Special Events
4th Annual Edition of the Special Events' 25 Great, Big Caterers

4th Annual Edition of the Special Events' 25 Great, Big Caterers

IT'S OUR FOURTH ANNUAL look at the businesses of some of the biggest caterers in business. Taken as a group, they represent $646 million in revenue, and they predict a 4.9 percent gain this year over last. That sounds delicious to us!

A LEGENDARY EVENT, Atlanta

CEO Tony Conway, CMP

WEBSITE www.alegendaryevent.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 2,500

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $15 million to $18 million

ON SITE Wordruff Arts Center, High Museum of Art, American Cancer Society National Headquarters, Alston & Bird law firm and World of Coca-Cola Museum, all in Atlanta.

SIGNATURE STYLE A Legendary Event's attention to detail, food quality and visual appeal, exceptional service and range of capabilities — including catering, design, decor, floral, entertainment and valet parking — are what make the company truly full-service, management says with pride.

ALISON PRICE & CO., London

CEO Alison Price, Terry Shaw

WEBSITE www.alisonprice.co.uk

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 200 to 250

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $7.4 million to $10.4 million

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS The roster over the pat year has included an awards dinner for 2,500 guests, arts sponsorships, and receptions and dinners for corporate sponsors at the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Also, government events on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for visiting overseas dignitaries at 10 Downing St. and Lancaster House.

SIGNATURE STYLE The company offers “the very best food and service with a modern British twist,” management says.

ALONG CAME MARY, Los Angeles

CEO Mary Micucci

WEBSITE www.alongcamemary.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 200 to 250

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $10 million

ON SITE Broad Stage at the Santa Monica [Calif.] College Performing Arts Center.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS On the roster this year: Jewish Federation Centennial Gala, Fashion Institute Debut dinner, Valley Performing Arts Center grand opening gala, Grammy Awards Celebration, Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards, Macy's Glamorama and Colburn School gala dinner.

SIGNATURE STYLE Clients “are on a first-name basis with some of our more senior wait staff,” management notes with pride, pointing to secrets of success including “attention to detail, warm and gracious serving style, and professionalism.”

BEHIND THE SCENES, San Diego

CEO John Crisafulli

WEBSITE www.btscenes.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 300 to 350

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $12 million to $13 million

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS The company closed its Chicago office within the last year but kept up its pace with catering at the Rose Bowl football game, Lollapalooza, golf tourneys, Olympics events and corporate marketing events.

BLUE PLATE, Chicago

CEO Jim Horan

WEBSITE www.blueplatechicago.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 7,000

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $22 million (catering only)

ON SITE Chicago Symphony's Symphony Center and the Museum of Private Art Collections: Featuring the Art of Dali and Lamb.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Blue Plate has been busy this year with the Art Institute Gala honoring longtime mayor Richard M. Daley, premiere for the movie “The Dilemma” and the Brookfield Zoo Whirl Ball.

SIGNATURE STYLE Blue Plate holds preferred status at more than 85 venues and offers “complete foodservice solutions,” management says, including events, weddings, drop-off and restaurants.

CATERING BY MICHAEL'S FAMILY OF COMPANIES, Morton Grove, Ill.

CEOStewart Glass

WEBSITE www.cateringbymichaels.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 600 full-service, 4,000 drop-off

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $11 million to $12 million

ON SITE Independence Grove, Libertyville; Brae Loch Golf Club, Grayslake; Banner Picnic Grounds, Lake Forest; Tamarack Picnic Grounds, Lincolnshire, all in Illinois.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Busy this year with Alzheimer's Association benefit, Lollapalooza, and WW Grainger and Medline picnics.

SIGNATURE STYLE Company takes pride in its strong word-of-mouth referrals: “We constantly tell our sales consultants that we are in the business of selling confidence, not food.”

CREATE FOOD + PARTY DESIGN, London

CEO Richard Groves, Caroline Gardiner

WEBSITE www.createfood.co.uk

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 470

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $15 million

ON SITE Plaisterers' Hall, Salters' Hall, Wax Chandlers' Hall and Fulham Palace Cafe, all in London; Plumpton Racecourse, East Sussex.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS The team handled the nine-day “Start” sustainability conference with Prince Charles at Lancaster House, its own eighth annual venues dinner with a 160-foot-long table in the Darwin Centre Natural History Museum, and the Moet-sponsored British Independent Film Awards dinner for 600 at Old Billingsgate.

SIGNATURE STYLE Now celebrating a decade catering for private and corporate events, management points with pride to its “delicious food with exemplary service and a meticulous eye for detail. Our imaginative menus are well presented, carefully sourced, full of seasonal flavors and based on sound traditional kitchen practice, making our food, real food.”

CULINARY CAPERS, Vancouver, British Columbia

CEO Debra Lykkemark, CEO; Michael Harries, COO; Billy Kawaja, president/Beijing

WEBSITE www.culinarycapers.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 1,500 to 2,000 staffed events; 1,000 to 1,500 deliveries

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $10 million

ON SITE Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS With operations in both Canada and China, the team has been busy with large off-premise events for international conferences being hosted at the new Trade and Convention Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with producing events for luxury brand clients in Beijing.

SIGNATURE STYLE Winner of yet another Special Events Gala Award in January, the company blends top-flight culinary style with constant innovation and outstanding service, management says.

DESIGN CUISINE, Arlington, Va.

CEO Kathy Valentine

WEBSITE www.designcuisine.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 2,500

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $24 million to $27 million

ON SITE Union Station, Washington, and Ford Orientation Center and Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center, both at Mount Vernon, Va.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Galas galore over the past year, including the National Trust on the Mall Gala, Wolf Trap Ball, Share our Strength Gala, Fashion for Paws Gala and WPA Art Auction Gala.

SIGNATURE STYLE Management credits its growth from a small, boutique caterer to a leader in the Washington marketplace to the development of a knowledgeable, responsive sales staff, the creation of a highly organized professional kitchen and the acquisition of an extensive collection of unique rental equipment and linens. “Now, after more than 30 years of leading the Washington catering and event industry, the company continues to provide the innovative menus, quality food preparation, meticulous service and attention to detail that first defined Design Cuisine style,” they say.

EDDIE DEEN, Dallas

CEO Eddie Deen

WEBSITE www.eddiedeen.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 2,500 plus

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $9 million to $11 million

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Events as big as Texas, including the Dallas Cattle Baron Ball for 3,500, Prime Sport (Super Bowl event) for 2,500, Winstar Casino events for 3,000 per week, Tyler Cattle Baron Ball for 2,500 and ASIS event for 3,000.

SIGNATURE STYLE Eddie Deen is known for serving thousands of people — from scratch — in minutes, management says: “We have all the infrastructure to execute at any size at any location.”

EPICUREAN CULINARY GROUP, Centennial, Colo.

CEO Larry DiPasquale, Greg Karl, Paul Aylmer, Dan Spahr, Bob Gitre (chef)

WEBSITE www.epicureanculinarygroup.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 1,000 plus

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $11 million to $14 million

ON SITE Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Invesco Field at Mile High stadium, both in Denver, plus Palazzo Verdi at Fiddler's Green, Greenwood Village, Colo.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Epicurean cooked up a wide range of events over the past year, including the Mizel Museum kosher event for 1,600, Denver Health Gala with Garth Brooks for 1,600, and a picnic for 1,000 using its new mobile pizza oven and “Street Eats” mobile kitchen.

SIGNATURE STYLE Epicurean credits the longevity and expertise of its key event designers and managers for its success.

GLOBAL INFUSION GROUP, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England

CEO Tony Laurenson

WEBSITE www.globalinfusiongroup.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 750 to 800

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $17 million to $22 million

ON SITE Merriweather Post Pavilion, Baltimore; Music Bank, London; German Centre Pudong, China.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Global Infusion Group's event roster for 2011 so far has included full tour catering for Lady Gaga and a personal chef for Kiss, both in North America, Justin Bieber throughout Europe, the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Qatar, catering consultancy for the Oman National Day celebrations, and continued collaborations in China for the Shenzhen Universiade Games. One year after the opening of GIG ASIA in Shanghai, its clients now include Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Ford, Fendi, Bulgari, Google and AEG. Back home in the U.K. the team continues to “lead the field in tour catering and festivals around the world,” management says with pride, and the company has maintained its ISO9001 and ISO14001 accreditations.

GREAT PERFORMANCES, New York

CEO Liz Neumark

WEBSITE www.greatperformances.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 1,500 to 2,500

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $30 million

ON SITE Sotheby's, Plaza Hotel's Grand Ballroom, Apollo Theater, El Museo del Barrio and Jazz at Lincoln Center, all in Manhattan, BAM in Brooklyn, N.Y., plus Wave Hill in the Bronx and Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Katonah, N.Y.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Big events have included the opening of the landmark Plaza Hotel's Grand Ballroom (with a 25-year catering contract), the Sony Ericsson tennis tournament in Florida, and hospitality suite service at Madison Square Garden for a major tennis match.

SIGNATURE STYLE Great Performances has its own 60-acre organic farm in Kinderhook, N.Y, supplying its venues and clients with home-grown menu ingredients year-round.

JEWELL EVENTS CATERING, Chicago

CEO George L. Jewell

WEBSITE www.jewelleventscatering.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 10,000

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $20 million plus

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS In addition to “hundreds of corporate events” over the past year, the Jewell team is proud to have executed many notable fundraising events including the Chicago Botanic Gardens: Antique & Garden Fair Preview Evening, Children's Place Association Gala, University of Chicago Cancer Research Preview Evening, Women's Board of The Field Museum Gala, Joffrey Ballet Gala and the WTTW 25th Anniversary bash.

SIGNATURE STYLE Jewell has incorporated many “world flavors” and modern trends into its culinary repertoire including Korean barbecue action stations, Hawaiian shaved ice, cake pops, and the use of an “anti-griddle” for instant frozen treats.

LUNDY'S, Lexington, Ky.

CEO Jerry Lundergan, principal; Abigail Dobson, CFO; Alissa Tibe, v.p. development

WEBSITE www.lundyscatering.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 1,900

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $32 million

ON SITE Morehead Conference Center, Morehead; Carrick House, Lexington; Limestone Center, Maysville; and Frankfort Civic Center, Frankfort — all in Kentucky.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS The event roster this year has included the World Equestrian Games, Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and Rolex Kentucky three-day event.

SIGNATURE STYLE The Lundergan Group has transformed “not only into a company representing a host of domestic and international clients for special events and functions, but also a resource for our colleagues within the special events industry,” management says. “Our culinary team is constantly traveling to learn and bring new skills to our table.”

MCCALLS CATERING & EVENTS, San Francisco

CEO Lucas Schoemaker, president; Lee Gregory, vice president

WEBSITE www.mccallssf.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 650

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $25 million

ON SITE De Young, Palace of the Legion of Honor and Asian Art museums, all in San Francisco.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS This high-end caterer has been busy with galas and opening dinners for the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Opera, California Academy of Sciences, Giants World Series, Fall Antiques Show, Nobel Prize Anniversary, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 75th Anniversary, San Francisco Fine Arts Museums' French Impressionist and Balenciaga openings and Bouquets to Art, and “many more local events plus over 500 corporate and private events ranging in size from 100 to 20,000.”

SIGNATURE STYLE Seasoned catering pros made all the difference: “McCalls has over 60 employees with 10-plus years' experience,” they say. “Our turnover rate is very low; this enables us to be extremely reliable in catering large events requiring a high standard of service.”

OCCASIONS CATERERS, Washington

CEO Mark Michael

WEBSITE www.occasionscaterers.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 4,000 to 5,000

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $21 million to $31 million

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Founded by twin brothers in 1986 with a $500 van and some pots and pans, Occasions has grown to serve corporations and institutions including Exxon-Mobil, Smithsonian museums, Google and MSNBC, along with social events and cultural galas including the legendary Corcoran Ball in Washington.

SIGNATURE STYLE Occasions is known for customized menus and “top-notch cuisine displayed with a classic yet innovative presentation,” management says. The company assists clients with a range of services including hiring servers and entertainment, renting equipment and arranging for floral, lighting and decor.

PATINA GROUP CATERING, Los Angeles

CEO Joachim Splichal, chef/founder; Nick Valenti, CEO

WEBSITE www.patinacatering.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 5,500 plus

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $20 million to $25 million

ON SITE On-site caterer at landmark venues including the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A., along with San Francisco War Memorial and the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink in New York.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS A “long list” that includes the Primetime Emmy Governors Ball, NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall and the Tony Awards.

SIGNATURE STYLE Company pride is “à la minute cooking at large events, custom menus, impeccable service and event-planning skills, with over 20 years' experience.”

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POTEL ET CHABOT, Paris

WEBSITE www.poteletchabot.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 300 plus

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $96 million to $103 million

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS The leading catering and special events firm in Paris since 1820, Potel & Chabot runs five independent sites in Paris: Pavillon Cambon-Capucines, Hôtel d'Evreux, Pavillon d'Armenonville, Pavillon Gabriel and Pavillon Kléber. “We also organize off-site catering in more than 500 venues in France and abroad,” management notes.

SIGNATURE STYLE The specialty is, bien sur, French cuisine, “but as we customize all our events, we can also do international food.”

PROM MANAGEMENT GROUP, Oakdale, Minn.

CEO Thomas Given, president; William Given, executive vice president

WEBSITE www.promcatering.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 35 to 50

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $28 million

ON SITE The Prom Center, Oakdale, Minn.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS The event schedule for 2011 includes the Players, U.S. Open, Indy Grand Prix, Justin Timberlake Shriners Open, U.S. Senior Open and Greenbriar Classic.

PUFF ‘N STUFF, Orlando, Fla.

CEO Warren G. Dietel

WEBSITE www.puffnstuff.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 7,500

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $9 million to $11 million

ON SITE The Ballroom at Church Street, T. Pepin's Hospitality Centre and Orlando Science Center, all in Florida.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Events this year will include many “large-scale and elaborate” private events and weddings; Fields BMW Center of Excellence Award; numerous product launches; and “actually a few significant real estate marketing events,” management says.

SIGNATURE STYLE Plated, family, buffet, stations, bistro — the company does “really just about anything,” they say, along with unique twists on expected themes.

RIDGEWELLS, Washington

CEO Susan Lacz

WEBSITE www.ridgewells.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 12,000

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $20 million

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS On tap this year: U.S. Golf Association Men's Championship in Bethesda, Md.

SIGNATURE STYLE Ridgewells “strives to make every event unique by continually offering clients fresh, creative menus.”

STEPHEN STARR EVENTS, Philadelphia

CEO Stephen Starr, CEO; Simon Powles, president

WEBSITE www.starrevents.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 575

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $16 million

ON SITE Exclusive at Philadelphia's Museum of Art, Ruth & Raymond G. Perelman Building, Rodin Museum, Barnes Foundation, Arts Ballroom, Horticulture Center, Franklin Square, The Hub Chemical Heritage Foundation, The Hub Cira Centre and The Hub City View.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS This year's event schedule includes the Philadelphia International Auto Show Black-Tie Preview Gala, Fairmount Park Conservancy Gala, Friends of Rittenhouse Ball on the Square, and “countless private events” for Philadelphia and New York corporations and luminaries.

SIGNATURE STYLE The company “specializes in custom, modern menus from signature cocktails to delectable desserts,” management says, with “utmost professionalism, unparalleled presentation and tantalizing taste.”

WINDOWS CATERING CO., Alexandria, Va.

CEO Henry L. Dinardo

WEBSITE www.catering.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 14,500

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $18 million to $20 million

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS A packed event roster including the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network annual dinner, National Council of La Raza annual dinner, “Arabia 3D” movie premiere and National Kidney Foundation gala.

SIGNATURE STYLE “Our kitchen is led by nationally recognized chef-proprietor Henry Dinardo, chef Pasquale Ingenito and 2005 National Pastry Champion chef Laurent Lhuillier,” they say. “Our New American-style cuisine abounds with inventive interpretations and modern creations based on the very best traditions of American, regional and international cuisine.”

WOLFGANG PUCK CATERING, Los Angeles

CEO Carl Schuster

WEBSITE www.wolfgangpuckcatering.com

2011 EVENT COUNT FORECAST 10,000

2011 REVENUE FORECAST $120 million

ON SITE Serves as exclusive caterer for more than 40 venues in cities across the U.S.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS The event slate for 2011 includes the Academy Awards “Oscar” Governors Ball, Grammy Celebration, Directors Guild of American Awards, TED Conference and NBA All-Stars event.

SIGNATURE STYLE The team delivers a “restaurant-quality experience in a special event setting,” they say. “In keeping with Wolfgang's culinary passion, ‘Wolfgang's Eat, Love, Live’ — or WELL — philosophy is a commitment to feature natural and organic ingredients, humanely raised animals and sustainable seafood, and to celebrate local farmers,” management notes.

All information is supplied by the companies listed unless otherwise noted. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, errors and omissions sometimes occur. All figures are in U.S. dollars.

Should you be on this list? Let us know by sending an e-mail to [email protected].

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