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    2017 US Pastry Championships- Winners

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    2017 US Pastry Championships- Winning Chocolate Sculpture

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    2017 US Pastry Championships- Judges Meeting

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    2017 US Pastry Championships- Winning Mini Pastry Display

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    2017 US Pastry Championships- Finalists at Medal Ceremony

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    2017 US Pastry Championships- Mini Pastry Display

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    2017 US Pastry Championships- Judges with Winning Entry

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    2017 US Pastry Championships- Mini Pasteries

Party Suggestions for Holiday Catering

'Tis the season for holiday catering so I thought I would share with you some party suggestions and catering ideas I picked up at an event a couple of weeks ago given by Wolfgang Puck Catering at Sony Studios.  The event was spectacular and it was a beautiful display of creative catering.

The first thing I noticed about the venue was the new parking structure and how easy it was to park.  One of the party suggestions I always give my clients is to make sure parking is easy for the guests and to provide valet parking if there are parking restrictions. Nothing can be worse than going to a party and driving around looking for parking.

After I checked in (yes at this event they were taking names at the door, hello Desiree Rogers), I looked around and noticed how Puck used creative catering to enhance the décor at this event.  The bars were modern in style with plexi-glass that was lit from within providing a color and a nice glow to the outdoor area.

Catering ideas that I noticed at this event included using natural elements as décor for the buffet.  They took baskets and filled them with vegetables at the grilled veggie station, and at the heirloom tomato station where they served tomato soup with parmesan foam and heirloom tomato caprese salad, they used heirloom tomatoes for décor.

One of the topics I cover in Budget Bash is to use natural and easily available objects to decorate your buffet.  For holiday catering, you can use as buffet décor berries, cinnamon sticks, pine cones and holiday greens to add color and texture.

Creative catering at this event is also seen in the presentation of the dessert station.  Instead of just placing cookies on a platter, one of the catering ideas I picked up was to create lollipops with the cookies.  Just simply bake your favorite cookie and then gently insert a smooth wooden skewer that has been cleared of any wood fragments and there you have a unique presentation for your cookie.

What is great for children as well as for adults and one of my favorite party suggestions is to include an interactive dessert station.  What better way to do this than to provide either a cookie or cupcake decorating station as one of the creative catering ideas to serve desserts.  At this event, they included a cupcake decorating station and it was busy all night.

A fun catering idea for your holiday catering dessert station is to design your own cupcake centerpiece by purchasing a very large cupcake mold (Bed Bath and Beyond carries them).  Use the mold to make an extra large cupcake (go ahead and save time and use box cake mix and frosting) and then decorate it with peppermint candy canes.  There you have an easy and fun centerpiece for your buffet (and it will taste great afterwards as well).

Finally, I have to call your attention to the easy, inexpensive yet simply elegant candle votives used as décor at this event.  What Puck Catering did was use a large glass cylinder and fill it with rose petals.  Then, they took a smaller glass votive with a candle and placed it inside the cylinder.  Party suggestions for this decor idea for the holidays include using red petals with green votive candles.

I hope you found these party suggestions for holiday catering helpful.  The few new catering ideas I picked up at this event held at Sony Studios I think are a great
example of inexpensive creative catering and fit into the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

Andrea Wyn is a special event planner with over 15 years of industry experience. She has been the Awards Event Supervisor for the Screen Actors Guild Awards(R) since 2000. Her book, Budget Bash-Simply Fabulous Events on a Budget, is available at http://www.budgetbashbook.com . She has an MBA from the University of Chicago & a BA from UCLA. To learn more about Budget Bash & events go to http://www.awynningevent.com