Idea Book: Partyman Catering & Rentals, ACE Winner, Catering East, Under 2 Million

The Achievement in Catering & Events (ACE) awards honor those who have worked tirelessly to keep their clients thrilled and their companies on the cutting edge. Each year, caterers and event planners from around the globe submit their best work from the past year in hopes of being recognized as the best in the industry. Catersource’s annual awards show, also including the ICA CATIE awards, took place in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace on February 19, 2018.

Each company submitted two events for ACE consideration. Here is a look at the two events that elevated Partyman Catering & Rentals in the category of Catering East, Under 2 Million in revenue.

ONE: Osborn Wedding

Being that the couple resides in a farming community and the groom is a dairy farmer by profession, they were looking for a heavy farm-to-table incorporation with a comfortable yet exciting feel, with food being the focal point of the night.  

But what’s a wedding without a little “for worse” with the “for better?” Cue a severe and unexpected storm the evening before the wedding with a tornado touchdown only a few miles from the event site. The setup crew had spent three days executing decor and station installations that included walls, bars, and lighting prior to the storm coming through. Chairs were overturning, linens were blown away, decor and engineered walls came crashing down, and chandeliers were swinging like pinatas in the wind! “We ended up with over three inches of standing water in the tent and had to completely dry everything, including re-washing linens, resetting and rebuilding every station that had literally just taken days to set up all in less than 24 hours!” said Amanda Osborn, Senior Event Planner for Partyman (and also…the bride).

The open air cocktail hour was held within a grove of trees and consisted of an array of appetizer stations that carried through a vintage farm to table theme. Chefs carved local NY cheese wheels at the cheese carving station, which guests piled onto mini cutting boards.

Honey treats in every shape and form adorned the honey station, set beneath the branches of a giant pine tree, with bee houses hanging at different heights.

Liquor infused milk cocktails served in milk bottles were available in an array of flavors.

The Copper Cow station was an extreme carving station. The caterer collaborated with a local butcher who began the process of dressing the Angus beef steer, from there the chefs worked hands-on with him to create the exact cuts the team was looking for.

Beef cuts were quickly named “hell yeah” and “oh yeah” after seeing the chefs butcher and French entire bone in four-foot long beef loins and 80-pound back legs.

This tent was in three inches of standing water the day before the ceremony.

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TWO: “Classic Cooper” Bar Mitzvah

“This was our highest dollar event to date coming in just under $50k, which was a huge milestone for Partyman,” said Senior Event Planner Amanda Osborn. “This client was looking for someone who could give them something ‘different’ than what people in our area have grown to expect. They had New York City roots and the mindset of endless food from beginning to end.”

Partyman covered the food aspect in spades, though mentioned that the Kosher-style menu was a challenging aspect. More challenging was that the venue, a Jewish Community Center, had received several bomb threats in prior weeks, so an exploration of event insurance options (including additional security at the event) and a discussion with the family about safety during their celebration was required.

All went off without a hitch. Here’s a look:

The kids indulged in endless kid friendly appetizers and a carbonation themed mocktail bar, which included bubbling blue vases, fish swimming below the beverage dispensers, and Coca-Cola in vintage bottles to go along with the “Classic Cooper” theme and logo.  

Following cocktail hour, the adult and the kids were brought together in the main auditoriums for the celebration and dinner. The adults enjoyed a family style served dinner, while the kids were able to experience a more casual lounge atmosphere with an elaborate food station, which included several bite-sized kid favorites.  

What started as a sarcastic conversation about a sugared doughnut luge turned into a reality. Doughnuts were tossed down the luge by the chefs into a giant crystalized sugar bowl, where the guests would grab and then top them with assorted flavored sugars and sauces. Partyman created an elevated structure that the chefs were atop, flaming the donuts prior to tossing them down the sugar luge.  

A kids’ interactive food station was a free-for-all, self-serve food haven. Everything from miniature pizzas, macaroni and cheese, potato latkes, burgers, beef hot dogs, and french fries on a giant lazy Susan, were enjoyed by all. Condiments were in ‘Classic Cooper’ paint cans and the kids were encouraged to use paint brushes to “paint” their plates with catsup, mustard, and various other colorful condiments.

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Joe Tantachka, III, Executive Chef and owner of Partyman Catering and rental, after accepting his ACE award

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Kathleen Stoehr

Kathleen Stoehr is the Director of Community & Content Strategy for Catersource, which includes print and digital content, as well as live education at both Catersource and the Art of Catering Food.