Dining with Dandelion
Hi! I'm Amy. You might remember me from this blog post. And if you've ever called the Dandelion office or emailed us, I'm almost certainly the one you've been speaking/emailing with. Today I'm here to talk (blog?) with you about tastings.
"Do you offer tastings?"
This is one question I get asked by almost every potential client, and the answer is "Yes!" Tastings are a great opportunity to try our food and meet the Dandelion team while a couple is trying to make some big wedding-related decisions.
Before a tasting appointment is made, we work on a first draft of a menu proposal and quote. If this lines up with the couple's goals for their wedding (from both a menu and budget perspective), then we move onward to the tasting.
A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into making every tasting a success. First, we try to nail down a time and date that works for everyone. Since the Dandelion crew is away almost every weekend for event work, this can sometimes be a challenge as this is often the only opportunity the couple has to visit us. We try to get all of our tastings on the calendar for our slow season (roughly January - April), which gives us a little more flexibility to match our client's schedule.
Once an appointment is on the calendar I speak with the clients about dishes they'd like to try, then our chef and kitchen team spend the week leading up to the tasting going over recipes, becoming familiar with the menu, and sourcing ingredients. Sometimes we're showing couples our favorite dishes, and sometimes we're showing them a specific favorite dish they've requested that is not on our regular menu, so this time is important to make sure we nail every flavor.
The day of the tasting, our chef and usually one of our cooks will spend several hours prior to the tasting prepping for the meal. Our tasting table is in the middle of our commercial kitchen and office spaces, so about an hour before the tasting starts we go into high gear, cleaning the kitchen, setting the table, and generally trying to create a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere.
Then comes to fun part - meeting couples and walking them through their menu! During a tasting we show 4-5 dishes from the menu proposal and talk about how they will fit into the day. This is a great opportunity to try a dish you're not sure about, or just to get a general sense of our style and presentation. We encourage clients to think about tastings as a chance to get to know us and gain confidence in our talents, rather than an opportunity to go pit one dish against another.
In addition to trying our food, tastings can also be a good opportunity to ask questions about our services in general. Since tastings can happen either before a date is booked or after, where a couple is in the process will dictate what exactly gets covered in the tasting appointment. Myself or Emma (our Event Logistics Manager) are there to lead you through the tasting and guide the conversation. Depending on how much there is to discuss, tasting appointments can be anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half.