Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Catering to Mother Earth.

Part of our responsibilities to each other involve our responsibilities to the world around us. In recognizing the little things that we do, we can have a large impact. Here are a few ideas that can change the landscape...literally:

Buy and use (and reuse) canvas shopping bags.

Give your thermostat a break. Set the temperature to 18 in the winter and 25 in the summer when you’re not around.

Disconnect chargers and small appliances when they’re not in use – they’re still using energy.

Shop at local farmers’ markets and support your community.

Shop at vintage stores and charity shops for decor, table settings, etc. You’ll be reusing and have a great conversation starter when company arrives.

Switch to energy-saving fluorescent bulbs and low-flow shower heads.

Pick products with less packaging.

Choose natural cleaners and avoid chemical pesticides.

Plant native shrubs and flowers, because the right plants make any green space a wildlife habitat.

…and of course buy more catering: it will save you time, electricity, water and gas!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Saucy Secret.

Did You Know?

Henderson William Brand had a tough audience. As chef to England’s King George IV in 1824, Brand was constantly striving to please the royal palate with new concoctions, and one day he served the king a new sauce he had developed for use on steak. The King was so pleased with Brand’s invention that be bestowed the accolade “A 1,” meaning “the very best,” on the sauce. When Brand left the king’s service a few years later, he took both the recipe for the sauce and the King’s name for it with him and began to market the sauce and other recipes as Brand & Co.

Unfortunately, Brand proved a better cook than a businessman, and Brand & Co. went bankrupt, leaving Brand no recourse but to sell the business to his friend W.H. Withall. In 1862, Withall entered the sauce in the International Exposition in London, where it again earned the rating of A1.

Now owned by Intercorp Excelle Inc. A.1. is touted as being excellent on fish, poultry, and vegetables as well as steak, but the recipe remains closely guarded secret. For these and other “saucy secrets” visit www.otm.ca and keep in mind: BBQ Season is upon us. Let us make your day “A1”.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"I Can't Eat Right"....Yeah Right.

With all the things we put in our mouth daily, is it any wonder that rates of illness and obesity are up, that healthcare needs and expectations are higher and that overall people are not living the balanced healthy lifestyles that our ancestors once enjoyed. In the coming days I will share a series of helpful dietary tips. Certainly I hope you recognize that I can help from an information standpoint, but my firm can also help you Have a Wonderful Day and…Eat Well.

To get the ball rolling as they say, let’s start with a few basic food items, all of which are available year round and none of which are particularly expensive (as that seems to be the two most frequent: “I can’t eat right” statements)

A quarter of this delicious melon, that you’ll find on our appetizer plate supplies as much vitamin A and C as most people need in an entire day.

Sweet Potatoes
Served most often with our tasty roast beef, this vegetable is one of the best that you can eat. Loaded with vitamin A, C, potassium and fibre these sweet potatoes can be baked, mashed or boiled.

In addition to being our corporate icon, oranges are nature’s candy and are filled with vitamin C, folic acid and fibre. Call us to try our salmon filet in an orange marinade.

Served up at all of the On The move barbecue events, watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C and carotenoids. Perfect for a snack, dessert or dare we say your next corporate event.

Inexpensive, low in fat but high in protein, iron, folic acid and fibre, all beans from garbanzo, pinto, black, navy or kidney can be found on our menus. Try Th’Ombre meal at your next luncheon.

Loaded with vitamin C, calcium and fibre, what better way to tell your staff that you love them but with our Spinach Caprese salad.

If you have any simple interesting items that you'd like to share, please do so...we all need to know that we Can in fact Eat right and Eat Well.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mangia (Eat) Pronounced: Man-ja

A unique, romantic, and interesting language, Italian, understandably poses pronunciation challenges for those not familiar. On The Move Catering & Events in its desire to cater to your needs has compiled a list of some of the words...you simply need to know.

Trust me...It’s as much for you as it is for us. Have a look at the words below and if you have any further suggestions for this ever-growing list, please feel free to send us a note to don@otm.ca.

Have a Wonderful Day. Eat Well...and Speak Well!

Pronouncing Consonants in Italian

c before ‘e’ or ‘i’ is pronounced tch

ch is pronounced like the ‘k’ in ‘kit’

g before ‘e’ or ‘i’ is pronounced like the ‘j’ in ‘jet’

gl before ‘e’ or ‘i’ is normally pronounced like the ‘lli’ in ‘million’, and in a few cases only like the ‘gl’ in ‘glove’

gn is pronounced like the ‘ny’ in ‘canyon’

sc before‘ e ’ or ‘ i ’ is pronounced sh’

Note: All double written consonants in Italian are fully sounded, for example the tt in ‘tutto’ (all) is pronounced as in ‘hat trick’

The On The Move List

While the list below is not outlined as you might find in a dictionary, we have presented the words in the way one might pronounce them when breaking a word into its individual parts. This is the best way to "handle” Italian: break the words down into its syllables and then blend them back together.

Donato Sagarese, President Pronounced: Dough-Na-To Sa-Ga-Raise-Eh, Praise-ee-den-Teh

Lino Di Cecca, Chef Pronounced: Lee-No Dee-Checka, Capo-cocco

Italy Pronounced: It-Talli, Not: Eye-Tally

Italians Pronounced: It-Talians, Not: Eye-Talians

Cucina (kitchen) Pronounced: Koo-Chi-Na

Fame (hunger) Pronounced: Fa-Mey

Mangia (eat) Pronounced: Man-ja

Provvedere da Mangiare (to cater) Pronounced: Pro-vey-dare-eh da Man-Ja-Rey

Pasta Pronounced: Pah-Sta, Not: Pa-sta

Gelato (ice cream) Pronounced: Jey-lato

Bruschetta Pronounced: Brew-Ske-Ta, Not: Brew-shetta

Biscotti (cookies) Pronounced: Bee-Scoh-tee, Not: Bee-Scaw-Tee

Parmigiano (cheese) Pronounced: Parm-ee-John-No

Gnocchi Pronounced: Gno-ki (as in singing), Not: G-Nocki or No-Chi

Piccante (spicy) Pronounced: Pee-Khan-Te

Expresso (coffee) Pronounced: Ess-Presso, Not: Ex-Presso

Cacciatora (sauce) Pronounced: Catcha-Tora

Vino (wine) Pronounced: Vee-No

Tagliatelle (pasta) Pronounced: Ta-Lia-Telle

Pancetta (bacon) Pronounced: Pan-Che-Ta

Bolognese Pronounced: Bowl-Own-nies-Eh

Risotto (rice) Pronounced: Reese-Oh-To

Getting Along in Italian….

Ciao. Mi chiamo: Hello my is_________________.

E tu come ti chiami? And What is your name?

Vieni spesso da questa parti? Do you come here often?

Ti va ballare? Do you feel like dancing?

Posso offrirti qualcosa dab ere? Can I get you a drink?

Non posso vivere senza di te. I can’t live without you.

E finite. It’s over!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lament or Not Lament...That is The Question.

It's fitting that luck would shine upon me today...when Irish eyes are smiling.

A sales call. A company I have worked with, and for, in the past. A technology company: Ingram Micro Inc. http://www.ingrammicro.ca/

A lunch meeting with 15 prospective clients, all under one roof. A tasting of my boardroom lunch offering in exchange for their undivided attention.

I bestow the virtues of our food and service and am scrutinised, and not solely on the merit of the food. I almost always find it ironic that while selling things people are putting in their mouth, they are most concerned with what is coming out of mine.

And so I tell them the truth, they're busy, and I don't want to waste their time...or mine. The highlight reel flows from my tongue with the confidence reserved for the Boss. Reserved for someone whose livelihood depends on what he says coming to life in future days...by the hands of other team members.

"Your food is delicious and fresh". "Thank you very much..." says I, "...It is prepared with whole food items...nothing from a bag or a box".

"I have a question" she says. "How do I know a whole host of extra charges will not appear after the event is complete?" "We'll..." says I, confused to be honest, "...if the item does not appear in the contract you sign, I cannot, in good conscience, charge you any extra." She's satisfied, and so am I, knowing that I'm telling the truth.

People come in and out of the luncheon, apologising in both directions, and while my initial reaction is to become perturbed that I am not the centre of their lunchtime universe, I can comprehend. This is not, much to my chagrin, the most important thing they will do today.

And so we chat about my successes and how it applies to them, and we discuss my failures. Healthy I suspect to do both in an open forum. Healthy to sit at a table I have set with complete strangers, and disclose how "my bookkeeper in the past did not in fact mail an invoice...because she wanted to save me the stamps" (insert me mentally biting down on my fist).

"Your logo does not seem to depict all of the services you offer" says another. Again, honesty prevails and I respond "You're right" and my mind drifts to that place where time and money is infinite and I have a stable of designers reacting with clicking mice at my every graphical whim.

The meeting closes quicker than anticipated but as they reach for their handheld holsters, I know the end is near, the allure of the vibrating devices is simply too strong. Waiting another moment to see what's behind the flashing red light is simply not an option, and what's worse...I can relate.

As this is a technology company after all, it was inevitable that both the mood and conversation would gravitate toward how we are ultimately plugged in all the time. "My blackberry is essentially an appendage" she responds, and I process that statement. A tool for certain, but a third arm? Steady on.

But as the group thins and all that remains is my associate and I, plus two of them, the elder of the two pronounces how "I do not even turn on my computer when I get home, and I don't have a blackberry". She goes on the say, with her eyes turning to glass, that she almost lost her husband, in a split second, and it taught her that life is precious. It taught her "that the message on the phone will wait...but the moment with your child will pass".

We pause, at the thought, and her candour, and thankfully her associate responds that a little company called Sanyo has recently instituted a policy that employees turn off their phones during designated times of day. This is to ensure that people recognise the importance of family and harkens back to a time when one could actually and truly leave the office.

I shudder at the thought of being forced to turn my handheld off and, more importantly, at the Orwellian, albeit well intended monitoring processes of Sanyo.

My associate recognizes my look and pre-empts whatever I was about to say with a simple conclusion:

"On their deathbed, no one ever laments about spending too little time at the office."


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Welcome to a Seat at the Table.

While "to each their own" is a good way of looking at our next Table-Top Tip, there is always a guide to everything we do. Our Clients and Friends often ask us how to set a table, and while we have our own way too, the following diagram shows a full-blown table setting for an Emily Post style dinner party. Adjust it as necessary to fit your menu. Remember to make your guests as comfortable as you can. Don't put out utensils that won't ever be used. If your menu doesn't include anything that would be eaten with a teaspoon, don't put teaspoons on the table...regardless of what "they say". Common sense is often the best way to assist you in having a Wonderful Day and your goal to Eat Well.

The List Goes On...
1. Napkin

2. Salad fork
3. Dinner fork
4. Dessert fork
5. Bread-and-butter plate, with spreader

6. Dinner plate
7. Dinner knife
8. Teaspoon
9. Teaspoon
10. Soup spoon
11. Cocktail fork
12. Water glass
13. Red-wine glass
14. White-wine glass
15. Coffee cup and saucer

On The Move Catering & Events is pleased to provide all of the items on the diagram above for a nominal rental fee at your next event.

Trust us, it beats washing dishes.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Catering to Our Needs.

If you search for a definition of "Catering" online or elsewhere (assuming you still own a book) you will find that there are only a few very simple definitions:

Catering (unaccountable)
The business of providing food and related services.

Present participle of cater

(Transitive, often with to) To provide things to satisfy a person or a need, to serve.
I always wanted someone to cater to my every whim.

In one way or another my life has always been about being a Verb. Raised Italian, Catholic and a Scorpio, it is no surprise that I have a deep need (of course it's a need) to "provide things that satisfy a person". Whether it is rooted in the guilt that we all shoulder being raised Italian, Catholic and a Scorpio or not, the end result is the same: If we're not satisfying someone else's needs...we're not satisfying our own.

This twisted reality results oftentimes (well at least with me) to a lack of focus on my own needs, on my own whims and ultimately to a life where one is lost in satisfying the needs and expectations of others at the expense of oneself.

Now let's be honest. Those of us afflicted with this approach to life are choosing this life. I've often said (despite wanting to have been James Bond) that in a previous life I must have been a Butler. My compulsive need to serve others has led me as they say "to become who I am". I could have been a lawyer, a good one. I could have been an actor (maybe not an Oscar winner)and "thank you ladies and gentleman for this Emmy". I wanted with every fiber of my being to be a writer, and now thanks to this digital medium...maybe I am.

My point, convoluted as it may seem is that here, now, at 38 years old, I'm redefining my approach. Re writing the mode of catering to my own needs.

Ironically enough, last night I was invited out with a friend (a woman, not my wife, but that's another story for another post) to an improvisational play entitled "Blind Date", by Rebecca Northan. The very talented Rebecca Northan goes on a "blind date" with a member of the audience, taking them through all of the ups and downs of a romantic relationship during the course of the 90 minute show. A new suitor every time allows the Calgary born actress to show off the improvisation skills she first learned at Loose Moose. You may recognize Northan from her role on CTV's Alice, I Think, but she has also earned five nominations at the Canadian Comedy Awards for female improviser of the year.
I'd encourage you to see this show if and when you are able for one simple reason, and for one purpose.

Northan taught me...or reminded me...of the most important and seemingly simple way to cater to your own needs. She says toward the end of the performance while re capping the events that just transpired: "Look at what happens in life when you just say Yes".
So in catering to my own needs (which by the way is a work in progress) I will try my best....to say Yes. Have a Wonderful day....and as always...Eat Well.