Mid-March, winners of the ACE awards took the stage at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. To enter, each contender was asked to identify the two events the company completed that it felt best represented the company, as well as challenges and favorite aspects.
Throughout the year, Catersource.com will profile the winners and nominees of the 2017 ACE awards. In the next installation of our series, we are placing a keen eye on A Fare Extraordinaire who took the ACE award for Operations over $2 million in the West region.
Events • West region • Operations over $2 million • A Fare Extraordinaire
Mercury Baroque 15th Anniversary Crystal Gala
The Mercury Baroque Gala highlighted an ability to produce a large scale, elegant experience within a non-profit’s budget constraints.
A Fare Extraordinaire executed culinary catering, event design, and décor installation flawlessly to celebrate the 15th Anniversary Gala for the Mercury Orchestra at the downtown Wortham Theatre. Following the crystal birthday celebration theme, the company’s Executive Chef, Ryan Bouillet, created a customized, sophisticated menu amidst restrictions against heated cooking equipment on-site. Additionally, the company had to share the outdoor commercial loading dock with a traveling musical performance, allowing it a mere 10’x20’ footprint.
“Leaning on our team’s adaptability and drive to make any situation work,” said Ali Montgomery, Director of Operations, “we executed artful, room-temperature plates that excited all.” With creative planning by all A Fare Extraordinaire departments and significant in-kind donations by the company as well, the evening was spectacular and the budget limitation unnoticeable.
“Seated beneath seven grandiose chandeliers of contemporary and traditional styles, guests dined in an alternating sea of silver linens of mixed textures and patterns, black and white Chiavari chairs, and luxurious white floral arrangements.”
Ahi tuna appetizer
As they entered the theatre, guests were greeted on the stage by a wall of waiters serving sugared-rimmed champagne flutes. Myriad petite hors d’oeuvres were served before guests were ushered to a pre-plated first course of hearty vegetables tossed with a romaine Caesar vinaigrette spiced with Crystal hot sauce.
Roasted vegetable Caesar with crispy broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, dusted with parmesan and served with a zesty Caesar vinaigrette
Seated beneath seven grandiose chandeliers of contemporary and traditional styles, guests dined in an alternating sea of silver linens of mixed textures and patterns, black and white Chiavari chairs, and luxurious white floral arrangements.
A diagram of the roomset
While the Mercury Orchestra played on center stage, mentioned Montgomery, “our waiters served 280 artfully plated, seasonally-light entrees.”
Chilled cedar plank grilled salmon with wild rice fennel, grapefruit and orange supremes, with leek-tied haricot vert and almond crumble
The freshness of the first two courses were complemented by the richness of the grand finale birthday cake and ice cream—a flourless chocolate cake garnished with colored sprinkles and an isomalt glass sugar “crystal” garnish.
Flourless chocolate cake with Chantilly ice cream, confetti sprinkles, and crystalized sugar
“As at every A Fare Extraordinaire event,” said Montgomery, “our impeccable service allowed guests to feel their requests were anticipated but never overpowered by staff movement.” The complete sensory satisfaction for guests continued late into the evening as they danced the night away on a custom black and white striped acrylic floor.