of our clients."




Over $2 million

24 Carrots 
Irvine, CA
Heirloom tomato gazpacho shot glasses pictured above; photo: Studio EMP Inc.
"From molecular gastronomy to sustainable menus, our culinary team stops at nothing to out-do itself!"

Footers Catering 
Denver, CO
"Our mission is not to just have a great catering company, but to have a great business and a great place to work. We want our brand to be recognized with caring deeply about relationships with our clients, employees and community."

Powers Ventures 
Rochester, MN
"We’ve continued to invest in specific service skill and talent management acquisitions as we’ve added new employees to the organization. With more than 150 employees throughout our five businesses, we strive to create a positive family culture."

Universal Studios Hollywood 
Universal City, CA
"The key to our innovation is how we present our food. We have nearly eliminated the old-time chafers and created new hot stations using actual kitchen equipment as the food service vessel."

VT Group 
Portland, OR
 Creole corndogs pictured right; photo: Evrim Icoz

"We recognize that we are in the business of staying in business and must make a profit, but we are also devoted to another core value: providing unforgettable events, innovative menus and mind-blowing performances for every guest, every time."


Under $2 million

Attitude on Food 
Omaha, NE
"To stay on top of our game, we feel it is crucial to immerse our team in as much continuing education as we can. That’s why we attend Catersource every year."

Green Apple Events & Catering 
Kirkland, WA
"To go from a startup to a thriving company is an accomplishment that we are very proud of. We attribute much of our success to our choice to invest in our education and attend Catersource for the past four years. We will be bringing five team members to Catersource in 2014!"

La Bonne Cuisine Catering & Events 
Oakland, CA
"Many of our employees have been here for several years. We like to promote from within and help them grow alongside the company."

LeCroissant Catering 
Salt Lake City, UT
"We are committed to reducing environmental impacts by minimizing excess waste, purchasing recycled materials, conserving resources and recycling throughout the organization."




Over $2 million

Culture Royale Catering 
Jakarta, Indonesia
"Our goal is to lift catering as a whole and to introduce the idea of premium catering."

The Forum Company 
Sandton, Johannesberg, South Africa
"Each of our venues carries the forum company signature: a blend of fine art, style, heritage and architectural features that make them uniquely South African."

Orange Clove Catering 
Saturday Night Fever X Halloween display pictured above
"We provide a cross-cultural style fusing Asian and international dishes with creative interpretation."

Vicky Crease Catering and Events 
Johannesburg, South Africa
"Our founder is very active in the media, particularly social media where she has amassed a large following on Instagram as well as Facebook."

Zest Cozinha Criativa
São Paulo, Brazil
"Our main success factor is controlling/pricing tools that were created to support the sales team when approaching customers to generate new contracts."

Under $2 million

3 na Cozinha 
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"This year, 3 Na Cozinha is relaunching its business in the market aiming at selling only Brazilian food made with local ingredients."

By Word of Mouth 
Johannesburg, South Africa
Elegant high-tea food pictured right; photo: Laura Jane
"Our pricing strategy is positively impacted by the fact that we run support divisions such as delivery, hiring, staffing, beverages and event management."

Lemaître Catering 
Bogota, Colombia
"Our sales model team operates as an advertising agency with an account director and account executives. This ensures 100 percent personalized and effective service."

Seventh Heaven Event Catering 
Toronto, Ontario
"Our team is a family (some very literally) and each truly cares about the well being of the other."

Whistler Cooks Catering 
Whistler, BC
"Our goal for all off-site catering is to design menus that allow for exceptional food, to look beautiful and taste as if it just came fresh from a kitchen a few feet away."

The 2013-14 Catersource Advisory Board will select the 2014 ACE Award winners, who will be announced at the Catersource Conference & Tradeshow, La Vie en Couleur Industry Awards Presentation, March 26, 7 p.m.

The ACE Awards are sponsored by:

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