Catering: Korean and American Food HELP!
I need to hire a caterer for a 50+ wedding cocktail reception. My dream is that they would do do Korean foods like mandu, kim bap, kimchi and serve New American hors d'ouerves with a southern touch. So, far I haven't found anybody, but there has to be somebody in the DC-NOVA-MD region that can do this given the extensive Korean community here. Is there anyone? Or do I have to hire two caterers, one to do the American Food and another to do the Korean food? But, am I right in assuming that caterers wouldn't like the idea of serving someone else's food?
1) I really don't know if I agree with MartinDC's recommendations on Mandu. As a Korean, I'm not quite sure if Mandu is where you would go for quality/authentic Korean food EVER, let alone for catering such a special day. While we're talking about korean restaurants I don't like...Woo Lae Oak typically does a crappy job of catering in-house events.
2) I'm pretty sure if you find a regular caterer that is willing to do both types of cuisines, the authenticity and quality of the Korean food is going to be sub-par. I'm pretty sure you're gonna have to go with two different ones. I know Korean caterers typically aren't goign to do American food.
3)Most of the Korean grocery stores have catering "departments." I'd particularly recommending checking out Korean Korner out in Wheaton/Rockville on Veirs Mill Road. The grocery store itself is kinda skeezy and gross, but the quality of their catered food is high. Typically you just call-in the order or go order in person, and pick it up the day of at a certain requested time.
4)There are also some korean places in Annandale that do strictly catering (I think Nak Won on Little River Tpke is one of them). I've never tried them, so I don't have any comments regarding quality of the food/service. I think since your reception isn't too big in size, most Korean restaurants (yelp korean restaurants on yelp for a bunch of them) should be able to cater it. Since you love Korean food, I'm sure you have a couple favorite restaurants you could ask.
1.) I think Mandu is good for in a pinch... but what I would serve at my wedding? I don't know.
2.) That's what my thoughts have been so far as well... But, I thought why not ask you chowhounders. Though we are leaning towards number three...
3.) My mom wants to do a pick-up from a grocery store, but I don't know if most caterers would be cool with that. I heart korean korner's cafe as well. My fantasy is to have someone outside making hotteok outside. Maybe I can convince their guy to stand outside? hmmm....
I wanted the same thing you did! I'm vietnamese, my fiance is korean, and I love soul food but i wanted to food to be upscale. It took a while but I finally found a caterer to do it. I'm having korean/vietnamese fusion food at my wedding and there will be some new american food for the cocktail hour. I'm using Fusions Cuisine. My caterer is also allowing me to bring in food that Im getting from a traditional caterer and serving it for me. My wedding is in June so I cant really say how the food is yet but they have great reviews and the pre-tasting was really yummy. Also, Im not sure if youve found a venue but some hotels allow outside catering which they serve and you can get their in-house catering to do some of the food. Goodluck!