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Apr 13, 2009 01:57 PM

Peterborough area caterers

Thought we had the caterer all sorted out and then she cancelled! We're looking for someone good, who will do a simple but delicious outdoor summer wedding. Appetizers, salads, burgers or other grilled items, a side or two. Absolutely nothing fancy but must be very good food. I'm considering B+E Caterers and A Moveable Feast. Both are in Peterborough, but really don't have any feedback on either one. Will certainly consider other options - as long as they'll do the job.

Any suggestions from the Peterborough contingent?

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  1. A year ago I arranged a personal chef multi-course dinner experience for my BFs parents. They really enjoyed the dinner . The chef I hired is Chadd McArthur of Chef For All Seasons The dinner took place a little north of Toronto, but I'm virtually postive that Chadd told me he lives in Peterborough and commutes to the GTA when necessary. Have a look at his website and give him a call if you like what you see.

    1. Highly recommend A Moveable Feast..... Been to several events with BE Catering doing the job and they are also very good. I know that Moveable gets booked up - they have two locations now, so they get busy fast - best to book soon! Another option is a private chef - Chef Brian Henry - I went to a wedding he did and he is quite willing to work with people to give them what they want.

      1. After a bit of kerfuffling, the wedding couple has settled on BE Catering. They were friendly, down to earth, flexible and very much all about seasonal and local. We all got a really good feeling about them and they're fine-tuning the menu.

        I phoned and left a message with Moveable Feast, but received no return call. A few days later we stopped into the restaurant and asked if anyone would be available to talk about a catering job. The fellow there - who seemed genuinely flustered - said that they've been too busy to pick up messages (!!!) and that the person who handles the catering wouldn't be available to even so much as talk on the phone for over a week because she was in the middle of exams (she apparently teaches at a college). I said: "Not even a short phone call to figure out if this was even an option for us?" He said no - she is too busy. Seriously - do they actually want anyone's business? This is not how you deal with a potential client. At that point, even if they had been highly recommended, we wouldn't have considered them. Bad attitude.

        Ran out of time to check out other possibilities. Couple and parents have gone back home to NY and UK. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

        6 Replies
          1. re: kawarthagirl

            Stupid of them, I think, to handle a possible catering job like this but, frankly, we're very optimistic about BE. Will definitely report after the wedding in July.

            1. re: Nyleve

              I've been to a lot of non-wedding events that BE has catered and it has been very good... :) Good luck!!!

              1. re: Nyleve

                Hi Nyleve,

                I hope the wedding was great! I would love a report on your experience with BE catering, as I am looking at them for my wedding this summer.

                1. re: ElleDalton

                  Right. I said I'd report, didn't I? Sorry.

                  On the whole we were very pleased with BE. Actually we had two weddings here (ugh don't ask) - they were very different in terms of the meals and set-up and therefore we had two very different results. Wedding #1 was a casual BBQ with salads, side dishes. Also appetizers beforehand. The staff was professional and competent, the food was really delicious and everyone was delighted. The mains were grilled salmon, burgers, and grilled portobellos for the vegetarians. Salads were good and seasonal. The appetizers were plentiful and tasty - I honestly can't remember everything they served but there were some pastry-wrapped things, some chicken things and miscellaneous other tidbits. The servers were very good - appetizers were passed on trays, main meal was buffet-style. We made our own desserts, which were left out on the buffet tables late into the evening. The staff cleaned up everything after the meal and when I came into my kitchen it was left in better shape than if I'd cooked dinner. If there was anything amiss at all it was a result of a lack of communication - you really have to discuss every single detail about what is to be served when and where and who does what. Timing of the bar, timing of the meal, where to place tables with pre-dinner drinks - everything. Really the bride and groom were delighted and I was impressed.

                  Wedding #2 was a different thing altogether. I personally think that any criticisms of the food and service were a result entirely of either poor decisions on the part of the bride and groom or a lack of direction to the staff. Neither Bonnie nor Elaine were able to attend this second wedding as they had another event that same day - so I feel that also helped create a power-vacuum. This wasn't their fault either - our wedding couple had squeezed this job out of them at the last minute. The menu was extremely weird - it was supposed to be a "tea party" but there were peculiar red herrings thrown into the mix to satisfy some personal vision of the bride and groom, some of which didn't work at all. No one directed the staff as to when to serve what and so the timing was off. I repeat - this really wasn't the caterer's fault. There was probably not enough discussion ahead of time and much was left up in the air.

                  So - my advice: yes, we would absolutely hire them again. But make sure you get your ducks lined up in a row and make sure every single thing you want is thought through, written down and communicated clearly. I think this would be the case for any caterer, but since B+E's work is so client-directed, I think maybe it's even more important with them.

                  Hope this helps. Enjoy your wedding.

                  1. re: Nyleve

                    Thanks so much! We are looking at the bbq option with salads and apps, so I am glad to hear that portion was successful.