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CS+TSE 2024: Unveiling Behind the Scenes Magic of the Closing Night Celebration at Superstition

The Closing Night Celebration is always a highlight of the Catersource + The Special Event. It’s the culmination of the week with new connections and friends and cherished time spent with industry partners you’ve known for years. And did we mention it’s always epic? This year, we were beyond honored to be the team to cater it in our home base of Austin, TX. 

Now, while we were prepared, catering an event for a room full of industry professionals is always going to be more pressure—it has to be the best of the best. But the Crave Catering team collaborated with some incredible Austin vendors to plan a Clsoing Night Celebration worthy of the catering royalty that this group is to us.

So, ready to go behind the scenes?  

The Closing Night Celebration was held at Superstition in Austin, TX. 

The party theme: A Prismatic Spectacle

Playing into the venue’s aesthetic, Kristi Depew from Eclipse Event Co. came up with the theme, “A Prismatic Spectacle.” Superstition is an elite multi-room nightclub in Austin that has a 70s vibe, so it felt only natural to hone in on metallics, disco balls, and prismatic elements.

The goal?  Leave attendees in a dreamy haze! 

Black Eyed Pea Ravioli with Ham Hock Brodo and Braised Gunderman Farms Collard Greens 

While we know our home state is known for barbecue and Tex-Mex, and we adore both styles of cuisine, we wanted to wow attendees with a more elevated take on Austin fare. 

Plus, the local culinary scene has become more diverse recently, and people flock to Austin for much more than these two staples. So, with that in mind we came up with a robust lineup of passed appetizers, small plates, and desserts for people to nibble on while mingling and having fun.  

The small plates 

Focusing on Southern Texas flavors, we composed a small plate lineup featuring local Texas ingredients from farms in the area. We wanted to include plates that most wouldn’t typically think of as “Texas cuisine”, including:

  • Red Wine Pappardelle with Braised Legacy Farms Oxtail and Carrot Drops

  • Fried Zucchini Blossom with Lonestar Goat Cheese, Truffled Local Honey, Chopped Pecans and Pistachios

  • Texas Pride Mushroom Birria Taco with Cilantro, Onion, Lime, Birria Broth (VG)

  • Port Wine & Berry Glazed Venison Slider with Caramelized Onion, Arugula, Dill Pickle Chips

  • Fried Rolled Gulf Oysters with Garlic Butter Red Potatoes & Corn

  • Black Eyed Pea Ravioli with Ham Hock Brodo and Braised Gunderman Farms Collard Greens

  • Pan Seared Chicken with Braised Lima Beans, Fennel, Celery, Calabrian Chile, Herbed Sourdough Crumb

  • Grilled Gulf Shrimp with Blue Corn Grits and Poblano Cream Sauce

  • Confit Pork Belly with Apple Butter, Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, Buttered Broccolini (GF) 

Small plates are a huge trend right now with our clients and our goal is always to give a culinary treat in two to three bites, which we felt this menu accomplished.  

Crispy Chicken Crackling with Hot Honey, Creme Fraiche, Caviar (GF) 

The apps 

For the apps, our servers wore shirts with the company logo in a prism/silver color to play into the theme, along with trays that were chosen to be on theme. They passed:

  • Homestead Gristmill Pimento Cheese Grit Arancini with Hot Pepper Jelly (V)

  • Honey Glazed Texas Quail Farm's Quail Knot with Cracked Pepper Ranch (GF)

  • Duck Fat Hashbrown with Shredded Duck Confit, Pickled Red Onion, Hoisin Aioli, and Cilantro Chimichurri (GF)

  • Crispy Chicken Crackling with Hot Honey, Creme Fraiche, Caviar (GF) (which was a spur of the moment product switch while on-site at Art of Catering Food because the caviar was so delicious and the perfect addition to the bite)

  • Cowboy Caviar Cake with Spicy Avocado Spread, Cilantro, Crispy Tortilla Strips, and Candied Lime (VG)

And, since we were in a room full of caterers, we knew they’d want to try one of the local icons in Austin—Franklins BBQ. So, we didn’t leave them hanging. We added a Franklin’s BBQ Brisket Deviled Egg with Candied Jalapeno (GF) to the menu too for a little traditional Texas flair.  

Franklin’s BBQ Brisket Deviled Egg with Candied Jalapeno (GF)  

The dessert station 

The sweet finale 

Tying in the prismatic theme, desserts were set on three clear Plexi tables and displayed on iridescent Plexi risers. Guests enjoyed: 

  • Mini Pop-Tarts

  • Wafer Cookies

  • Tuilles

  • Strawberry Pocky

  • Donut Holes

  • Macarons

  • Chocolate Ganache Dip

  • Pirouettes

  • Crave White Chocolate & Pop Rock Candy Bars

  • Strawberries

  • Red Velvet Verrines

  • Homemade Marshmallows

  • White Chocolate Lollipops

  • Assorted Dried/Candied Fruits 

The Crave Catering team passing out small plates.  

The presentation & service

The small plates came out in waves throughout the evening because we wanted it to be a food experience that evolved throughout the night. With that said, we also had staff and chefs plating by the actual food station, where guests picked up the small plates. This was conversational, fun, and informative since, as they were plating, they were chatting and answering questions.

We used a television screen by the food station that displayed the dishes created by the chefs in front of the audience. Additionally, every time a new small plate was out and created, we had “bottle girls” hold up a sign with the food items and walk through the room to notify people that there was new food to try at the station.   

It was fun because food was part of the event, it wasn’t just an event with food; guests were constantly looking at what was next with surprise and delight. 

The secret to success

With the small plates, we were able to offer a lot of different kinds of items and did them in smaller amounts versus the total guest count.

So, creating 150 of each small plate (especially the ones that we were frying on-site) was possible with a completely offsite kitchen that was housed in a tent in the back of the venue, whereas 800 might not have been possible.

An out-of-this-world fete fit for catering royalty 

Overall, it was fun to cater to people who care about the food. We chose our top-serving staff and team members to join because we really wanted them to experience this momentous event with us.

These people have been with Crave Catering for a long time—they are a part of a family and we wanted them to be there to celebrate with us. This was a party we catered, but also a celebration for the team of being able to show off our culinary creativity and front-of-house service.

Between that experience with our team and the incredible feedback from fellow caterers and people who execute events all the time, saying they had a memorable experience, this event meant the world to us. 

Special thanks to these vendors and sponsors:  

Save the date for Catersource + The Special Event 2025, taking over the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, February 24-27, 2025. 

All photos courtesy Oscar Quintero Photography 


Crave Catering

Crave’s hospitality roots run deep here in Austin and Hill Country. Our small but mighty team dreamed big in 1999 when we launched our corporate catering and concierge services company during a time when the area’s business scene took off running.

Fast forward a couple years. Texas Hill Country transforms into a top wedding destination, and our business evolves to encompass fine dining, elaborate weddings and social events. Fast forward again. Inspired by Austin’s growth and desirability, we expanded even more, taking on large events primarily led by destination management companies and marketing and PR firms. In harnessing strong relationships with talented event planners, we pushed the limits of our team’s full potential...