Catering Triumph at Pearson

Dinner for 700 in the Maintenance Hangar

To climax a successful travel trade show, Canada's leading vacation wholesaler wanted it's agents to actually board it's aircraft & see why it's service was so special. As part of the presentation, dinner for 700 guests would be served under the wings of the airplane.

BBQ Catering was hired to decorate the hangar; plan, prepare & serve the meal; run the bar; supply all audio visual equipment and coordinate with hangar staff . Every detail of the event was organized from placement of the plane and measuring lighting levels inside the hangar to sizing the electrical supply, coordinating washrooms, and greeting guests with champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries.

Every stage of the event was tightly scripted. To accommodate a busy hangar schedule, the hangar had to be set up, used and cleared within 12 hours.

To operate within such a tight time line, every part of the event set up that would not interfere with hangar operations was done days before the event. Lighting and wall decoration were especially important.

The client had recently rebranded itself &wanted it's corporate colours readily seen. Giant lengths of coloured cloth were hung along hundreds of feet of wall. and back-lit with a thousand feet of coloured rope light. Pipe and drape was used at floor level and 500 potted chrysanthemums added more colour yet.

The corporate colour scheme was carried through the huge ice sculpture used to display dessert fruit and extended through the icing on the giant chocolate cakes.

The result was spectacular.

Using an Airplane as Dinner Decoration

Not very often is a $20 million aircraft used as a banquet decoration. Although the opportunity for creativity is enormous, so is the responsibility. Everything on the plane from wing tip sensors to engines, fuel tanks & instruments is sensitive to whatever a caterer might do.

To maximize guest seating the Boeing 757 had to be shifted to one side of the hangar. But the tail fin could only fit through a narrow slot in the hangar wall, limiting maneuvering room. Jockeying the plane back & forth across the hangar floor took a crew of 6 two very careful hours.

Once in position, nothing could take place near the plane that could harm it. Open flames, such as table candles, sterno, or butane cookers were out of the question. Only electric chafing dishes would do. That meant no indoor fry pan demonstration of paella preparation.

Since the hangar was equipped with too few 120 amp circuits to power cooking appliances, electricity had to be converted from the hangar's main power supply using a transformer.

A Menu for Sophisticated Travelers

    Appetizers
  • Crab & avocado dip on assorted crackers
  • Freshly cut vegetables
  • Tortilla chips w/ 5 layer dip
  • Stir fried pork chunks
  • Curried baby shrimp on toast wedges
  • Coloured wraps with assorted fillings
  • Pita bread w/ humus

    Dinner
  • Black bean soup
  • Pineapple chicken
  • Barbecued baby ribs
  • Paella
  • Shark steak
  • Grilled stuffed tomatoes
  • Candied sweet potatoes
  • Caribbean potato salad
  • Couscous
  • Cilantro taboulah salad
  • Cucumber salad
  • Pineapple, mango & lime

    Dessert
  • Luscious displays of melon & other fruit, drizzled with chocolate & displayed on a giant ice carved airplane
  • Coconut tarts
  • Carrot cake
  • Assorted small pastries
  • Chocolate cake w/ corporate logo

* Dinner was served from six identical buffet stations surrounding the hangar

* Guests were invited to the buffet table by table.

* All guests were served within 16 minutes.




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Special Events Catering / Mac Donald Estate
131 Farnham Avenue
Toronto ON M4V 1H7
(905) 870-8434 or (519) 856-0529
Monday, September 17, 2012