The same trends that are driving restaurant business – gluten free menu items, locally sourced food and the like – are also becoming important considerations for people looking for caterers. One of the most popular — Appleton Wisconsin restaurants of the last few years has established its reputation meeting just such demands at its Fox River location. Now it has expanded to take those options on the road.
“People are looking for exceptions to the traditional catering options, but still have something they can afford,” said Kim Finnell, one of three owners of Osorio’s Latin Fusion, a privately owned restaurant, opened in 2013. “They also look for that element of ‘competition’ when it comes to hosting a party, and they want something people will be talking about.”
The last thing that people want when arranging for catered events are aluminum foil trays filled with warmed over food on top of sterno cans. Instead, they are looking for the same sort of experience and ingredients they have come to expect when dining out at a casual fine dining restaurant.
“We looked at our most popular items, as well as the dishes we are most proud of, and worked with them until we were confident we could recreate them for a catering job,” Finnell said. Some of the catering menu options include:
• Sit-down dinner choices like Stuffed Chicken Mole, Tomatillo Shrimp Scampi and Carne Cubano,
• Buffet choices for fajitas, tacos or nachos, all of which include a variety of meat, seafood and vegetarian options,
• A special lunchtime only buffet that includes appetizers and entrees, and
• A variety of boxed lunch options for groups on the go.
It was a greater challenge for Executive Chef and Owner Liborio Osorio and his staff to come up with a catering menu they could be proud of than many other restaurants face, because of the emphasis his Latin fusion menu puts on fresh ingredients locally sourced.
“Smart venues and chefs are forging relationships with local farms and working with the farmers to decide what will be planted so they can plan their menus in advance,” says Kristi Casey Sanders, food and beverage writer for the popular website Plan Your Meetings. “This desire is what’s behind the consumer-fueled farm-to-table trend that’s showing up with more frequency on catering menus.”
The local sourcing that Chef Osorio and his team follow actually has much less to do with following artisanal trends and more with guaranteeing the quality of the ingredients. By maintaining one of the freshest kitchens among Appleton Wisconsin restaurants, they have established their restaurant as the place for people with discerning taste buds and an adventurous palate.
“Almost from the beginning, we’ve had people ask if we were going to cater,” Finnell said. “It was something we knew would be part of our future plans, but we wanted to be sure we could provide the same Osorio’s Latin Fusion experience that customers expect when they come to the restaurant.” Based on the numbers they are already reporting, it seems like they have been very successful.
ABOUT OSORIO’S LATIN FUSION:
This Appleton, WI restaurant is located at 1910 N. Casaloma Drive, between the Fox River Mall and Timber Rattler’s Stadium. For reservations, or to arrange for an Osorio's Latin Fusion catered event, call 920.955.3766.
**Jack Terry is a freelance writer who has been covering the food and beverage industry for more than 20 years.
Release ID: 84388