08.06.2009
Just returned from this years CaterArts: The Art of Catering Stimulus for the Senses. Held in Louisville, Kentucky and sponsored by ICA and Sullivan University, CaterArts is the only culinary symposium for catering chefs in the world.

It was a great opportunity to network and share ideas with catering chefs from around the country. We were asked to bring along our Most Valuable Kitchen Tool for one of the seminars….I brought along a photo of our kitchen team, which generated lots of conversation!

Amazing food was non-stop starting with the opening gala with a twist to dining out on “Kentucky” cuisine, prepared by an award winning chef at “Limestone” in Louisville; an old fashioned Kentucky BBQ out in the country; lunch and learn sessions put on by fellow catering chefs; ending with a closing gala dinner “Twisted Classics,” with custom food and wine pairings.

Sullivan University hosted two educational classes, Pastry Made Easy, where we played with dead dough and worked with isomalt, and Charcuterie and Butchery. Both classes were hosted by very talented instructors with the help of some very enthusiastic students.
And last but not least, how can you go to Louisville, Kentucky and not take a trip to the Makers Mark distillery! We were treated to a lesson on mixology which confirmed how good kentucky bourbon can be.
Shawn Bittman
Executive Chef
07.18.2009

Tune in to the Fox Morning Show on Tuesday, July 21st for a special segment with CT Bride Contributing Editor, Ronnie Fein.
As a tie in to an article in the current issue of CT Bride, “Choosing a Menu,” Ronnie will be talking with Linda about what she has learned from caterers about alternative menu choices for weddings today – with a focus on dessert.
Linda and Hillery (one of our Senior Event Chefs) will be there with a bunch of desserts for the news crew to taste.
If you miss it…..you might be able to see the segment at the link below. We are not sure exactly what time it will be on…..but it will be LIVE!
07.13.2009

The sun is finally shining!
Time to sit back and relax with a refreshing cocktail.
Pineapple Papaya Mojito
Makes 8-8oz glasses
12 ounces white rum
5 ounces simple syrup
15 ounces club soda
24 ounces papaya nectar
1/2 fresh pineapple
(pureed and strained for 8 ounces juice)
Mix all together in large pitcher. Serve over ice and garnish with fresh mint and pineapple.
Special thanks to Maggie Conley for the beautiful picture
from one of our Harkness weddings!
06.23.2009

Mystic Art Center was decked out in crisp black and white for Kate Johnson and Zak Kolsky’s Wedding on June 13th. Beautiful orchid/candlelight centerpieces provided the perfect amount of color and light to the room as to not take away from the art exhibit. Leather couches, bistro tables and cocktail tables on the terrace provided comfortable seating with a water view.

Guests were greeted with a “Raspberry Sparkler,” named in honor of the couples 4th of July proposal. Some highlights of cocktail hour include Demitasse Cups of Lobster Bisque with Fresh Chervil, Lotus Root Chips with Seared Tuna and Wakami and a Mediterranean Station. A served meal followed with a paired plate of Seared Local Bomster Scallops with Cucumber, Scallion, Chili Ginger Salsa and Sarawak Pepper Crusted Medallion of Beef Tenderloin with Black Olive Vinaigrette. After dinner, a cheese sampler was presented featuring local Cato Corner Farms cheeses and local honey. The square tiered wedding cake was elegantly dressed with black satin ribbon around each tier and scattered orchids. As a late night treat, a made to order Pizza Station was brought out on the terrace. The Scotch and Cigar Bar was a big hit as guests finished the evening under the stars.

A Thyme to Cook was happy to work with the following collaborative team:

Tent and Table Rental – Liberty Rentals

China and Chair Rental – Rentals Unlimited

Bar Beverages – Cask & Keg

DJ – Power Posse Productions

Photographer – Ken LePardo

Florist – Adam’s Garden of Eden

Wedding Cake – Torra Dolce

05.29.2009

How cool is this….eco-friendly alcohol!

We are excited to offer this new “green” liquor
from TRU Organic Spirits.

Some of what makes TRU “green” include:

Recyclable plastic corks;
Biodegradable labels of corn-based paper with soy ink;
Distilled from organic wheat;
The 620 gram bottle weighs less that your average booze bottle – which burns less fuel in transit!
TRU-ly Organic!!!

05.12.2009
Linda and Steve took their annual trip to Gilberties Herb Gardens in Easton, CT for this season’s crop of herbs. Doug, our resident gardener is busy planting today!
Gilberties Herb Gardens have been growing for over 85 years with over 400 kinds of herbs available this year. They use 100% organic fertilizer and are 100% pesticide free…..maybe that is why they are the best herbs in the world!

Highlighted in this years A Thyme to Cook garden include Horehound, Evening Primrose, Silver Thyme, Lovage, Mountain Mint, African Blue Basil, Red Bush Basil and Pineapple Sage. You are sure to see them on your menus!! Our chefs literally step out the door to pluck what they need to ensure the freshest flavor.

If you are near Easton, swing by Gilberties – walking through their green houses is quite an experience!

04.21.2009

There couldn’t be a better time to start our ongoing posts about going green! We all know it ain’t easy being green, but every little thing you do will help create a more sustainable world for us all to live in. Think of it as “Shades of Green.” These posts will share some Eco-Smart Choices…start small and before you know it, you’ll be ready to take on the “greenest” challenges.

Shades of Green #1

GREEN
Minimize your consumption of bottled water. Save your money!

GREENER
Always drink tap water at home. Get your water tested and install a filter if necessary.

GREENEST
Eliminate all bottled water. Purchase and carry a reusable bottle filled with tap water.

Get Active….sign up for Clean Water Action’s email activist list at www.cleanwateraction.org and check out www.cleanwaternetwork.org for updates and opportunities for taking action to help your water supply.

04.10.2009

Linda: Italian as it has the most variety and freshness—from tomatoes and capers in Naples, pappardelle with boar and beans in Tuscany, truly aged parmesan, lardo (yes , there is such a thing) and horse—which was one of the finest meats I have ever consumed )in Parma, Squid, octopus and treviso in Venice, speck and Lagrein wine in Alto Adige—-I think I need a fix—-desperately-

Gina: I would pick Italian…..well, “Americanized” Italian (I don’t like rabbit that much!). Give me pasta any day, although I would probably have a year of heartburn with all the tomato sauce!

Lori: Hors d’oeuvres – A year of snacking…mmmmm

Alicia: Definitely Italian – pasta and bread, how can you go wrong??? But there’s so much more to Italian than that…antipasto, braciole, roasted peppers – too many things to name…yum!!!

Emily: ….I would have to pick Thai cuisine – yum! The stir-fry possibilities are endless, but I am definitely partial to Pad See Ew. There is something about the rice noodles, garlic, and sweet soy sauce that I can’t pass up!

Chef Shawn: Bacon—it makes everything taste better!

Chef Bill: Lean Cuisines. Love it!

Joe: American. I live on hamburgers.

Jesus: Mexican, Yo lo como todo el tiempo de todos modos!

04.02.2009

Just returned from the Eastern CT Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours at the Coast Guard Alumni Center. A very pretty site for events overlooking the Thames River – too bad it was raining tonight!

As one of the participating caterers, and in honor of April Fool’s Day, we thought we’d bring out our “Head Table” for the night.


Brian, our featured head for the evening, welcomed guests as they realized things aren’t always as they seem…..

Sweet = Savory
with a Curried Chicken Kiddie Cone with Red Pepper Sprinkles
and
Savory = Sweet
with our CATIE Award Nominated Spaghetti and Truffles –
Chocolate Truffles and Sweet Spaghetti on a Silver Fork with Raspberry Coulis Sauce.

Other caterers sharing their nibbles included: Flanders Fish Market, who had yummy bruschetta and seafood tortillas; Mike from Aspen Restaurant with Seared Tuna on a Wonton Crisp with Micro Greens and Wasabi and Peppercorn Turkey and Boursin wrapped Asparagus; and Cloud Nine with Honey Mustard Kielbasa and Pumpkin Bread with Mango Cream Cheese (delish – I had 2!) Chef Tim Grills from Catering to You was cooking up a loaded Pasta Bar to order; and Tim from Gourmet Galley was serving up Shrimp and Grits…he has to work on his southern accent a bit, but the Sweet Southern Tea made up for it with the shot of Southern Comfort!

Thank you to the Chamber and Sue Fage at the Alumni Center for letting us participate!

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