Sell Service!

How do you separate your catering company from the crowd?  Sell Service!

“The Precise Protocol of Table Service Never Goes out of Style”

Debbie Thomas CDP CSEP Emeritus

I was fortunate enough to give a talk on the Service Arts at one of the vineyards in the Stag Leap District of the Napa Valley. Somebody has to have this wonderful job! On my way, I stopped to dine at Copia, the American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts, hoping to have a gastronomic adventure in the World of Food and the Service Arts. I was not disappointed!

The waiter had a vast knowledge of the menu and, we spent about ten minutes discussing the savory fennel broth in the bouillabaisse, and the organic farm that raised the duck on the menu. He suggested that I visit the organic gardens just outside the restaurant door, while my food was being prepared, so I could view the very same herbs and vegetables that would be on my plate that afternoon. When he served, he was like a ghost, always anticipating my needs to fill my glass of iced white tea with a hint of mango.

What gastronomical delight did I choose at Copia? I chose the bouillabaisse, as Atlantic and Coastal European fare is all the rage these days, especially Catalan and Spanish Cuisine. This was a case of “Northern California meets the Passion of Spain.” This fennel infused broth, with clams from the Pacific coast, mussels from Oregon, fennel and fresh vegetables from Copia’s organic garden, was beautiful to view and taste. The celadon colored broth was a sea around an island of purple fingerling potatoes, celadon organic fennel stalks, pink Pacific salmon flesh, purple mussel shells, and tasty clams. But the piece de resistance was the bright pink red pepper aioli on top of the garlic crostini swimming in the celadon sea. Fabulous! They served the soup from a tureen to the deep plate .The server dipped the ladle into the tureen and served the solid items first, then delivered the broth with the ladle poured away from the guest, so as not to spill. Perfect!