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Who's News in Catering for February 11, 2023

Educational Opportunities

The UW-Madison Extension Community Food Systems Program will provide no-cost virtual workshops for small-scale food and farming business start-ups every week from March 9th to April 24th. The sessions will cover topics such as: food safety planning, selling products at the farmers market, selling at your local retail food co-op, business incubator support for entrepreneurs, and finding customers for new and growing food businesses. All workshops are free to the public and will be hosted on Zoom. Registration for the event is available online at:

Hot Off the Presses

With Unite Here Local 737’s nearly 800 workers at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center threatening to strike since the end of 2022, a tentative contract agreement was reached on January 24 between the union and Sodexo, the foodservice provider at the facility. The standout elements of the new deal: a minimum-wage increase from $13 to $18 per hour, and a $5.50-per-hour raise for all current employees, to take effect between now and summer 2024. 


On Feb. 6, culinary superstar Giada De Laurentiis launches her elevated, immersive, Italian-inspired catering service, Giada Catering, across Southern California. Reimagining the traditional catering experience with an emphasis on entertaining, Giada Catering reflects Giada’s warm, yet sophisticated approach to hosting that removes the guesswork out of crafting the perfect event. With four curated themes— Amalfi, Milan, Rome and California Italian— Giada Catering offers menus, cocktails and tablescapes inspired by their namesake. Bringing events to life while encouraging connection and conversation, the Emmy Award-winning, bestselling cookbook author has partnered with Patina Restaurant Group to seamlessly execute catering services for events of all sizes from San Diego to Santa Barbara. The launch marks a full-circle moment for Giada, whose passion for the intersection of family, food and entertaining ignited during her early career working as a private chef in Los Angeles.

People on the Move

The Elms Hotel and Spa, a part of the Destination by Hyatt portfolio, is pleased to announce the appointment of Christian Arriaga as Executive Chef. In his new role, Arriaga will lead the historic property’s signature Three Owls restaurant, curating specialty menus and overseeing banquet events, The Tavern, Cafe Soterian, and oversee the culinary team as a whole. Before joining The Elms Hotel & Spa team, Arriaga was most recently at the Hyatt Regency Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW), serving as the Executive Sous Chef since 2020 and as the Chef de Cuisine beginning in 2017. During this time at the Hyatt Regency DFW, Arriaga oversaw five culinary outlets including a three meal service restaurant, a bar and a specialty restaurant where he gained crucial management experience, honed his skills in the banquet space, and revamped the property’s dining outlets throughout the pandemic.  


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