Esprit Award Series: Best Catering Event and Best Culinary Innovation
Thursday, November 8, 2018
The ILEA Esprit Awards program is a dynamic industry awards programs, attracting an exceptional range, depth and quality of entries from all areas of live and special events. The 2018 Esprit Awards Gala was held at ILEA Live on Friday, 17 August, in Denver. There were 36 different categories and over 45 winners. Over the next few months, ILEA Experience will showcase these recipients and their award-winning events.
Best Catering Event
Venkataraman Indian Wedding Celebration
Recipient: Erin Greene, Two Caterers
In Indian culture, the reception is the evening before the ceremony, and the couple — Anusha and Andrew — was searching for a reception menu that was less traditional. The purpose of this event was to celebrate their wedding, entertain their guests and create a memorable menu that highlighted the cultures and adventures of both families. Goal No. 1 was to design a custom menu that embodied traditional Indian flavors and items executed in a unique or unexpected way. The focus was on innovation through menu items, the display and service. Goal No. 2 was to create an inviting and warm, one-of-a-kind experience for guests from design, décor, food, beverage and service so they leave the evening feeling inspired and charmed from the magic of the evening. The Venkatarman Reception was an incredible success. Guests enjoyed the beautiful setting with amazing music and memorable food.
Best Culinary Innovation
The Kitchen Community – Living Salad
Recipient: Ingrid Nagy, CSEP, Catering by Design
The Living Salad is a food presentation concept that uses full fresh heads of living lettuce (roots still on), presented in rustic wood planter boxes. Guests cut off their own portions with provided vintage scissors and then finish their salad with an assortment of ingredients and dressings served in trays on the side. Not only is the Living Salad concept an entertaining interactive element, but it also provides a centerpiece that is naturally beautiful.
The objective was to educate guests about the mission of the organization: “to strengthen communities by accelerating the real food movement in scale.” This was accomplished by an interactive speaker who walked guests through the process of creating their own salad while discussing the challenges and goals of its mission. Another objective was to visually enhance the overall dining experience by offering a unique and striking salad course—“something never seen before” Lastly, the goal was to keep guests entertained and intrigued throughout the entire event, offering something besides the typical salad course.
Stay tuned for the next installment of the Esprit Award Recipient Review Series!