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  • Catering With Class

    When my mom asked me to help her plan a 60th birthday party for my dad, I was happy to oblige. We decided to make it casual and fun and keep the guests to a minimum (although once my mom starting making her list, the party size grew considerably. If we invite these friends, we have to invite these friends, I kept hearing my mom say). The most difficult (but most fun) task was going to be finding the right caterer.

    My dad loves to eat so food was going to be an important part of the birthday celebration. The first thing my mom and I did was visit several of his favorite restaurants and get catering menus from them. What fun it was going to be planning our own menu. I love to look over all the delicious appetizers, entrees and desserts and secretly hoped my mom would want to dine at some of the places before making any final decisions. We narrowed the choices down to three: Italian, Barbeque and Chinese.

    We wanted to be sure to cover all our bases, so we phoned some food caterers and asked them to email us their menus and prices. Two of the people we contacted were gourmet caterers and they were willing to cook up whatever we wanted. We had decided that the food would dictate the theme for the party so everything was predicated on the type of meal to be served. 

    An additional catering business we called specialized in Japanese cuisine and sushi is one of my dad's all time favorites so they definitely piqued our interest. When we read over their menu we were very impressed but the pricing was a bit high. However, if we went with this type of food we could do a luau. We got really excited thinking about transforming my parents' backyard into a tropical paradise, so after comparing caterers, we decided my dad was worth every penny.

    With catering services taken care of, we started buying decorations. While shopping at party supply stores we discovered lots of fun drinking accessories like hula girl straws, palm tree stir sticks, tall glasses with hibiscus flowers etched in them, drink umbrellas and ice cube trays in fun Hawaiian shapes. This got us thinking. We need a bartender! My mom phoned the caterer to ask for information on bartenders and was delighted to hear that they would supply one for us. The said they could supply the alcohol or my mom could purchase it with a suggested list supplied by them. Of course tropical drinks would be the main beverage but the catering company recommended plenty of soda and water as well. 

    Next on the party decorations agenda were bright colored leis, seashells, fish netting, tiki torches, giant inflatable palm trees, plastic sea creatures and surfboards. My mom also bought a bamboo limbo set to get the party started. We bought luau music cd's to play throughout the evening and decided some entertainment might be fun.

    For my dad's 50th birthday, my mom had a party at a pizza place my dad ate at as a teenager and had a belly dancer come do a dance for him. It was great fun watching him get tangled in her sheer scarf. My dad still talks fondly about it. So this year my mom decided to do something a little different and hired a singing telegram. She spoke with the singer personally and faxed her a page of information about my dad. The singer was going to make up a song with details about my dad and sing it to him in a seductive manner. She was told the party was a luau theme so she promised to be dressed accordingly. 

    On the evening of the party the backyard looked like paradise. It was colorful and inviting with plenty of luau decorations and lounge chairs, cushioned benches, Adirondack chairs and oversized pillows available throughout the yard. But the best was yet to come.

    The caterers set up different food stations around the backyard and one large rectangle table in the middle of the festivities for beautiful fruit arrangements. There were skinned pineapples with skewers of strawberries sticking out from around them. There was papaya and kiwi and halved coconuts filled with watermelon. Platters of oranges, peaches and nectarines fanned out in geometric designs were also included as was chocolate dipped bananas. 

    The first food station was sushi. A chef prepared items when ordered and included everything from eel to sashimi to California roll. The fish was fresh and delicious. The second station consisted of teriyaki chicken, steak and salmon and the sweetest white rice I've ever tasted. The third food station was a fish lover's paradise with shrimp, crab, fried calamari, scallops and clam chowder. Each station's presentation was amazing and everyone went back for seconds. A fourth station was set up for bartending and was decorated like a beach hut. The catering services were definitely five-star. The catering menu was superb and the whole event a most memorable one. Test Test test 
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