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In Season: Chowgirls Catering Debuts Holiday Menu

With the sun still shining and barbecues still occupying everyone's attention, it may seem like an odd time to start thinking about the holidays, but that's exactly what Chowgirls Catering (Minneapolis) is doing. Chowgirls invited event planners to a holiday open house last week where they debuted their holiday menu, while featuring a few of their tried-and-true favorites. 

Additionally, they brought a little holiday inspiration in the form of table settings and centerpieces. 

As you start prepping your holiday offerings, check out this inspiration from Chowgirls. 

Black & White 

Who doesn't love a good theme? The open house featured a black-and-white theme where not only were guests encouraged to dress in black, white, or both, but the evening's decor also embracced the color scheme, as did one of the buffet stations. 

Chowgirls used the black-and-white aesthetic to showcase their newest offering, Concepts. With Concepts, Chowgirls will curate any themed experience from black-tie to tie-dye, depending on what the client wants. From creative chef stations to rustic destination weddings, an intimate private cooking class to an out-of-this world holiday party, no theme is off limits. 

The Black and White Station featured: a Black & White Hummus Board, Mashed Potatoes & Caviar, Black & White Cheese Board, Macarons, Black & White Cookies, and Blackberry Shortcake. 

Whipped organic mashed potatoes loaded with Hope Creamery butter and local cream, topped with caviar (which is trending on menus everywhere) and creme fraiche.

Who says holiday decor has to be all red and green? Here, Chowgirls showcased how a black and white color scheme can add a touch of sophistication and elegance to a holiday tablesetting. 

A Blackberry Shortcake served in individual mason jars and topped with a delicate gold leef. 

A very on-trend branding opportunity for caterers is to burn your logo (or a QR code) into your food offerings. Here Chowgirls added their logo to the pita bread that accompanied the Black & White Hummus Board. 

A beautiful black and white centerpiece featuring pine branches and accompanied by black ceramic vessels and white stones. 

Holiday Classics

In addition to their Concepts offerings, Chowgirls also has their Classic menu, which features many of their most loved offerings including cocktail meatballs, steak skewers, cheeseballs, crudite cups, Artichoke-Spinach Gratin, and their Bread & Butter Board. 

For their Classic menu, Chowgirls hand-crafts beautiful fare and cocktails using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Strong relationships with local farmers, artisans, breweries, distilleries, and other vendors allow them to design menus that reflect the tastes of each season and their commitment to sustainability.

Bread & Butter Boards continue to be in-demand at events. 

 The Retro Cheeseball Flight featured a classic version with cream cheese and cheddar (rolled in toasted pecans); a curried cream cheese with mango chutney, wild rice, and scallions; and a Spicy Bloody Mary mix with dried pickles, bacon, and jalapeño. 

The Crudite Cups featured colorful raw veggies—two ways—with Chowgirls' signature beet hummus and saffron aioli, beautifully presented in a delicate glass vessel with fresh herb garnish. 

Whiskey-Ginger Meatballs: pork and beef cocktail-sized meatballs in a sticky bourbon, orange, and ginger glaze, and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Grass-fed flank steak rubbed in fresh herbs, grilled, sliced and skewered. Served with chimichurri sauce.

Holiday Slider Station

The Chowgirls' new holidy menu features several holiday-themed stations including a Carving Station with local pork or grass-fed beef tenderloin with a selection of chef's choice signature sauces; a Risotto Station that includes a chef-prepared risotto performance station, made in true slow-food style, with local cheeses and seasonal vegetables; and a Seasonal Oyster Bar featuring fresh raw oysters served on an ice bar with guest-selected toppings (herb gremolata, classic mignonette, creamy remoulade, fresh horseradish, lemons, and Tabasco).

Rounding out the offerings is the Holiday Slider Bar fearuing three special mini-sandwiches: griddled lobster roll, Italian beef, and a mango-black bean veggie burger. 

Mango-Black Bean Slider.

Italian Beef Slider (foreground) and Griddled Lobster Roll (background). 

Butler Passed

In addition to the various stations during the open housse, Chowgirls also served a variety of butler-passed hors d'ouevres throughout the evening. 

Orange-Fennel Chicken Skewers (Larry Schultz organic chicken thigh with ras el hanout spice blend, grilled and tossed with orange-fennel glaze). 

Saffron Tomato Jam & Chevre Crostini (whipped chèvre, saffron tomato jam, and sauteéd organic spinach atop a house-made grilled crostini). 

Dolmades (vegan Greek-style stuffed grape leaves with rice, pine nuts, fresh mint, lemon zest, and golden raisins). 

Cornelius Pasta Bite: a stunning striped ravioli, hand-crafted locally by Cornelius Pasta Co. filled with camembert cheese and cranberry in a lemon butter sauce. 

Pizza Rolls: A bite-sized, fried calzone filled with marinara and cheese and drizzled with aioli (available in both vegetarian and with pepperoni).

Holiday Cheers

The event featured a stellar lineup of holiday-themed cocktails and non-alcoholic options. Adding to the fun, each cocktail featured fragrant and unique garnishes including fresh herbs and house-made marshmallows. 


(Foreground) Cranberry Sauced: made with celebratory Gamle Ode Aquavit and organic cranberry juice, this Scandinavian-style holiday cosmo has hints of winter spice. Garnished with star anise, rosemary, and fresh cranberries; (background) Grapefruit & Smoked Rosemary Shrub: this bright, herbal tipple showcases the seasons’ finest citrus with the tartness of vinegar, the botanical bite of Du Nord Prominence Gin, and a hint of singed rosemary flavor. 

Snow Angel: bright, citrusy, yet calming and spiced, this gin sour riff rounds out any holiday cocktail menu (Hendricks Gin, St. Germaine, limoncello, five spice, and chamomile).

Winter Break: a warming, spirituous stirred cocktail featuring San Zanj Haitian white rum, Du Nord Cafè Frieda coffee liqueur, orange bitters, and topped with a house-made toasted marshmallow.


All photos courtesy Amber Kispert

Amber Kispert

Senior Content Producer

Amber is the Senior Content Producer for Catersource. Amber previously worked as a Communications Specialist for LeClair Group and a reporter for the Woodbury Bulletin, both located in Woodbury, Minn.  As a self-described "foodie," Amber loves to experience the world of food and beverages, and is excited to help share the stories of Catersource and the world's caterers.