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2022 Catering Innovation Celebrated

Celebrating creativity, innovation and diverse flavors that inspire the rest of the catering world is really something special. This is why the CATIE Awards are near and dear to our team’s hearts each year. This past May, we honored some of the best in the business during Catersource + The Special Event 2022, which cultivated inspiration for the entire industry!

Today, we want to take a deeper look at just a few of the winners and what makes their submissions so inventive and trendy.  

Best Dessert: Schaffer, "Death by Strawberry Shortcake"

Caterers draw inspiration from whacky places sometimes. But we bet you would never guess that the inspiration for a decadent dessert would be a crime scene out of a popular primetime show, eh? Well, looks like Mr. Dexter Morgan provided Schaffer with the motive for this murder-mystery dinner dessert!  

"Death by Strawberry Shortcake". Photo courtesy Schaffer

For an elegant Halloween party, the team at Schaffer was challenged to provide a beautiful yet spooky dessert. Using a roasted strawberry sauce spritzed on the plate with a squirt bottle, they made the perfect, most delicious blood splatter. Atop the splatter they had a black pepper-cream scone with roasted strawberries, dehydrated strawberry chips and a streusel topping. It was finished with a chantilly cream and drizzled with a basil simple syrup gel.

They took it to the next level too, prepping the plates atop floor-to-ceiling velon that would have made Dexter himself proud. 

Best Food or Beverage Trend Incorporation: Catering by Design (CO), "Bubbles the Deer"

Say goodbye to boring champagne walls. For an Aspen, CO launch event, Catering by Design totally reinvented the self-serve beverage concept with their Insta-worthy submission. Using a pristine white and gold faux deer head, the team transformed a trendy, mountain-themed decor piece into a functional and interactive part of the event. How? They fashioned the snout of the deer into a steel spigot that poured ice-cold bubbles. How fun is that! Attendees posed with the deer and had a grand ol’ time letting the champagne flow from this unique installation. 

The deer, fondly named “Bubbles the Deer,” is now a part of the Aspen Catering by Design crew. He’s surely our new favorite animal—how about you?  

Best Catering for a Micro Event: Dish Food and Events, "Intimate Chic-Industrial Wedding"

At the beginning of 2021, many were still concerned about COVID precautions but desperately wanted to celebrate love and life’s milestones. Caterers everywhere took it upon themselves to provide safety and security so families could gather again. This beautiful micro wedding was a perfect example! 

"Intimate Chic-Industrial Wedding". Photo courtesy Dish Food and Events

A couple hailing from the Caribbean and American South wanted a safe, multi-cultural affair with the flavors of their homesteads. Dish Food & Events was up for the challenge and executed flawlessly.

From tropical flavors like Jamaican rum punch and slow smoked pork shoulder to Southern staples like fried chicken and waffles in a cone with maple bacon jam, the menu exuded these two similar yet unique cultures. The night concluded with passed bite-sized desserts that all guests loved for a sweet ending. 

"Intimate Chic-Industrial Wedding". Photo courtesy Dish Food and Events

Micro weddings and celebrations are a new norm as the pandemic wanes, so it’s refreshing and inspiring to see them executed to perfection!

Start Brainstorming Your Submissions for the 2023 CATIE Awards 

Check out the full list of 2022 CATIE Award Winners here, and get brainstorming which events you’ll be submitting for 2023! Save the Date: Catersource + The Special Event 2023 will be hosted from March 27-30, 2023 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

For even more inspiration for your 2023 CATIE Award submissions, you can review submissions from all historic winners at  


International Caterers Association

For motivated caterers, International Caterers Association is a resource that provides Education, encourages peer to peer Relationships and Inspires creativity while embracing all segments of the catering industry. For more information, visit