5 Questions You May not Know to Ask Your Caterer

1. How many staff members can I expect to need at my event? 

The number of staff you need at your event will vary greatly depending on your venue, menu, style of service and the flow of your event. Be sure to ask your caterer how many staff members the style of event you’re looking for would need to be a success!

2. What rentals are included in your price estimate? 

Different companies include different rentals in their basic food estimate. When working with Duvall, your menu price will include all cooking and serving equipment in addition to tray jacks, basic linens for service and more. It is important to understand what is included in your estimate in order to know what value you are getting.

3. Where is the food made? 

All catering companies have different processes and standards for preparing their food. Make sure to ask where the food for your event will be made. The capabilities will change based on the location of your event but knowing that as much food as possible is made on-site and fresh for your guests is important.

4. How long is your food open for? 

All catering companies keep their food stations open for varried amounts of time- is it by the hour? By quantity? The full length of your event? Be sure to follow-up on this question to ensure your vision is executed.

5. Does this company have the tools to execute your vision? 

Do you want a specialty food? Decor? A full-service company? A food-only company? What kind of experience do they have in doing the type of event you’re looking for? Make sure to know what your vision is before you pick up the phone so you know what to ask for.


Duvall Wins Chocolate Soiree

Duvall Greenville took first place at the Chocolate Soiree, an annual benefit for The Children’s Museum. The winning dish from Duvall was a Cocoa Scallop Ceviche over a corn milk pana cotta, garnished with wild corn lettuce and roasted cocoa nib creme fraiche. Duvall Greenville Executive Chef Geoff Schauder took a cue from Aztec culture and how they used chocolate as a flavor enhancer rather than a flavor profile. This strategy of looking back to create an innovative dish, set the Duvall team apart from the rest to take the top prize.

This was the first time Duvall participated in the Chocolate Soiree. In the three categories: Savory, Sweet, and Display, Duvall Greenville took home 2 prizes. First place for Most Exquisite Taste, in the savory competition with a Cocoa Scallop Ceviche and Runner-Up in the Most Unique and Innovative Display category.

Duvall’s menu for the event consisted of:

Mexican Drinking Chocolate

The Winning Savory Dish: Cocoa Scallop Ceviche over a corn milk pana cotta, garnished with wild corn lettuce and roasted cocoa nib creme fraiche

Sweet: Thyme-honey White Chocolate Truffles

Congratulations to the Duvall Greenville team for their creativity and ability to look to the past to make delicious forward-thinking dishes!

Duvall Greenville Executive Chef, Geoff Schauder and Duvall Greenville Managing Partner Charlie Moore with the awards.


Feed the Need

Wednesday morning the Duvall team packed up and headed to Tricounty Family Ministries to feed 400 of Charleston’s needy.  As one of fifty-two companies taking part in Mickey Bakst’s (manager of Charleston Grill) efforts to provide healthy meals for the Lowcountry’s homeless at least once a week for an entire year, we were thrilled to provide  a warm meal and be part of the Feed the Need coalition.

Duvall and the Tricounty Ministries Team

We hope to continue our relationship with the great team at Tricounty Ministries throughout the coming year and support them in fullfilling their motto: “a glimmer of hope in a world of need.”


Duvall and Kiawah Conservancy Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

On Thursday night April 23, Duvall catered the Kiawah Conservancy’s Bobcat Ball for the third year in a row! This year there were several new twists! This included partnering with the Sustainability Institute, offering a family style dinner for their 320 attendees, making the event as green and sustainable as possible, and having it all take place surrounded by nature in the parking lot of the property owner’s building, The Sandcastle.

Our green efforts started with our local and organic menu. Menu items included our Free Range Ashley Farms Chicken, McClellanville Crab, locally caught Mahi Mahi, and fresh Johns Island vegetables and fruits. We also offered locally brewed organic COAST Beer. For the event we use all biodegradable cups and containers to take home, used FSC green paper products, offered carpooling for all 30+ Duvall staff members and, of course, recycled.

Going green at the Bobcat Ball

Going green at the Bobcat Ball

The Kiawah Conservancy raised about $50,000 for the preservation of the natural balance of the flora and fauna on Kiawah Island. A new table competition was introduced this year called the “Hip to be Square” Challenge. Guests raised money for the conservancy one square foot at a time ($25/sq ft). Everyone exceeded expectations and the winning table was invited to a dinner hosted by the Conservancy’s Chairman and his wife at their home. The funds raised during this challenge go towards the Conservancy’s efforts of educating residents and visitors on how to best preserve and maintain the natural habitat of the island.

Congratulations on a successful event!


Duvall gears up for the MUSC Charity Ball

We are very excited to be sponsoring the 22nd annual MUSC Charity Ball for 2009!  On Saturday, April 11th, 700 guests dressed in black tie will enter a transformed Omar Shrine Convention Center ready to enjoy an evening of dancing, eating and drinking from a fabulous menu put together by Chef Charlie Giordano; and most importantly bidding on silent auction items and spending money to support worthy charities.

We are working with the Charity Ball Committee, made up of the Medical Student Alumni Association and College of Medicine Student Council to finalize the details.  Stay tuned for updates.

Learn more about the event at http://www.musc.edu/charityball/index.html


contact Candace Gillespie, Charity Ball Director, at gillescf@musc.edu