Metro Detroit Weddings Winter/Spring 2014 : Page 61

making plans event,” Harding says. “And help reflect the personalities of the couple.” When meeting with your potential ca-ter, Harding suggests thinking about your dream menu, your event space, and even the type of guest who will be attending. Harding also advises clients to consid-er the time of year the event occurs. “Not just for seasonality’s sake but to consider the temperature of the food. Serving room temperature food under a tent in Novem-ber is pretty difficult as it just ends up being cold.” As one of the largest expenses in your wedding, there are countless options when considering your meal budget Ser-vice style, ingredients, and rentals can Helen Harding and Blake Reetz of Eat HELEN HARDING WAS ONL Y 15 WHEN SHE MET THE THEN 19-YEAR-OLD BLAKE REETZ. They were both employees of the former Jefferson Market on Ann Arbor’s old west side — Reetz a line cook, Harding a dishwasher. “That’s where we both kind of got our hands into the catering world,” Reetz says. “We really liked working together and loved the pace, planning, and execu-tion of catering events. We always talked about one day stepping out on our own.” And after the store closed in 2007, it took the couple only a year to launch their catering company, simply called Eat. Eat offers “real, fresh, made from scratch food,” Reetz says. “If you order meatballs, each one has been rolled by hand and made from quality ingredients.” “We are often (preparing) dish-es on-site with big grills and pro-pane burners,” Harding adds. “We like to grill meat in the summer and serve braises in the colder months. We’ll pick up vegetables at (area) farmers market on the day of your wedding and grill them on-site. It’s time-consuming but there is a significant difference.” Harding says there are also no pre-decided packages. “Before any proposal goes out, I sit down with each couple — either over the phone or in-person — and chat about their vision for their wedding day, their likes and dis-likes, their eating habits, budget. “A wedding menu — and how it’s served — can really define the tone of an all affect your per-person price tag. For Reetz, who manages the kitchen, the most important thing is to “serve the food that you want at your wedding.” And Harding adds: “Making you happy is the first priority. ” Q&A WITH HELEN HARDING AND BLAKE REETZ OF EAT: How long have you been catering? Our first big wedding was in the fall of 2010. The money we made from that wedding allowed us to purchase our first food cart. (Recently, Eat opened a carryout restaurant in Ann Arbor.) How many weddings do you cater? The number goes up every year. This year we will have done 28. How far in advance do you book? A year to (sometimes) a couple months. Do you offer menu tastings? We do. We like to see the tastings as a preview. So we try to first hash out a menu that looks good to them on paper. Tastings range from $25 to $50 per person. We can comfortably accommodate up to six people at a tasting. The tasting fee is tacked on to the final bill if we are hired. If the potential client decides to go with a different caterer, they are expected to pay for the tasting within two weeks. Eat catering, 1906 Packard St., Ann Arbor; 734-213-7011; eatannarbor.com winter/spring 2014 61

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