Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Catering to a med student/interior designer

This past Saturday my husband and I helped a Humble Chef out with a private catered party for a med student who has started her own interior design company. I think it was a house warming/fundraising event. The point is I'm not clear; it was all too slash this, slash that.

First of all we arrive at her building (promptly at 1pm) at a fairly swanky addy near Bloor and Church. We lug in the food and catering supplies, first to the ground floor lobby, then to the sky lobby. Take a moment and reflect on how retarded having a lobby AND a "sky lobby" is. Is it just me?

We get to the sky lobby and let the concierge know that we are here for the event in suite 2***. Clearly we knew what the function of a concierge is and the resident did not: she neither left her key, nor left a message with the concierge. Instead she said that she would leave the door unlocked. After many failed attempts to reach her on her cell we finally got her on her mother's cell (we got that # from her ex-boyfriend - a Humble Chef's cousin - now you begin to understand, I think) and the concierge let us proceed!

We entered her empty apartment. And I mean empty! There was no furniture; just random wall sconces and house plants. Oh, and a cow hide rug jauntily askew in the middle of the living room. No matter, we got to work straight away. Sorting ingredients, washing veg, setting up work stations. At the point when the balsamic reduction was about half done our hostess walked in the door. She was with A Humble Chef's aunt, her mother and her cousin. There may have been another aunt there too (hers). I'm not sure what they did except move the wall sconces and candle holders around, but the next thing I knew they were gone.

We were then left to our own devices and our deadline: the party was to start at 7pm. By 6:30, the time that A Humble Chef said that the food would be ready, the food was ready. We took a little break, a couple of us had a cigarette, and we had time to notice that the apartment did not have any lights. This is not to mention that there was no table from which to serve food. We started to wonder; is this for real? By 7pm there was still no host; we wondered even further. Then my husband went to get us some drinks.

By 7:30ish we had drinks and had heard from our hostess: she was running late. No kidding. She finally arrived at about 7:45 - thankfully ahead of her guests. We rushed around lighting tea lights and even installing the wall sconces. The three of us food types went to scout out a table in the lobby or something. The new concierge lent us a folding table that is reserved for just such an occasion. It was all set just in time for the first guests...almost. The booze hadn't arrived yet: our hostess' mother was still to bring it when she arrived.

There we were, the hired help, sipping our imported beer while the first guests arrived and had to wait around for the party booze. A bit gauche, I admit, but I remind you that only minutes before we were in serious doubt that there really was going to be a party.

In the end, people were loving the food, I was slinging the booze, and the mood was very friendly. By the time the cake came out we had a slice and then split.

That was my evening of catering to a med student/interior designer.

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