May 15, 2018 § Leave a comment
Charleston Hospitality Group Catering Chef Kimberly Brock Brown?
Kimberly Brock Brown’s life has been especially full and exciting these past few months. The mother of two (including son Brock Brown pictured with her here), was recently engaged to be married for “the second and final time” and just started her post as Catering Chef at Charleston Hospitality Group in April. Her duties will evolve as she grows into the role, but for now she’s focusing on coordinating and adding to the catering offerings at each CHG restaurant. Her first focus is Eli’s Table, where she is creating a more upscale and elegant dessert menu and teaching the kitchen staff there how to prepare them.
The American Culinary Foundation graduate has a long and proud track record working in luxury hotel property kitchens such as Grove Park Inn, Hyatt Regencies and several Omni properties, including Charleston Place Omni (now Belmond Charleston Place), which is ultimately is what brought her to Charleston in 1994.
A native of Chicago, IL, Brown is adept in all manners of both cuisine and pastry, but she prefers working with pastry. “You can present a very beautiful plate of prime rib, but when you’re served an exquisite dessert, it truly makes the entire meal and experience very special and memorable. It’s the wow factor,” she says. Chef Brown describes herself as a “seasonal person” and is looking forward to using the fruits and berries of the season as much as possible as she creates her dessert menu masterpieces.
March 13, 2018 § Leave a comment
Charleston Hospitality Catering’s Got You Covered
Life has a way of presenting challenges that call for professional catering help, even for the most talented and organized cooks. Pot luck dinners and backyard barbecues just won’t cut it for most engagement parties, gallery soirees, baby showers, large, formal holiday events, corporate lunches and dinners, university functions, or yacht receptions. And let’s face it, sometimes the home cook and entertainer needs and wants a break and to be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fun and the food without having to worry about cooking and cleaning up the mess after everyone’s gone home.
Charleston’s no stranger to professional catering and event planning choices, as one of the country’s top wedding destination city’s and a town that’s big on parties, from oyster roasts to bar mitzvahs. What makes Charleston Hospitality Catering a little bit different is that its myriad menu and venue choices fall under the umbrella of Charleston Hospitality Group’s eleven restaurant and entertainment venues.
“All of our kitchens can provide food, depending on what type of event, menu and price range my clients are looking for. In addition, we have a full booklet of catering menus including hors d’oeuvres, salads, buffet entrée items like duck & waffles and shrimp & grits, buffet side opetions like au gratin potatoes and ratatouille, and dessert including red velvet cake, baklava, and tiramisu. We also do boxed lunches which are perfect for office events and include some elegant wraps and sandwiches and sides, as well as hot plates,” explains Charleston Hospitality Director of Sales, Nina Koutsulis.
The Chicago native has been with Charleston Hospitality Group for two year and holds a degree in hospitality management from College of Charleston. She runs the catering group with the assistance of Ryan Jennings, Catering Coordinator, who holds political science major from UNC Charlotte. He worked as a server at Toast and in sales during a short-lived stint with a trucking company before recently joining the catering team. Both especially enjoy being out in the field almost daily interacting with customers and the special challenges and advantages of catering.
In addition to managing weekly corporate gigs with Boeing, Mercedes Benz and Wayne Brothers Commercial Concrete, they service multiple breakfast and lunch catering requests from businesses including car dealerships, medical offices, and pharmaceuticals with meals often selected from Queology, Tabbuli or Toast! menus. Meanwhile, more formal events including rehearsal dinners, bridal and baby shower lunches or corporate soirees, are more likely to select from Eli’s Table, Toast!, Tabbuli, or Fill Restaurant & Piano Bar (CHG’s newest acquisition) menus. Bachelorette and bachelor parties gravitate towards HonkyTonk Saloon’s celebratory, more relaxed Western mood and music. For these events, Jennings and Koutsulis will put together packages with food, t-shirts and rounds of shots. “We can truly tailor the event to whatever anyone needs or wants. We really have something for everyone,” says Koutsulis.
Charleston Hospitality Catering’s team has seen a little bit of everything. “I’ve done private events from as little as 8 persons, and oyster roasts serving many thousands. The largest individual home event we’ve ever done was for 300 persons for a memorial service. For the memorial, I understood the event was supposed to start at noon, but it was actually 11 a.m. Still, we were able to pull it off and get everyone served well and on time,” says Koutsulis.
Another time, she organized an event for 150 persons at Eli’s Table. It took place in the restaurant’s courtyard and she rented out the parking space behind the restaurant to accommodate the group. FILL Restaurant & Piano bar offers full space buy-outs for 92 persons offering assorted menu packages.
Charleston Hospitality Catering can meet most catering client’s needs with just 24-hour notice and can usually turn around private events within a week’s notice, depending upon server availability, according to Koutsulis. .