Gourmet Bay Catering
As a chef one of the easiest things for me to do to ensure a juicy piece of meat is to brine it. Whether I’m grilling, smoking, or roasting, most of the time I’ve brined the meat before cooking. I’m always surprised at how many people aren’t familiar with the technique. Here are a couple of tips for the basic brine.
1/4 C Sugar
1/4 C Salt
4 C of Water
Now with this base you can add all sorts of things to enhance the brine. Chili flakes, black peppercorns, a garlic clove and some fresh thyme is pretty standard for brine. Sometimes I’ll use less salt and add a good amount of vinegary hot sauce or less salt and a bit less water and add soy sauce for an Asian flavored brine. For fish I’ll use less sugar and add lemon juice.
How long to brine really depends on the cut of meat. Here are my basic personal preferences.
Grouper or Swordfish – 20-30 min
Chicken Breast – 1-2 hours
Chicken legs & thighs – 2-4 hours
Whole Chicken – 6-8 hours
Pork chops thin – 1 hour
Pork chops double cut -2-3 hours
Pork loin – 10-12 hours
Pork butt -12-15 hours
Feel free to experiment with your own brining times and flavors. If you find something great please share it with us on Facebook.
Gourmet Bay Catering
This years wedding trends have everything to do with soft colors, amazing floral arrangements, and what else sharing the love!
People spend lots of energy choosing the centerpieces for their wedding day, but this season the centerpieces are defying gravity. Hanging your flowers from the ceiling makes a statement as soon as your guests walk in the room while also freeing up space for plates, food, and table numbers. We’ve seen cascading floral arrangements that make the room look like it’s in bloom and also tulip’s hanging from small glass vases. Truly amazing.
Pastels are all the rage from flowers and bridesmaid dresses to the grooms tux. We’ve been using a lot of pastel colors in our food arrangements and table decor. Spring is a time to let the natural beauty show through and not over do it. Try adding a few flowers to your dining stations or pastel cake plateaus to ramp up the way your food is displayed. Have fun with color this spring.
Lastly, a trend that we’ve gotten behind is sharing the love. Everyone is now #hashtagging their wedding day to let family and friends that couldn’t be a part of the big day still enjoy it play by play. We’ve seen cute cards left in the bathrooms with the couple’s #hashtag or on the favors so everyone knows what to use when posting on social media. Make sure you are actually enjoying the moments and not just snapping away for everyone else, but this is a fun way to keep the memories forever.
Gourmet Bay Catering loves catering spring weddings and parties. If you are thinking about a spring wedding 2015 take a look at our menus and schedule a tasting for you and your loved ones. Chef Patrick likes to have you come in a taste through your party menu and make any changes so you’ll love the food on your big day. During the tasting we can go over overall budget, ideas about decor and who you are using as a planner, and any other details we can help you with. We are a full service catering company and can help you with as little (the food) or as much of the planning as you would like. Give Gourmet Bay Catering a try and see why we were nominated as Best Of from the Charleston City Paper this year!
-Erin Marqua, co-owner of GBC
Living in one of the most beautiful places with great weather allows us to get out and enjoy the local businesses a lot more than say places that have snow half the year. Charleston has been known for being a city to come and eat for years, but lately we’ve seen some changes that excite us. Johns Island has now become a destination for food loving tourists with Wild Olive, Fat Hen, Southern General Sweeney’s and coming soon the Tattooed Moose. The bar scene also boasts signature hand crafted cocktails and a nice draft beer selection from Seanachai’s Irish Pub. Gourmet Bay Catering is lucky to have such great neighbors on the new island to visit. Downtown on Upper King there are so many great new places to eat and drink. We love parking at one end and having a drink and snacks at each place we go by like the Ordinary, Indaco, O-ku, The Grocery, Cocktail Club, the Alley, Barsa and can’t wait for the new places to open! Beer seems to be on every menu and we are not mad about it. On our list for best new spots to try are The Park Café, Bay Street Biergarten, Edmund’s Oast, The Low Down and Hideaway Pizza Kitchen on James Island. Bruch is a great time to get out and enjoy the weather, have a great lunch and sample the newest brews on tap!
Have a great spring everyone and if you are planning a party or wedding check out www.gourmetbay.net for our services and menus.
Gourmet Bay Catering
Lowcountry with a Wine Country Twist
We save lives and create more beautiful birthdays by helping you stay well, helping you get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back. – Hope Lodge
Working in catering we order a lot of food. A lot! Gourmet Bay Catering is so happy that we have found a place to be able to donate when we order a bit too much. The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge is a place where families can stay and live while a loved one is getting the cancer fighting treatment they need to survive. After meeting with staff from the Hope Lodge at a catered lunch we delivered downtown Charleston we found that the lodge was always in need of food for their guests. A brilliant relationship was then formed. Gourmet Bay can now donate to the community on a regular basis and the Hope Lodge can eat fresh, local food from our kitchen. To us community relationships are one of the most important part of being a locally owned and operated catering company and we are excited to have created a lasting relationship with Hope Lodge.
Gourmet Bay Catering
Lowcountry with a Wine Country Twist
We didn’t get the pleasure of doing this wedding BUT she gave us a great review anyway!
Delicious Food, Wonderful Staff 11/7/2013 TheKnot.com
While I didn’t end up using this business to cater my wedding, they came in a very close second. Honestly, I wish I had used them because I think my wedding would have gone a lot smoother with an experienced catering company like Gourmet Bay. Their food is delicious (we tasted a Southern hors d’oeuvres menu), and I felt that it was one of the best deals in the area. The staff was very friendly and accommodating, and took all of my suggestions and requests for food modifications in stride.
Like I said, I really wish I had decided to use them for my wedding day instead of my favorite restaurant. Things would have been so much easier!
Of course we agree with her. Hiring a professional to handle your wedding or large event will ensure your big days goes off without a hitch. At Gourmet Bay we have the experience, tools, serving ware, and staff to pull off any type of event. We advise our brides and grooms to hire professional photographers, planners, DJ’s and any other vendor that will make their big day go off without any issues.
-Gourmet Bay Catering
12 days of appetizers party
Now this is a holiday party that Gourmet Bay Catering can really get in to! Invite your friends over for a 12 days of appetizers party. We’re going to use the famous song as a background to help plan this menu.
Cucumber Feta Rolls
Mini Wild Mushroom Quiches
Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
Asian Spring Rolls
Curried Carrot Soup Sippers
Spicy Pork Belly Shortbreads
Crab Salad Bites
Strawberry Brie & Honey Crostini
Coconut Encrusted Shrimp
Black Truffle Deviled Eggs
Grilled Zucchini Artichoke Bites
Mini Sea Salt Carmel Cheesecake Bites
Gourmet Bay will come to your home, set up the holiday feast, pass the appetizers to all of your lovely guests, and then clean up afterward. The only reminder of the party will be the great memories and the leftovers in the fridge.
Contact Nicole today to book your holiday party. Nicole@gourmetbay.net
Weddings aren’t the only events we at Gourmet Bay cater. Holiday parties are near and dear to our hearts. This holiday season let Gourmet Bay Catering take the work out of planning and cooking.
Here are a few fun holiday ideas for parties.
The ugly sweater party- This themed party has gotten more popular each month. People go out in search of the most ridiculous, gaudy, embellished Xmas sweater they can find. Everyone dons the sweaters and usually there is a prize for best male and female sweater. The perfect menu for this party would be passed soup sippers so that everyone can still mingle while eating. After the soup have the petite tomato tarts sent out to the masses. Even the children love the tomato tarts! For the meal the family style option would work great here. Having the arugula and beet salad followed by the pancetta wrapped pork medallions with garlic mashed potatoes will make any guest list happy. Dessert could be a fun s’mores bar or mini cinnamon rolls on skewers. This party will be a huge success with that menu and those amazing sweaters.
Xmas in July- Some people just LOVE Christmas and need it twice a year. Having Xmas in July satisfies this need. There is nothing more fun than sitting on Folly Beach with a pair or reindeer antlers on and sipping an apple spiced cocktail. For this party we’d suggest keeping the menu light and fun with a hint of Xmas spirit. For the starters try the caprese skewers to bring in your red and green and bacon wrapped scallop lollipops. For dinner have dining stations set up with an array of biscuit sliders to choose from, build-you-own mac and cheese station or the crowd pleaser build-your-own mashed potato bar. Dessert should include Xmas cookies to keep with the Christmas theme.
Trim my tree- Inviting all your friends over to help decorate for the holidays kills two birds with one stone; decorations done and a great party! This is a great way to socialize with your closest and make sure that tree gets trimmed. Our menu suggestions would be something out of the ordinary; cuisine from around the globe. Start out with our amazing crisp potato samosas with mint cilantro yogurt sauce, vegetable risotto balls with tomato jam, and the Coastal Carolina spring rolls. Dinner should be fun and interactive with a build-your-own bruschetta station and the deluxe taco bar. Everyone had a blast at our last party making their own tacos with all the fixings and no one had to be shy about seconds. Dessert will bring it back to the USA with mini apple pies and some Charleston sweet tea vodka cocktails.
Having a party should be fun. Letting Gourmet Bay cook for you and plan your holiday party will take the fuss out of the event season. Call today for more information. 843.557.1257
Winter weddings in Charleston are a bit different than most places. The average temperature isn’t freezing and I seriously doubt it’ll snow, but having a winter wedding can still be festive. Matching your décor to the outdoors is a way to bring the winter season into your big day. Using bare branches, pine cones and a rustic look for your décor will set the winter mood.
Have your menu reflect the cooler weather outside by having a s’mores bar, warm mulled wine or hot chocolate bar, and serving passed soup sippers. The reception meal can include a roast with seasonal vegetables and various other hot side options. When thinking about your bridesmaids have a shrug made of faux fur for them to cover up when walking outdoors or a cute pair of long gloves.
Winter colors can include dusty hues or deep dark colors. For your guests wedding favors get coffee cup cozies made or jar up some yummy apple butter in a mini jam jar. Getting married in the winter months can be both beautiful and festive here in Charleston and you won’t have to worry about the Lowcountry bugs!
Gourmet Bay Catering
Food & Football- Apart from food, the biggest Thanksgiving traditions are football and parades. The traditional American Thanksgiving football game was usually between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers, but as football has become more popular, there are now more games on Thanksgiving day. The tradition of Thanksgiving parades goes back to the early 20th century, when people began to associate Thanksgiving with the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
Family- Some people choose to express their gratitude by giving back to the community. Volunteer activities, such as helping out at a soup kitchen or at a shelter, are popular ways to spend Thanksgiving Day. One of the best things about Thanksgiving is spending time with family. Many people live far from family members and travel long distances by car, train, or plane to be with their loved ones. Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year.
Wishbone- Some families include breaking the turkey’s wishbone as part of their celebration. The wishbone is found attached to the breast meat in the turkey’s chest. After the meat has been removed and the wishbone has had a chance to become dry and brittle, two people each take one end of the bone, make a wish, and pull. Whoever ends up with the larger part of the bone gets their wish.
Turkey Pardon- Each year at Thanksgiving, the President of the United States receives a gift of a live turkey (along with an alternate in case something happens to the official turkey). At a White House ceremony, the president traditionally “pardons” the National Thanksgiving Turkey and the alternate turkeys, allowing them to live out the rest of their lives on a farm.
Make a new tradition this year and order your Thanksgiving meal with Gourmet Bay Catering.
Click here for the menu: http://gourmetbay.net/thanksgiving-day/
Getting hitched in the South is a bit different than getting married in other places. Here are some fun Southern Wedding Traditions:
Handkerchief- Many mothers give their bride-to-be daughters a handkerchief to hold at the weddings ceremony. These handkerchiefs can be passed down from generation to generation. It is said that farmers believed that a bride’s wedding day tears were lucky and a lil rain would bring great crops. The “hankie” is still a much loved tradition today.
Grooms Cake- A gift of a cake from the bride to the groom has been a tradition since the Victorian era. The bride usually gets the cake made to represent the groom’s personality. We have seen grooms cakes of his favorite NLF football team, favorite movie character, and even a photo of the groom and his groomsmen. The groom’s cake is usually displayed and cut at the rehearsal dinner.
Monogram- If it can have a monogram…it will. Southern brides love to monogram napkins, aisle runners, cake toppers, linens, gift bags and anything else she can get her hands on. One monogram we love is the monogram light some brides get made. The outline of the names are made and a light is used to create the detail on a wall.
Bury the Bourbon- One month before the ceremony the bottle of bourbon is buried on the site of the ceremony. The bottle has to be full and buried upside down to ensure it doesn’t rain on your wedding day!
Southern Cuisine- Of course this is our forte and favorite Southern tradition. To be a great and traditional Southern dish it needs to be comforting and filling and tasty. Favorites for our brides and grooms have been the biscuit slider station, build your own grilled cheese (with pimento cheese, duh), pimento cheese platter with roasted peaches, fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, and shrimp & grits.
-Gourmet Bay Catering