Happy 100th Birthday, Goo Goo Clusters! Chef’s Market goes Goo Goo in Goodlettsville.

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                 Happy 100th Birthday,

 Goo Goo Clusters!

             Chef’s Market goes

Goo Goo in Goodlettsville.

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Wow, am I stoked!  My favorite candy bar of all time, the delicious Goo Goo Cluster, is celebrating their 100th anniversary and the good folks at the Standard Candy Company have asked Chef’s Market to develop and feature a recipe through October showcasing their world famous treat.

            My love for the Goo Goo began around the time I was six, around the same time the Standard Candy Company was celebrating its 50th anniversary.   Everyday during the school year, near the end of our long bus ride home from my elementary school in rural West Tennessee, our bus driver Mr. Cotner would circle around the headquarters of the Shiloh National Park.Image

Because our house was his last stop, he occasionally would take a break and let my sisters and I off at the Post Office next door where they sold candy, chips and soda.  I would make a beeline to the snack counter and order a Goo Goo.

I’ll never forget how good they tasted. From its milk chocolate coating to its sweet and salty combination to its chewy and crunchy texture– it was perfection all wrapped into a unique shape.

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            After we got our treat, our basset hound Sebastian, who camped out at the park during the day, joined us for the rest of the bus ride home. He was always so excited to see us that Mr. Cotner couldn’t resist our pleas to let him aboard. Once on the bus he would go into a crazy frenzy, running up and down the aisle, barking and hopping over seats. The only way to get him to calm down was to give him a little bite of my Goo Goo Cluster. Sebastian had great taste.    Jim

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  Over the years we have baked Goo Goo cheesecakes,   Goo Goo cakes and  Goo Goo pies,  so to be different because we are known for our salad, we’re mixed it up making a Goo Goo Caramel Apple Salad.   Perfect for the holidays,  the apples in the salad are tart and balance the rich caramel and chocolate in the Goo Goo.   We will feature in our salad case next to our popular Ambrosia and White Chocolate Banana Pudding.   Here’s our recipe.

  Goo Goo Caramel Apple Salad

12 servings

Ingredients:

6 apples (4 red 4 green)

8 Original Goo Goo Clusters (frozen)

5oz of Vanilla Pudding Mix

1 ½ cups of milk

16 oz of whipped topping

2 oz. of  quality caramel sauce

3 oz of shelled roasted peanuts

Save a few apple sliced from above to garnish.

Core and dice apples. 

The tartness in the green apple adds a nice balance.

Diced frozen Goo Goo Cluster

 

In a large mixing bowl add the milk to the pudding mix.  Whisk by hand for 3 minutes. 

 Fold  puddling mix into  the whipped topping

Fold in the apples and chopped Goo Goo Clusters

Garnish with apples, caramel sauce and peanuts.

 

The Great American BBQ Past Time

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With the holiday upon us, I started to wonder how the Great American BBQ came into our culture, so with some hard research and digging into the depth’s of the internet- okay just a quick Google search did the trick, let’s be honest- I found some intriguing findings.

Let’s start with a little history lesson, shall we? In the beginning, barbeque was said to originate from the Spanish and Haitian word barbacoa which mean “a framework of sticks upon posts”  Meat and fish were the primary meats placed on these posts to slow cook.  Of course, we also know the Native Indians roasted whole pigs and this was considered their form of bbq.  In the U.S. the term barbeque, or barbecue, or the barby, or even BBQ (however you wish to spell it) means anything from slow cooking with heat and smoke…to grilling over an open fire.

While the term barbeque describes a cooking process or apparatus, it also refers to a social gathering where food is served outdoors.

While getting in the spirit of Memorial Day in the coming weeks, we at Chef’s Market have created a BBQ offering that will have your family and friends calling from the rooftops! We have created some easy to order packages to help take out all of the guess work so you can concentrate on the important things like friends and family, or beating Uncle Jo in cornhole!

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IT’S BBQ TIME

Party TO GO – Serves 8

All Beef Grilled Hot Dogs with buns

Angus Grilled Hamburgers with buns

Cajun Seared Chicken Breast with Whole Wheat Buns

Cowboy Baked Beans

Southern Potato Salad

Jicama Slaw

White Chocolate Banana Pudding

Freshly Squeezed Lemonade (1 gallon)

 $200 per package of 8

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BBQ PIT MASTERS

Party TO GO – Serves 8

10 Hour Slow Smoked BBQ Pork Ribs w/Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

Sweet & Tangy 16 Hour Smoked Beef Brisket with Silver Dollar Rolls

Cowboy Baked Beans

Caramelized Vidalia Onion Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Southern Style Green Beans

White Chocolate Banana Pudding

Freshly Squeezed Lemonade (1 gallon)

$350 per package of 8

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To place place your Great American BBQ order

please contact us at 615-851-2433

extension 309

or email stacey@chefsmarket.com

Chefs Market

www.chefsmarket.com

Carve it up!

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Carving stations are a widely known and ever-popular item on many of our custom catering menus. Most people are looking for Beef Tenderloin, while others go for less expensive, yet tasty entrees, such as Cajun Fried Turkey or Apricot Brandy Glazed Ham.

For a recent menu, I decided it was time to try something different. I was asked by the NCVB to come up with a menu for a VIP reception at Mercy Lounge.  This party would be running simultaneous with the new Music City Center grand opening and catering to and thanking those decision makers who had already booked large events at MCC. They wanted a carving station, but they were looking for new ideas that showed Nashville as more of a modern event town. Initially we had quoted a Sushi station, but the client decided that there may not be enough interest and would potentially go to waste. There was a lot of food involved, but this carving station would quickly become the focal point.

So I began to look for inspiration. What could we do that would look cool, but would taste amazing as well.  After just a few moments, it hit, Brazilian BBQ Carving Station!  Nashville had recently become home to another Brazilian Steakhouse, and I was confident we could execute the food. I have loved these type of restaurants, and the thought of easy to eat food (not requiring you to sit down or have a knife) made this an even easier decision the more we thought about it.

First – find the skewers. None of our regular purveyors had them, so I turned to my good friends at Amazon.  You can find anything on Amazon.  Sure enough, there they were: 6 – 25″ long Brazilian skewers. Now I was 100% confident we could execute this station. Finding the all-important skewers, to me, raised the most questions.

Second – decide which meats to offer.  Brazilian Steakhouses offer a wide variety of protein, including chicken hearts, lamb, chorizo, etc. I wanted to go with the more popular items, but put our own twist on them.  I went with Garlic Parmesan steak, where we marinade a tender beef tri-tip and place 3-4 pieces one each skewer.  While the chicken hearts are tasty, I went with something a little safer….sweet and spicy chicken. We prepared the chicken in scallopini-size pieces, and marinaded then grilled them so your taste buds get that perfect mixture of sweet and heat.  Preparing them like we did, made it easy to showcase the chicken on the skewers and serve them quickly.

Third – what do we serve with this? One of our more popular sides are fire roasted vegetables. The baby carrots, squash, zucchini and more all fit this station perfectly as they were easy to grab and eat with simply a fork.  You weren’t overwhelmed with too much or too many sides. Just a great accent to a fun station.

Since this VIP party, I have already added this station to one event in June, and a September bride has requested it, as well.  We are never afraid to think outside of the box.  And something as simple as a Brazilian BBQ Skewer can completely change how you think and look at a carving station.

Have an event or wedding coming up and you want to look at something fun like this?  Contact us today to learn more!

Bo Jennings
Catering Sales Manager

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Ice Ice Creamy

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I love ice cream.

Growing up in South Texas, it was the only way to stay cool some times.  Of course, it was our beloved Blue Bell ice cream.  In fact, there was a while I did not even know there was brands besides Blue Bell.

Since my childhood, I have lived all over the country.  I have experienced ice cream in many forms and fashions.  One of those experiences has inspired one of our newest and most exciting dessert offerings for weddings and events.

I used to live near Santa Fe, New Mexico, and we would often go to Albuquerque.  While on one such visit, I came across a Toll House Store.
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I walked through the doors and thought I was in Heaven.

Fresh baked Toll House cookies, everywhere!

I looked at their menu. Was not impressed, as I don’t drink coffee and milkshakes make me more dehydrated than the Sahara.  But I caught a glimpse of something that intrigued me.  Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches.  I had to inquire more.

You could pick any two cookies from their plethora of offerings, and their barista would sandwich fresh scooped ice cream to make your own custom sandwich.
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I definitely logged that experience into the old brain. What an amazing (and relatively cheap) idea.

Fast forward to my current post with Chef’s Market.  I was speaking with an awesome couple who wanted to offer their guests something special at their wedding reception.  There would be no bar at the wedding, so they wanted to keep people there somehow.  And then it hit me: Albuquerque!

I shared the idea with them: a lavish bar with several varieties of our Chef’s Market homemade cookies , and a trained culinarian to make custom ice cream sandwiches for everyone.  They were thrilled!  To say the least, they ate several combinations at their tasting, and immediately began texting pictures to family and the bridal party.
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That’s part of the fun at Chef’s Market. We really get to know our clients and come up with custom ideas that will make each wedding an experience unlike any other.  Desserts are becoming more and more popular, and since I did the tasting with my guinea pig couple, I have sold this concept three other times.  This is another one of the many dessert offerings we can provide for your wedding or event.

But what about you? What kind of dessert do you like and/or would like to see at your next catered event?

Today’s post is written by Chef’s Market Catering Sales Manager Bo Jennings.   Have any questions or need some creative ideas for your next catered event?  You can email him bo@chefsmarket.com

CATERING TRENDS 2012-2013

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The following is an interview of Jim Hagy, owner of Chef’s Market with the Nashville Event Planner Group where he discusses catering trends.

Vendor Spotlight-Chef’s Market

September 13, 2012 Posted in Vendor Spotlight

We had the honor of talking with Jim the owner at Chef’s Market. They offer such a wide variety of foods and catering options for today’s brides. Check out more info about Chef’s Market below.

How did you get into catering?

Growing up in a restaurant, I developed a real love for the business and naturally pursued this profession. While in college studying hospitality management, a pastime of mine was designing restaurants around buildings or locations that caught my eye. For fun I would write menus, layout the building, and imagine the décor down to the staff uniforms. Later, after leaving a career in restaurant concept research and development, opening an out of the box restaurant and catering company was naturally the next step. The catering biz is similar with each new event an opportunity to create and design a new look and menu. For me, and like every wedding planner I have the pleasure of knowing, making people happy is very gratifying.

What are some different options for catering that you offer brides?

At Chef’s Market, we offer an endless number of options. After a consultation with the bride and planner, we take pride in designing a customized menu and service plan. The personal taste of the bride and groom, the season (which dictates what foods the freshest and best), the style and logistic specific of the venue, the décor and the budget are all considered by our sales staff.

What are some new things you are working on for 2012?

In the last quarter of 2012 there will be several exciting new venues opening and Chef’s Market will be the exclusive catering company for a couple of them. Look for announcements soon.

What are you’ll seeing popular in catering in 2012?

Couples today have more sophisticated palettes, yet still desire a causal comfortable environment for their guests. This trend mirrors the gastro-pub explosion in the restaurant business and dovetails perfectly with what we have been doing at Chef’s Market for years- providing affordable, chef quality, re-engineered classics presented with flair. Bold flavors will continue to be a trend with brides bravely going more and more out on the limb. To continue pushing the envelope, we will see an almost retro like return by chefs to fusion offerings. … a move not to the over-worked, mixed up fusion mess of the 90s, but to a simpler more thoughtful approach to bumping up and re-inventing dishes by mixing cooking methods and cuisines.

Other miscellaneous trends: Food presented on kraft paper lined wooden boards

Warm presentation, baked plates

Lush colors in linen and lighting.

Dessert carts instead of dessert tables

Fun mini desserts offering guests more variety and fun interaction with a smaller cake for the bride & groom to cut.

Artisan cocktails service: Hand-crafted cocktails trumping cutesy mixed drinks for signature drinks.

Classic seated dinners coupled with a modern spin on classic design but more contemporary menus

Grooms more centrally involved in the planning.

What catering trends do you wish would die?

It’s sure to outlive me, but I wish for the demise of fruit and cheese tray.

Tell me why brides should choose Chef’s Market.

At Chef’s Market our food is amazing, our service fine tuned, and our tablescaping and food presentation are second to none, but our best attribute is that we really LISTEN to what our planners and brides want. Although it is more work for me and my team, we try to never use cookie cutter packages, are constantly searching for new approach in food and presentation and sincerely enjoy helping planners create the perfect custom event plan. After many years, this is still my dream job.

Some personal questions about Jim:

Mac or PC PC at work, Mac at home

Tea or Coffee  Coffee

iPhone or Blackberry  iPhone

Favorite Song Right Now Alabama Shakes “Hold On”

Not Your Boxed Lunch Corporate Affair

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We love food.

We love beautiful presentation.

We love using great food and beautiful presentation to create an experience.

A few months ago, I received an email from a company wanting catering information.  I initially ran through the email to gain all of the pertinent information and sent them a proposal. It was a lot of items from our basic corporate drop-off menu.  Great food, we will do killer presentation, and everything will be great.  But at second glance, I saw a few “buzz words” that triggered me to believe I had missed the mark.  “Over-the-top, unique, high-end.”  How did I miss these words the first time?! I immediately went back to the drawing board and come up with some exciting new products to match with a few of our “classics”. Their response to the first proposal – nothing. Their response to the second proposal – elation!

The A Group is in Brentwood, TN and they needed a modern menu, presented in a way to compliment their own creativity. They were moving into new offices and throwing a party to host all of their past, current and hopefully future clients.  It was a great event and we couldn’t be happier to have had the chance to help them show off.

Check out the Menu and some pictures below:

Mini Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese Cupcakettes

Sesame Seared Tuna on a edible spoon with Asian Bok Choy

Wild Rice Orzo in an edible Green Tea Cone

Caprese Salad Skewers

Jerusalem Chicken Satay

Beef Tenderloin served on an edible spoon with Horseradish Creme Fraiche

Mini Cornbread Muffins stuffed with Goat Cheese & Raspberry Coulis

Club Med Salad Served in a stemless martini glass

Pistachio Panna Cotta

Goat Cheese Cheesecake Bite with Cherry Caramel topped with granola

Cake Bite Truffle Lollipop

Tango Mint Fruit Tea
Iced Cucumber Water
Strawberry Lemonade with Rosemary

It was a lot of fun turning this gorgeous new conference room into a food display. We’d love to work with you in creating a custom experience for your next corporate event!

Football is almost here!

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One thing you are indoctrinated with in the South is that the calendar is here just to tell us how close we are to football.  From Florida to Texas, up to Oklahoma and over to the Virginias, they eat/breath/sleep Football.  Here, in Nashville, we are lucky enough to have great High School, College and Professional football.  Its everywhere!

And we, at Chef’s Market, are not complaining, at all.  We love football.  Especially when it comes to tailgating on Saturdays and Sundays – it always comes down to something cold to drink and something good to eat.  Not only do we have amazing food, but we love to have fun with creative concepts and presentation.  We recently served food at a 90th birthday party for one of University of Tennessee’s biggest fans. We even re-created the field in Neyland Stadium, orange and white checkerboard and all!

As the summer heat beats you down and you wander inside to see when Fall is coming, here are a few ideas for your tailgating parties this upcoming Football season:

1. Don’t out punt your coverage. In food terms, that means don’t try and grill burgers and brats for 30 people if you only have a personal camper grill.  Even better, don’t bring ice cream sandwiches when its still 95 degrees outside. Whatever the case, know your limitations and stay inside them.  Better to do something simple, well, than something impossible and your guests get sick…or worse go hungry!

2. Check the line of scrimmage and call an audible.  Those ribeyes you have been marinating for two days will not be enjoyable when the winds are blowing 60 mph or El Nino happens again.  Save them for the next day and go get some sandwich platters (or make them yourself).  Don’t be stubborn.  Its ok to go to a Plan B.

3. Test the Free Agency market.  When putting together a tailgate party, you can go a couple of different routes when it comes to getting a leg up on the tailgating competition.
Dallas Cowboys – You can hire the big guns (like Chef’s Market) to come and do everything for you with the goal of hiring the best to win.  Unlike Dallas (lately), Chef’s can deliver the “championship” you are looking for.
New England Patriots – You take what you do well, and supplement it with a few key fixtures to help maintain your budget while giving you the best chance to win.  Maybe its coming by and picking up several bowls of our “sides” to accompany the steaks or burgers you will be grilling out.  You, and just a little bit of outside help, will field you a great “team”.
Cleveland Browns – No hired guns on this one.  Its all about what they can do internally.   They don’t want to spend the money on “outside” help…of any kind.

No matter which route you go, never turn a blind eye to the “Free Agency Market.”  You never know what some outside help can do to boost your team.

4. The best defense is a good offense.  Don’t just react the day of and try and throw some things together. Plan out your menu (even if it is just cold cuts and chips), set a budget, shop around so that when gameday does arrive, you can just execute and enjoy your time near the gridiron.

5. Excessive celebration is allowed!  Tailgating is not ruled by the NFL.  So pull your best T.O. and Chad Ochocinco moves and have some fun at your party. Don’t get overwhelmed by the details.  Plan it out in advance and allow yourself to relax.  Ask others to help.  Don’t try and take on everything on your own.  Things like getting ice, picking up hamburger buns, setting up the pop-up tent, etc are all simple things that anyone can do.  In the end – its supposed to be fun!

Hope these few tips help as you get ready for this fall.  We would love to help you make your tailgating party a great one!

Bo Jennings
Catering Sales Managers
615.851.2433
bo@chefsmarket.com