Stir Catering and Event Management

An Edmonton-based boutique caterer & event management service

Welcome to STIR - we cater intimate dinners, corporate cocktail parties, business meetings, luncheons and conferences, weddings and family celebrations. We believe that outstanding food is integral to providing memorable experiences.

Happy Second

Happy Birthday!

We are two years old this month, this Stir baby.  And it’s been a ride.

We’ve been pretty busy - product and media launches, fundraisers, private parties, intimate events, things called “galas” (love galas!) and crazy big weddings and intimate small ones.  We’ve expanded and learned and adapted to this mad path of starting a new business.  

A lot has been learned.

Though I’m confident in what I do, taking a bow for an event is a painful exercise.  Not because I’m shy, exactly.   Fact is, I know the truth of the matter:  Being successful is not due to any one thing I do.  And it’s simply not fair to take the credit.

Working an event in the thick of things, where we cater 12 straight weddings in a row amongst a few weekday events, take a weekend, and then cater that many more is like being a part of magic.  It’s far from rote, every event is so different, but often subtly so, where it can make your head spin (a group hates rosemary one week, the next loves it the following week - Do NOT get that mixed up)! 

I’ve surrounded myself with amazing people. There are so many people in my midst and on the roster that do things better than I could ever dream.

Stir bartenders, servers and kitchen support: they inspire people to love this company - they built this thing, staying until the wee morning, taking care of guests and venues, caring about all aspects of each event.

I have a husband that loves me even when I'm distracted and in the thick of it  and he takes on whatever role is required at the moment, despite his own challenging career.  He is to thank for my website and for the half credit of our children (I’m not absent - I get the other half).  I try to get him to tweet, but he’s all about having me learn these fan dangled things.

I have a retired accountant dad who insists I learn the business part of it all, and he won’t do it for me.  I’d rather he would, but I appreciate that he doesn’t.

This is my take-away from 2015:  Surround yourself with people that do things better than you, and focus on what you do best.

z.

 

Breathing Room

I've been reading a bit more than usual these days.  

I love books, but I'm not the sort of person that always has one on the go - my personality is far too obsessive.  When I'm into a book, I can remain in pajamas far past an acceptable hour, procrastinating even the most regular of daily duties in order to get to the end. 

The book I'm into now is called The Happiness Project.  I'm not sure what I was expecting.  I've been reading a fair amount of autobiographies lately, and thought it would be both light and enlightening (much like The Year of Living Biblically).  It is, but it's also almost self-help'ish, a genre that I really don't bother with (that's what my 20's were for, until a self-deprecating sense of humour came along to save me).

I'm early into the book, the point at which the author is examining Growth.  It touches on fear of failure (which has pretty much always been my guiding light) and working smarter (with a busy, young family and a caterer's schedule we rarely co-exist harmoniously without some purposeful measures).

It addresses stress: I often joke that unless I'm feeling nauseous from nerves before a big event, the reason for my stress becomes that I'm not stressed.  My best work has always been performed under intense pressure.  In the moment, it's a terrible feeling, and I've often sworn (literally) that the level of stress is not normal for a human being to healthfully endure.  But the post-glow of a great event makes these feelings quickly forgotten.

And so it should be with all of us, no?  Stress means growth.  So when we are in the thick of things, we should strive to remember that this is us moving forward and putting on the best show.  Where would any of us be without the feeling of “holy ----“.?

z.

Birthday Reflections

I’ve been reflecting lately, celebrating this one-year milestone for Stir. 

I’ve thought about the institutions and independents that played a part in developing our hospitality beliefs and contributed to our culinary footprint. The staff, past and present, that remind me of the kind of employer and colleague I want to be.  Wedding couples and corporate clients entrusting us to execute their vision.  We were a relatively new kid on the block and their trust was such a gift.

It's been an amazing year.  

Our inaugural post in 2013 offered a pizza crust recipe that was fail-safe – an ode to my very favourite food.  We have since been using another one, much more flavourful and toothsome.

Change is good.

 z.

 The Best Pizza Dough

-Closely borrowed from Fine Cooking, Cook Fresh Spring 2014

 1 ¾ cups lukewarm water

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp salt

1.5 tsp dry yeast

1/5 tsp white sugar

4.25 cups all purpose flour

 

Mix everything together until evenly moist.  The dough will be quite shaggy, but kneading isn’t required.

 Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rise for 2 hours at room temperature.  The dough will rise and collapse – no need to punch down.

 Refrigerate the dough, loosely covered, for a minimum of 3 hours.  After 2 days, tightly cover the bowl to keep the surface of the dough from drying out.  It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (and gets better with time).

 At least 30 minutes before baking, heat oven to 500F (550F if your oven goes that high).  Ideally, use a pizza stone.  While oven heats, sprinkle dough with flour and pull up an orange-sized piece of dough and cut off with kitchen shears.  Generously flour the dough and stretch and tuck it under itself, giving quarter turns as the ball of dough is formed.  Let rest on floured surface for 30-60 minutes.

 Roll and/or stretch dough until it’s about 12” in diameter, using dusting of flour to prevent sticking.  Transfer dough to a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.

 Top with sauce and fixings, and then transfer to pizza stone or pop tray directly in oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes or browned how you like it.

 

 

 

 

 

Stir Catering & Event Management, 2013.