The 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards

These past few weeks have been incredibly busy for the Calihan Catering team. We have had the privilege of being a part of some of Chicago’s finest events, like the Butterfly Ball at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the NFL Draft. However, the topic of this article will be showcasing all the things that went down at The 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards at the Lyric Opera House of Chicago.

The James Beard Foundation Awards showcase all the incredible chefs in North America. It is essentially The Oscars of the culinary world, there is no higher honor. The show is typically 2-3 hours, and there is a VIP Dinner Experience occurring simultaneously in the 30 upper-level boxes. 

 

photo credit Eliesa Johnson

photo credit Eliesa Johnson

Donnie Madia’s One Off Hospitality Group designed this year’s VIP Experience dinner menu. His restaurant group designed family style dishes of maximum quality. Just to get your mouth watering, here are a few of the dishes: 

Vegetable Trio > Beef Heart Tartare and Tuna Tartare; Burrata with Fava Beans and Strawberry Salsa Verde; Grilled Asparagus Salad with Avocado and Flaxseed–Tahini Vinaigrette

Ramp and Potato Cappelletti with Langoustines, Pine Nuts, and Pickled Lemon

Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder Tagine with Chickpeas, Tunisian Couscous, Smoked Yogurt, Carrots, and Mint

photo credit Eliesa Johnson

photo credit Eliesa Johnson

 

After the award show, 2000 guests stormed the two floors of the Lyric Opera House of Chicago for a station-like dinner. The guests have the opportunity to sample some of the best food and drink created by the countries’ finest. Some of our personal favorites were the Foie Gras Macaroons, Hue Dumplings, Louisiana Crawfish Remoulade in Brioche, and Pork Meat Loaf with Caramelized Pineapple Gastrique.

photo credit Eliesa Johnson

photo credit Eliesa Johnson

 

For the second year in a row, we have had the privilege of controlling all of the set up, staffing, and most of the rental equipment. Here’s a few numbers to demonstrate the scale of this event:

4,750 pounds of ice

Over 1,000 hours of staffing labor

28,200 VerTerra forms

38,700 VerTerra plates

67,500 Beverage Napkins

VerTerra is a type of disposable plateware option. However, VerTerra is fully sustainable because it is made from fallen palm leaves, and doesn’t affect the environment in any negative way.

photo credit Eliesa Johnson

photo credit Eliesa Johnson

 Overall, the event went flawlessly. The show was hosted fabulously by the one and only Carla Hall, and even featured presenters like Rachael Ray. We could not be more proud of how well our teams worked to execute this event and we cannot wait to be a part of the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards. If you are looking for incredible staffing support for your next event, look no further and contact Calihan Catering today!

(cover photo credit Eliesa Johnson)