Today I spent my rotation with catering both in the prep area under Hatfield’s and at the actual catering event held in the Mountainlair Ballroom in the Mountainlair on Downtown Campus. The event, coincidently, is one that I was invited to – the Welcome Lunch for graduate students, held by the Office of Graduate Education & Life. The event was from 12:00 until 1:30pm and was open and free for all WVU graduate students, faculty, and staff.
The catering and production staff were told to prepare for about 500 people (even though the population of WVU graduate students exceeds 6,000). There were orders for fruit trays, veggie platters, veggie dip (all of which I helped prepare), sesame chicken, Spanakopita, Swedish meatballs, tea sandwiches (egg salad, tuna salad, and cheese spread), top round & dinner rolls, a variety of desserts, and fruit punch, water, and coffee for beverages.I have experience with catering before, as in undergrad I worked a formal banquet for about 5 hours one night for some extra money. I dressed up in all black, learned a quick crash course in serving & catering etiquette, and was able to experience a behind-the-scenes look at how a catering event works from beginning to end.
The graduate luncheon went smoothly and the only food items left at 1:30 were dinner rolls, top rounds, and a tray or two of flying WV cookies. For a catering event to occur, many different people have to work together and communicate effictively: the catering sales manager, catering manager, assistant director of catering, executive chef, chef, production team, and catering staff.