This is It! This is the Year!

We all say we are proud of our team, and we always mean it. This time, however, we are saying it for a very different reason. In February 2018 at Catersource in Las Vegas, every department of The Wild Thyme Company (TWTC) is presenting a session during the conference, from the start of the conference on Sunday to the last day on Wednesday. This is a pretty big deal, and we are extremely proud.

It is amazing to think that everyone involved volunteered to teach because they care about this community and want to share some of our successes and what we have learned along the way during the growth our company.

Culture & training

Our owner Dawn Carvajal, is presenting a session titled Beyond Onboarding, along with our Operations Manager Daisy Carvajal, and our Creator of Wild Thyme Experience Pek Sze Baird. Their session will be focused on how we keep TWTC’s culture and “Words We Live By” alive through all facets of our departmental training programs. It’s not easy to do, and we are by no means perfect at it, but we do have some good ideas and programs in place that we love and hope to get others excited about them, too.

When: Sunday, February 18 at Caesars Palace • Time: 12:45 to 1:45 p.m.

Check, please!


Our Director of Sales Jeanna Clark and owner Dawn Carvajal are presenting a session on the Catersource tradeshow floor titled Did You Get the Check? Our sales process is no doubt similar to others, but these two are hoping to show you some of the tools we have and processes we execute that might make our process a little different. We all live for that moment of getting the client’s check, right?

When: Wednesday, February 21 at LVCC • Time: 10:00 to 10:45 a.m.

Allergies & intolerances

Our Chef John Mazetti is co-presenting a session with me called Making Intolerance Tolerable, working with client food allergies. This is in the food & beverage track for Catersource. We are hoping to help remove the fear and frustration related to working with food allergies and intolerances. By putting simple systems and education in place, working with clients who have special needs becomes both easy and rewarding. I did it, and I truly mean it—it’s rewarding! We get tremendous joy out of writing menus with vast restrictions in place but also have our people with special needs feeling as though they are eating the same food as everyone else. And, sometimes it’s the other way around—we might feed those allergen free items to the whole group! There will be ample time in this session for Q&A and we are hoping that the time we spend together becomes super interactive for those in attendance. We know the battles and the demons this topic can bring, but are here to make it easy and fun.

When: Monday, February 19 at Caesars Palace • Time: 4:45 to 5:30 p.m.

Leave that carved roast beef behind

I will also be presenting an Art of Catering Food session with Greg Shapiro, Chef/Owner of Tastebuds Catering in Naples, FL titled Open Fire & Avant Garde Carving Stations. We have been working on ideas to empower your sales and culinary teams with new and innovative approaches to leave the carved roast beef behind. You should see our text trails as we develop this session—some of them are pretty awesome. We will have a good time in this session and show you some immediate wow factors that you can take back home to your own teams.

When: Sunday, February 18 at Caesars Palace • Time: 10:50 to 11:45 a.m.

The Wild Thyme also has two ICAEF Scholarship winners this year who will be with us, our sous chef, and our tasting chef. We are excited to see what they bring back to TWTC from their Catersource experience. That’s a pretty busy schedule right? We’ve already started with weekly scheduled get-togethers to keep each other on track with timelines, materials needed, and planning. What’s already starting to happen organically is our team is growing closer by working inter-departmentally in a new arena. We are supporting and pushing one another. Presenting at Catersource is brand new to our entire team (except yours truly), although we have all attended Catersource before. This makes us very excited and extremely proud. We absolutely cannot wait! #Seeyouthere!

Register for Catersource! Find more information here!

Keith Lord

Executive Chef Keith Lord is the Director of Operations & Culinary for The Wild Thyme Company, San Diego, CA. He can be reached at [email protected].