This past November, Food in Bloom Catering, in conjunction with Vibrant Table Catering & Events and Vibrant Flowers (all part of VT Group) hosted the Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit. The Leading Caterers of America represent 48 of the nation’s top catering groups in the United States. Furthermore, those exclusively selected caterers are determined by the industry professionals’ leading publication, Catersource, recognizing the elite group as leaders in their markets and trend setters in the catering industry. VT Group humbly received the 2014 Achievement in Catering Excellence Award (West Division) earlier in the year in Las Vegas and was selected to represent Portland, Oregon and host the LCA Executive Summit. In true VT Group and Food in Bloom fashion, we put on one dazzling show.
The multiple day summit comprised of several daytime workshops, team building exercises and site tours, including tours of our three f&b cafes located around the city. The magic struck once the sun set and the chef coats were buttoned up for business. The kickoff evening affair, located in the stunning and empirical Montgomery Park, highlighted the member’s talents; a Chef’s Showcase Dinner, with ten premiere chefs preparing their signature items for their peers and colleagues to drool over. Unique variations on chowders, salmon & waffles, and decadent chocolate espresso pot de crèmes highlighted the autumnal inspired evening, setting the tone for the upcoming summit.
The second evening affair took place at the Portland Art Museum, rich with hues of gold shimmer and intricate floral and décor nestled amongst the statuesque art displays in the Sunken Ballroom. Food in Bloom’s elegance showcased decadent coursed out meals alongside Oregon’s bounty of wines; duck liver pate with Rogue Creamery bleu cheese, Humboldt Fog chevre on Belgian Endive, and Cattail Creek rack of lamb paced the seated experience. Post reception, a bar and action dessert stations emerged. Food in Bloom’s pastry chefs created made-to-order Oregon polenta cakes in the shape of the state of Oregon and crepes.
The final evening was inspired by our city’s own quirky tv show, “Portlandia.” Vibrant Table Catering & Events created a spectacular event to captivate and continually engage and surprise the LCA members. Sneakin’ Out, performed acoustic versions of rock classics, ‘Poison Waters,’ a local drag performer wore a moving table of fresh oysters. A Brazilian band and dance troupe, Bloco Alegria, danced through the middle of the party and invited guests to find their place at the dinner tables. The guests were served a creative family-style meal with eclectic soup shots, platters of rabbit, pork loin, and an array of side dishes were capped with over a dozen styles of desserts procured from Portland mainstays like Voodoo Donuts, Pix, Annie’s Pies and Papa Haydn. As guests feasted on the sweets, Darth Vader arrived on a unicycle and entertained guests as he played a fire blowing bagpipe. At the end of the evening, two eccentric pieces of bacon ran around VT Group’s newest exclusive venue, Eastside Exchange, handing out Portland-inspired gift bags, including Jacobsen sea salt, Stumptown coffee and Moonstruck chocolates.
We all had an amazing time showcasing our team’s many talents and skills. And with the impactful daytime workshops and sessions, our team has gained insight, knowledge, and an abundance of new and exciting information that we are thrilled to implement moving forward. We would like to thank each and every LCA member for allowing us the opportunity to showcase Portland, and for being part of such a fun week. Now, let’s go plan some parties! We would also like to thank local vendors: Blush Furniture, The Party Place, House of Cards, Think AV, DJ Zimmie and Evrim Icoz Photography.