And the ACE Winners Are…

Each year at Catersource, we celebrate achievements in catering and events, and honor those who have worked tirelessly to keep their clients thrilled and their companies on the cutting edge.

To be considered, companies from around the globe submit their best work from the past year in hopes of being recognized as the best in the industry. Catersource also partners with the International Caterers Association—they present their CATIE awards at our Spark! Awards Gala as well.

Let’s take a look at the 2019 finalists and award winners, and celebrate their accomplishments. All ceremony photos courtesy Catersource Conference & Tradeshow

Achievement in Catering & Events (ACE)

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Events East Region Operations Below 2 Million

Finalists:
Bar Harbor Catering Company
Blue Elephant Events and Catering
Jaclyn Watson Events

Winner: Jaclyn Watson Events

Fausto Pfifferer, shown here with Sasha Souza, accepted the award in Ms. Watson's absence

From the company’s “Into the Woods” wedding. © 2018 Michael Tallman Photography http://michael-tallman.com

Jaclyn Watson Events remains unique in a world that has become “first come, first served.” The company strives to know their clients and their families personally in order to create an event that is a true reflection of the clients’ personalities.

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Catering East Region Operations Below 2 Million

Finalists:
Bar Harbor Catering Company
Empyrean Events and Catering

Winner: Empyrean Events and Catering

Renee and Jeremy Miner are shown with presenter Liese Gardner

From the company’s “Mod Masquerade” event. Photo courtesy of the caterer

Empyrean Events and Catering is rooted in the foundations of the catering industry. Their team lives their core values every day and holds each other accountable as a family to their culture foundations of unity, honesty, prosperity, and humility.

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Events West Region Operations Below 2 Million

Finalists:
Kristin Banta Events
Sodexo at the Dallas Museum of Art

Winner: Kristin Banta Events

Kristin Banta is shown with 2018 Lifetime Achievement award winner and presenter, Bill Hansen

From the company’s “Whimsical B'Nai Mitzvah”event. Photo courtesy ANDRE MAIER

Kristin Banta Events continues to grow and diversify. It has expanded its scope of work and are now consulting, designing, and/or producing for a very diverse roster of clients around the globe, from PR companies and hospitality brands to tech companies and entertainment networks.

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Catering West Region Operations Below 2 Million

Finalists:
Curtis Stone Events
Feast on This Inc.

Winner: Curtis Stone Events

Curtis Stone (farleft) is shown with his core team + presenter Ingrid Nagy (in blue)

From the company’s “Butcher’s Dinner”event. Photograph: Jakob N. Layman; jakoblayman.com

Curtis Stone Events is a restaurant company successfully venturing into the catering sphere. They will always have a fine-dining perspective both in food and service and will continue to design menus that capture the essence of the events.

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Events East Region Operations Above 2 Million

Finalists:
Bold Catering and Design
Sodexo - Museum of Science and Industry
Sodexo - Shedd Aquarium

Winner: Bold Catering & Design

Chef Todd Annis is shown with presenter Kristin Banta

From the company’s “Epic Steampunk” event. Photo courtesy Taylor Zorzi; www.zorzicreative.com

Bold Catering & Design is an innovative catering, designd and full-service event production company owned and operated by Atlanta-based Fifth Group Restaurants. Bold’s design team spearheaded and executed the overall design concepts, catering, and day-of coordination for this event.

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Catering East Region Operations Above 2 Million

Finalists:
Blue Plate Catering
Bold Catering and Design
Forte Belanger
Plum Market

Winner: Blue Plate Catering

The team from Blue Plate 

From the company’s “Reveal” event. Photo courtesy of the caterer

The Advocate Charitable Foundation Dinner and REVEAL: A Pop-Up Soirée by Nordstrom & Trunk Club highlighted how Blue Plate’s culinary team takes chances, seeks creativity, and challenges one another when it involves food, beverage pairings, presentation, and service.

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Events West Region Operations Above 2 Million

Finalists:
AOO Events
Liese Gardner
Sodexo at the Seattle Aquarium

Winner: AOO Events

Dave Merrell (left) accepted his company award from Albert Manzo (right)

From the company’s “Elements for Asplundh” event. Photo courtesy of AOO Events

AOO Events is a multi-faceted, creative company that has been awarded in past years for each component of its capabilities. Meeting and exceeding client goals has made AOO one of the nation’s most respected and sought-after production firms.

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Catering West Region Operations Above 2 Million

Finalists:
24 Carrots Catering & Events
Artisan by Santa Barbara Catering
Footers Catering
Sugar Beach Events

Winner: 24 Carrots

The team from 24 Carrots with award presenter Meryl Snow (holding envelope)

From the company’s “Yost Theater Grand Reopening” event. Photo courtesy Mike Villa, Mike Villa Visuals

24 Carrots has built a stellar reputation based upon their honest approach to business and unwavering commitment to excellence. They continue to uphold those standards, refusing to compromise on quality, their team, and their cuisine.

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Events International

Finalists:
Fifth Element Group
Sodexo at The Lord Elgin Hotel

Winner: Fifth Element Group

Aaron Kaufman (right) accepted his award from David Merrell

From the company’s “Toronto Region Board of Trade Annual Dinner” event. Photo courtesy © Henry Lin

Being Canada's leading live experience firm comes with its mission and capabilities to design experiences for top brands and organizations across the globe. Its vision has always been to create events that are different than the normal sit-down galas the industry is used to.

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Catering International

Finalists:
By Word of Mouth
Cocktails and Canapes Catering and Events
Toque Catering Inc.

WinnerCocktails and Canapes Catering and Events

Food Network star Ron ben-Israel presented the trophy to Brett Turner, owner

From the company’s “North American Rolls-Royce Cullinan Launch” event. Photo Copyright Jonathan Evans

Cocktail & Canapes Catering believes in creativity, being different, and win-win scenarios for them and their stakeholders. They pride themselves on having an abundance of passion and fun catering events anywhere from 10 to 9000 people.

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Finally, Catersource honored lee Epting of Epting Events with the 2019 Michael Roman Lifetime Achievement Award. His sons, Ashley and Daniel put together a terrific video homage, and also took the stage to honor him and present his award.

Daniel, Lee, and Ashley Epting

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Here is a list of the Catered Arts Through Innovated Excellence Awards (CATIE) finalists and winners from the Spark Awards event:

Innovative Mixology

Finalists:
Culinary Crafts – Leather Aged Cocktail
Culinary Crafts – Laced Libation
Empyrean Events and Catering – Pea Blossom Siphon Cocktail
Winner: Culinary Crafts – Leather Aged Cocktail

Best Dessert

Finalists:
Empyrean Events and Catering – Imprint
LUX Catering and Events – Cinnamon Pumpkin Cronut
LUX Catering and Events – Menage Trois Fraise
Winner: LUX Catering and Events – Cinnamon Pumpkin Cronut

Best Hors D’oeuvre

Finalists:
24 Carrots – Foie Gras Uncrustable
Blue Plate – Seared Ahi Tuna with Hollandaise Dippin' Dots
Culinary Crafts – Savory Macaron
Winner: Culinary Crafts – Savory Macaron

Best Celebration Cake

Finalists:
Blue Plate – Watercolor-Style Wedding Cake
LUX Catering and Events – Ivory Lace Wedding Cake
Peppers Fine Catering – Harry Plopper Birthday Cake
Winner: Peppers Fine Catering Harry Plopper Birthday Cake

Best Buffet Presentation and Menu

Finalists:
Butler's Pantry – 40th Birthday
Catering by Michaels – Black Creativity Gala
Vicky Crease Catering – Atelier Fleur
Winner: Catering by Michaels Black Creativity Gala

Best Tablescape Design

Finalists:
LUX Catering and Events – A Fall Mountain Soiree
Vicky Crease Catering – Benvenuto Capri
Vicky Crease Catering – Infinite Love
Winner: LUX Catering and Events A Fall Mountain Soiree

Best Main Course Plate Presentation

Finalists:
Culinary Crafts – Delicacies from the Sea
Culinary Crafts – Dry-aged, Mesquite-grilled, Wagyu Tomahawk Ribeye
Empyrean Events and Catering – Absence of Color
Winner: Culinary Crafts Delicacies from the Sea

Signature Caterer for Best Multiple Day Event

Finalists:
24 Carrots – Three Day Executive Summit
Catering by Michaels – CGI University
Vicky Crease Catering – Colour Splash
Winner: Catering by Michaels CGI University

Best Plated Menu

Finalists:
Culinary Crafts – Backyard Summer Soiree
Empyrean Events and Catering – Masquerading
The Ginger Grape – Nelson Mandela Centenary Gala Dinner
Winner: The Ginger Grape Nelson Mandela Centenary Gala Dinner

Best Food Trend Incorporation

Finalists:
Culinary Crafts – Savory Macarons
Culinary Crafts – Siphon Pot Cocktails    
The Forum Company – Scoop of The Day
Winner: Culinary Crafts Savory Macarons

Signature Caterer for Best Wedding

Finalists:
CT Wedding Group – Wedding Day Dreams Become a Rustic Elegant Reality
Empyrean Events and Catering – Up In The Tree Tops
Vicky Crease Catering – Pure White Equestrian Dreams
Winner: CT Wedding Group Wedding Day Dreams Become a Rustic Elegant Reality

Best Barbeque or Picnic Menu

Finalists:
Blue Plate – Le DinerA17:I24 en Blanc
Culinary Crafts – Backyard Barbeque Soiree
Curtis Stone Events – The Butchers' Dinner
Winner: Culinary Crafts Backyard Barbeque Soiree

Signature Caterer for Best Event

Finalists:
Catering by Michaels – The Columbian Ball
Empyrean Events and Catering – PACE Yourself
Toque Catering Inc. – A Night to Remember
Winner: Empyrean Events and Catering – PACE Yourself

Best Action Station

Finalists:
Catering by Michaels – Duck Fat Fried Chicken
Culinary Capers Catering and Special Events – Beachside Paella Station
LUX Catering and Events – Artisan Flatbread
Winner: Catering by Michaels Duck Fat Fried Chicken

Chef of the Year

Finalists:
Marissa Delgado, Artisan by Santa Barbara Catering
Nicholas Weber, 24 Carrots
Winner: Marissa Delgado, Artisan by Santa Barbara Catering

Caterer of the Year

Finalists:
24 Carrots
Forte Belanger
Schaffer
Winner: Schaffer

Note: for more on Schaffer, its company culture, and its 2019 CATIE win (as covered by Catersource), click here.

Watch catersource.com and our Get Fresh e-newsletter for information about ACE awards 2020, to be presented in Las Vegas at Catersource 2020!

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, the Art of Catering Food, and Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit.