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Anything from 2 to 400 guests, book ahead

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Caterer for Wedding in the Okanagan, Vernon and Penticton-Okanagan.

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Things to keep in mind for your Okanagan wedding reception:

Chef Martin has done a few weddings in his 29 years as a chef and these are a few things he has put together to help you make that day a special one. Catering a wedding is always a bit more pressure and more stressful than your average birthday or retirement party, as we like to think it is a one shot event. Therefore, doing it right is important. We do understand you have a budget and we want to help you keep it on track. The most information you give us the best and most accurate quote we can give you. Email us for a custom QUOTE...

"One guarantee you get from The Chef in Stead is that I will be the chef cooking your food and I will always be present working and making sure all is good for your event the entire time whether it is a dinner for two people or a buffet for 300 guests. I only book one event per day so that I don't have to send you a cook to do the job of a chef!"
Chef Martin Laprise

Because this is such a special event, people need to remember that excellence is best achieved when the chef can do his (or her) best job… when the surroundings and work space make sense. Take your time and think about your reception and figure out every little detail so that everything looks good from beginning to end. Many of the things mentioned below were found by trial and error - avoid having to deal with the hard reality of Plan B as much as possible by considering all these points.

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Below are the kind of comments we recieve afterwards from couples for the last 9 years!

Summer 2013
Hi Chef Martin!
Thank-you for your email! Ben and I just got back from our honeymoon, so I am behind on my emails.
Thank-you to you and your wife for all of the hard work you did for the wedding! The food was absolutely amazing and I continue to have guests complimenting us for choosing you! We will certainly be recommending you to others in the future :)
Thanks again!
Brittany, Summerland, BC

Summer 2012
Hello Martin
Hi Martin! I can't say enough how impressed we were with everything: the delicious food, the presentation, the service - all outstanding!! I only wish we hadn't taken off on our honeymoon the next morning so that I could have enjoyed more of the leftovers :) I got a few requests already for your name because of guests that were wanting to book you, so again, thank you!! Perhaps we'll hire you again for a smaller function so that I can savour more of it :)
Best regards,
Rhea & Derek
West Kelowna, BC
Summer 2011
Hello Martin
I wanted to send you this e mail to say thank you for the wonderful food at My Daughter Natasha's wedding on Sept 3rd at La punta Norte. People have not stopped raving about you food. I live in Vancouver and I'm telling everyone about you.
Thank you again for making Natasha and Spencers wedding a Hit.
Tracy, Okanagan

These are other options to think about where an Okanagan caterer/chef could be useful:
A rehearsal dinner is a great way to thank your loved ones of all the hard work they did to help you realize the wedding of your dream and also an awesome place to do some more private speeches.
Wedding gifts opening party allows you to have one more day out of this wedding weekend and also see people's face the next when you start unwrapping the forth toaster in row.
Bridal shower is the best place to thank your maid of honor by allowing her to throw a weird party for you in one of your friend's living room.
Bachelorette and Bachelor party is a great way to get rid of all your accumulated frustrations from your work and/or your family spending time with only your close friends so that you can start with a clean slate with your soon to be spouse.

Summer 2012
Hello Martin
I just wanted to say how much our guests enjoyed the meal you prepared for our daughter's rehearsal dinner on July 5th. Everyone raved about the food - I took some of the leftover salads & potatoes to our friends' place the next night for dinner & they were a hit there as well. I also really appreciated having a clean kitchen at the end of the evening!
Thanks again to you & Chloe for making the dinner such a success!
Marylea Jarvis, West Kelowna, BC

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Your guests:
Are there any guests in a wheelchair? Do they have an escort or will they need one?
Are there any guests and/or grandparents requiring assistance and/or special seating arrangement to avoid standing in a buffet line?
Are there young children? Remember if you expect a "kid's menu" that this is an extra expense. (Buffets are great for kids.)
Give an accurate count of how many guests will attend. This makes sure you don't run out of anything and the servers can prepare enough plate settings.
Make sure to sit the rude people in your family away from the kitchen/chef if you want a smooth wedding reception:

Your location or venue:
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Who will meet your caterer to unluck the door?
Is there a kitchen for the caterer to use at your venue?
Is there a parking spot near the entrance for deliveries and/or caterer?
Who will sign and receive the equipment from the wedding rental company?
Keep the bar area away from the food area if at all possible to avoid traffic jams near the cooking/serving area.
Think of a space to hide ugly things like dish racks, dirty dishes, empty boxes, etc… so that it does not become the background of every picture in your photo album or video.
An Outdoor weddings can be a lot of fun, but make sure all tents and/or possible flying objects are secured down to the ground.
Especially if you are a foodie, remember to ask your photographer to take pictures of the buffet or plates of food.
It does rain once in while in the Okanagan, so be prepared. Salad floats, but salmon doesn't.
Remember, smokers outside can be as annoying as inside.

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Your budget:
While making your budget keep in mind that the more elaborate menu and/or unique ideas you want the more staff it will require.
A casual wedding can be as much fun as a fancy one.
Remember that prawns cost more than chicken, so be logical when setting your price per person. If you expect the restaurant food to come to you, it is normal that it will cost a touch more, just like if you would go out to the restaurant versus ordering in.
Be prepared to take expert advice - Okanagan wedding caterers are good at what they do, if the caterer tells you there are enough choices in your menu, you can trust there is no need to ask for more, they have the experience. Consider portion size for your crowd as well - generally, women eat less than men, and older people eat less than younger ones.
Make sure you get enough plates from the wedding rental company to cover for dessert too (unless you are sending your w edding party into the kitchen to help wash the plates :).
Buffet style will cost much less to serve instead of a plated menu.
If you wish for servers to pour wine during the meal versus letting people serve themselves it will cost more. If you want to leave wine on the tables, think of having coolers for white wine, especially in an Okanagan summer.
Some Kelowna catering companies may want to charge you for cutting your wedding cake, it's pretty standard. Additional 15 to 18% gratuities is also standard practice.
Taxes only apply because we have no choice; talk to your political leaders if you have any complaints with that one:

Your menu:
Do you like salmon, chicken, beef, lamb, spicy food, ethnic food etc?

Although a Baron of Beef may sound like a very posh choice for your wedding, personally I do not offer or serve this cut for a such important day. The Baron of Beef is a British term and in the Canada/US the designation has come to be synonymous with any cut of beef that it well suited to roasting or braising such as top round, inside round, bottom round or the steamship round. If roast beef is your number one choice I would stick to Prime Rib or Tenderlion so that your uncle Bob doesn't complain about how chewy the meat is:)

We are very lucky to have many local products in the Okanagan, so ask to make sure that your caterer uses as much of those treasures as possible, especially in the summer.
You should pick your flavours and menu items thinking about the taste buds of you and your spouse, but keeping in mind that many of your guests may not share those same tastes, especially when it comes to other generations. I always suggest buffet because you can offer a variety of flavours and please the majority of people except maybe your aunt Esmeralda who is constantly bitching about everything, we all have one of those… You will never please everyone, so make a decision and live with it, they'll get over it.
Do any of your guests have major deadly allergies?
Do you have vegetarian guests?

Your responsibilities:
People should not take the wheel of anything with an engine if they drink.
Create a safe place for people to have fun and for your caterer to work.
Have someone who can help to keep uncle Herbie's hands away from the cute servers and ensure children don't stick their fingers in the wedding cake icing.
Someone should be in charge of the reception area while you are away at the church and otherwise busy.

Chef Martin creates custom menus for each of his clients, based on all their dreams and wishes. In the Okanagan wedding industry his niche is the more casual wedding, where fun and good food are a priority. His skills as an Okanagan caterer with his barbecue make for a fantastic outdoor wedding.
Once you have a date in mind, contact him to discuss how you would like your special day's meal to unfold. The more information you can give him the fastest and more accurate he can answer all your questions.

Summer 2011 Hi Chef Martin,
Thanks again for serving us and our guests a delicious meal at our wedding at Linden Gardens on July 24th. Everyone keeps talking about how good it was! We got our wedding photos back from our photographer, and we thought you might like a few. I think they really show off how delicious all the food was! You're welcome to use these photos on your website if you like, just credit or link to Bella Johnson Photography:
Best wishes, Siobhan & Chris Rich

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Chef Martin offer his services for wedddings in the Okanagan Valley since 2004
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Private Chef Martin has been catering in the Okanagan Valley including
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