It all started with this e-mail from Barista reader Roberta Zeff:
"I’m looking for someone to cater my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah luncheon who can do beautiful, delicious food for the adults, fun food for the kids and — here’s the challenge part — all of it about half the $85-per-person rates I’ve been quoted so far. I can’t be the only person around here who doesn’t believe in spending a year’s college tuition on a three-hour party for a child. Could you offer a suggestion, or perhaps do a story on this?"
Done! Whether you see them as a sacred rite of passage, or a pull-out-all-the-stops event to rival most weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs can be a bitch to plan. Here in Baristaville, seems everyone we talk to knows someone who’s either having one soon or just attended one, including two recent "mitzvahs" that featured Japanese catered by Kimiko’s. We asked two other area caterers to plan a mock mitzvah for us in Roberta’s price range. Here’s what they’d feed us:
From Lisa Susan Miller of Lisa Susan Miller Caterers:
"I design each menu for the individual client, asking them for their ideas and favorite foods. The menu I have outlined here would be approximately $43.25 per person and would not included rentals, waitstaff and a bartender.
Passed Hors D’oeuvres
* Smoked salmon on crunchy wontons with wasabi mayo and topped with chives
* Thai BBQ shrimp served with a sweet chili dipping sauce
* Hotdogs in puff pastry served with honey mustard
* Thai meatballs with Voodoo dipping sauce
* Chicken satay with peanut dipping sauce
* Mini crab cakes garnished with chipolte mayo
Salmon baked in fresh herbs served with dill sauce
Sliced fillet mignon or steamship roast served with a red pepper coulis or
Chicken breasts stuffed with pesto, sundried tomato and fresh mozzarella
Roasted rosemary potato wedges or a mixture of white and wild rice with mushrooms
Oven roasted asparagus served with Hollandaise sauce
Salad: Romaine lettuce, crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberries and slivered
almonds in a shiitake mushroom vinaigrette
Rolls and butter
Build your own Fajita
Chili rubbed steak grilled and sliced
Tequilla and lime marinated chicken breasts grillled and sliced
Grilled onions and peppers
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Ice cream cart/make your own sundaes
Your choice of sheet cake
Frozen drink machine for virgin strawberry dacquairis and frozen lemonade
Alcohol provided by you
Elaine Rust of Rustic Food, provided us with an actual menu…
for a Bat Mitzvah she will cater in September. Rust tries to key into clients personal interests when creating menus and has done everything from French bistro fare and British high teas to movie screenings of "Valley of the Dolls" and "The Stepford Wives" complete with 1960’s & 70’s cocktail & buffet.
We invite other caterers to come to the table; send us your inspired menus/prices for our mock mitzvah at liz-at-baristanet-dot-com.