Behind the scenes

Crisp linens are draped on the tables. Evergreen boughs and bright colored holiday ornaments add color and sparkle while steaming silver chafers full of savory food exude aromas you can almost taste. Platters of fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant and baked breads abound. The setting is a scene of holiday serendipity.

The lights are dim as an early morning holiday breakfast awaits office workers in downtown Denver.

Planning for a beautiful holiday feast begins at the Serendipity kitchen on Park Avenue in Denver. A service consultant works with the client to plan a menu, table settings, decorations and coordinate third-party vendors (like live music, rented china and glassware, securing a venue) if necessary.

The service consultant then transitions the client over to a Serendipity event designer. The designer makes a visit to the venue to create a floor plan and ensure the space fits the vision. The designer creates an event worksheet, determines the number of staff needed for the event and communicates the menu to the executive chef.  The executive chef then communicates all the details of the menu preparation to his kitchen team, including our pastry chef partner Jene Alie of Anything But Vanilla.

Most of the food is prepared in the Serendipity kitchen and transported to the event in insulated boxes that ensure food it kept at the required temperature. Timing of staff arrival and food arrival are coordinated to provide the freshest, hottest food possible.

Bobbi labels insulated containers so the crew knows what dishes are inside.

While guests relax and enjoy the occasion, the Serendipity staff is hard at work behind the scenes keeping food hot, adding fresh ingredients to dishes, preparing replacement platters of various dishes and filling beverage containers, among other tasks. Imagine tackling this job in a vacant office, maybe a storage room or conference room that doubles as a catering staging area.

This is the challenge Serendipity conquers on a daily basis through planning, organization and experience. Planning for such a challenge in an art – it requires being prepared for any situation that may arise. From serving spoons to salt and pepper to skewers, every item must be packed and organized for easy access. Just like Santa, Serendipity makes a list and checks it twice for each catered event. Once the equipment is on site, it must be assembled into a make-shift kitchen, allowing staff to maneuver with efficiency.

Todd and Shauna prepare tapas in a storage room at a venue.

The on-site chef must be able to put finishing touches on grand dishes while working in small spaces. The chef has to rely on the catering team to help make his hard work look as good as it tastes with tablescapes that are elegant and fresh.

Many of the staging areas available don’t have running water. Catering teams have to haul containers up stairs and down long hallways to get the necessary water.

When the event is over, dirty dishes are gathered, the make-shift kitchen is packed up and linens are removed.  Very happy guests are the only proof the Serendipity team was there.
The Serendipity team thrives on this challenge and thanks all of its clients for choosing Serendipity.

Happy holidays!

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