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Outdoor Entertaining Tips by SternoCandleLamp

Guest Post by Thaddaeus Smith, SternoCandleLamp Communications Manager & Executive Chef

Thad Smith (2)

Adding More Control to Outdoor Events

While many prefer the ease of more controlled indoor events that take place in banquet halls or homes, adding more control to outdoor events that take place in the windy city of Chicago or on the breezy shores of the Gulf Coast is possible. With a little extra strategy and planning, catering/entertaining outdoors can quickly turn into an enjoyable experience for both the caterer and the client.

Tips for Catering/Entertaining Outdoors

Prepare for Wind, Not Just Rain: Even the best caterer can’t control the weather, but you can plan for it. And a sunny windy day can be just as detrimental as a rainstorm. Are you prepared for the high gusts that may blow through your event knocking over all of your centerpieces or putting out your lit candles or chafing fuel?

15K-BTU-stove (2)

Select the Proper Equipment: Because it is not always possible to set up cooking areas out of the wind, chefs often spend more time creating make shift wind breaks and less time focused on the food and guests. Using SternoCandleLamp’s recently introduced 15,000 BTU output stove that is heavy duty, provides great flame range for any application, and is designed with a wind-block attachment for outdoor cooking enables chefs to focus all of their time where is matters most.

SternoCandleLamp’s WindGuard Chafing Dish Frame is also great for preventing wind from blowing out a flame. The WindGuard Chafing Dish Frame ensures optimum heat for warming food and conserves fuel by 10 percent. Plus, the Fold-Away design enables the dish to collapse down to less than 2 inches thick, making this chafing dish the epitome of portability.

Keep Food Safe: While keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold may seem simple, unpredictable conditions outdoors can add challenges to this simplicity. Food shouldn’t sit out so long that hot food cools to the danger zone and cold food warms to the danger zone (temperatures at which bacteria multiply the fastest). Solutions include having an extra supply of chafing fuel on hand, keeping buffet times to 1 ½ to 2 hours maximum, or putting food out in smaller portions.

Maintain Ambiance: The importance of ambiance is made most obvious by lighting but when the wind kicks up, the flicker of traditional wax candles goes out. For outdoor evening events, consider flameless candles to help guests feel more intimate with their friends and family. And the right lighting also helps highlight your food.

Caterers and clients that take a little extra time up front to discuss contingency plans for unexpected weather and how to maintain food quality, safety and ambiance are guaranteed a better outdoor entertaining experience. Summer is here. Enjoy the outdoors!

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