one are the days when hiring a caterer meant a delivery of uninspired sandwiches
and chips. Today, restaurants and caterers are offering an array of options for catered
events—from a themed party to happy hour or lunch replete with tasty bites. And businesses
that want something extra—beyond food, beverages and decorations—increasingly look for a caterer
who can add an educational element to the event, such as a food pairing, or a class on wine or cheese.
what’s the theme?
David Guas, chef/owner of Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery, with locations in Arlington,
Virginia, and Washington, D.C., offers catering with a touch of Southern comfort. A New Orleans
native, Guas jazzes up events for offices, private parties and political events with his Louisiana fare.
Catered menu items include petite biscuits with country ham, petite blackened turkey meatballs,
pimento cheese and deviled eggs.
He also caters Mardi Gras-themed parties, which include platters of jambalaya and red beans
and rice. One of the most popular items is the muff-a-lotta sandwich, which features salami,
mortadella, smoked ham, provolone and olive salad. “Companies are trying to do something
special for the staff with the Mardi Gras parties,” says Guas. “Some do a big, elaborate party.
Businesses also order traditional King cakes for employees. They love the King cakes, and we’ll
sell 2,500 to 3,000 of them in a season.”
He says he’s happy to sit down with a company and customize a menu for a catered event.
“We also can make healthier Southern food. We’re flexible. It doesn’t have to be on our menu. In
this day and age, you don’t want to deter business.”
A local company uses Bayou Bakery to cater its quarterly happy hour a few times a year.
“We make healthier food, like quinoa salads with feta and roasted eggplant,” Guas says.
The restaurant benefits from its prime location in a large building that houses a community/
cultural center in Washington, D.C., and also rents out space for business and private events.
“They have huge rooms for receptions and art exhibits,” says Guas. “And, they put our menu in
front of clients first, because we are on-site. We pick up a lot of catering business from that. It’s
convenient for us to deliver there, as well.”
Businesses that want to pamper employees
look to caterers for inspiration. by KaThryN KjarSGaarD
opposite, clockwise froM
top left: 1) roasted cauliflower is
offered as a side on two restaurant &
bar’s catering menu.
2) cheese and
charcuterie boards are available when
cured caters an event.
are a Southern treat from bayou
bakery, Coffee bar & eatery.
muff-a-lotta sandwich is one of the
most popular items served at a bayou
bakery Mardi Gras-themed party.