Sea­sonal En­ter­tain­ing: Do It Like a Pro

Lazy Gourmet’s Kevin Maz­zone says keep it sim­ple and don’t stress

BC Business Magazine - - Lazy Gourmet -

With­out bat­ting an eye, the team at The Lazy Gourmet is known to cater the most in­ti­mate of par­ties of just six peo­ple, and then im­me­di­ately pre­pare to over­see an event for 12,000 guests.

While this sug­gests how white-hot the cater­ing scene has be­come in Metro Van­cou­ver, it also shows why The Lazy Gourmet name is so syn­ony­mous with cater­ing, whether the clients are con­ven­tion or­ga­niz­ers, busi­nesses, event plan­ners or in­di­vid­u­als cel­e­brat­ing a spe­cial day.

Gen­eral man­ager Kevin Maz­zone says: “We’ve been in busi­ness long enough to have seen and done it all. As a re­sult, we haven’t yet en­coun­tered an event where we can­not ac­com­mo­date. The pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less.”

Launched in 1979 by Su­san Men­del­son, The Lazy Gourmet was one of Van­cou­ver’s first cater­ing com­pa­nies. Ex­ec­u­tive chef Jenny Hui main­tains the com­pany’s fo­cus on great food, from tra­di­tional Chi­nese meals and sea­sonal menus rooted in West Coast flavours to vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free op­tions.

The Lazy Gourmet is also highly sought for be­ing able to throw par­ties that are se­cond to none. Maz­zone says: “We love be­ing able to do things that are out of the tra­di­tional event plan­ning or cater­ing wheel­house. Last year, on a Tues­day, we were asked to stage a fairy-tale wed­ding for a cou­ple at a Lan­g­ley es­tate tak­ing place that com­ing Sun­day. We or­ga­nized, planned and ex­e­cuted ev­ery­thing in just three days. From tent­ing, floor­ing, valet, flow­ers, sound and light­ing, it was amaz­ing to see all the ven­dors come to­gether to de­velop the cel­e­bra­tion.”

As for the event that at­tracted 12,000 peo­ple, it was staged on be­half of one client and re­quired 180 staff.

Al­though the com­pany has fed and en­ter­tained its fair share of renowned and revered in­di­vid­u­als, such as 2010 Olympic Games ath­letes, and del­e­gates to the Dalai Lama con­fer­ence, Maz­zone says the sim­plest ap­proach to or­ga­niz­ing events is of­ten the most ef­fec­tive—and this is es­pe­cially wor­thy of con­sid­er­a­tion as we head into the hol­i­day sea­son.

Christ­mas is the busiest time of year for The Lazy Gourmet (con­fer­ence sea­son be­tween April and May comes se­cond). Maz­zone has seen too many clients an­nounce a gath­er­ing, leave prepa­ra­tions to the last minute and panic as a re­sult. “So if I have ad­vice to im­part, it’s to not stress out. Just give us a call, even if you only need us to drop off food and come back later to pick up the plates,” he says.

Other ad­vice from Maz­zone: pick a theme and stick to it; con­sider cus­tom dé­cor as a trend (mono­grammed nap­kins, cus­tom linens and unique plate­ware are sure to im­press guests); use ris­ers to make hol­i­day buf­fets look more dy­namic; and con­sider mu­sic as a mood set­ter. “Some of our clients ask for a three-piece band, and oth­ers re­quest a hol­i­day playlist,” he adds.

Maz­zone con­cludes: “This is the time of year when peo­ple should get to­gether and be happy, so with re­gards to cel­e­brat­ing the sea­son, re­mem­ber that hav­ing fun is the first pri­or­ity. Daz­zling fes­tiv­i­ties aren’t nec­es­sar­ily a pre­req­ui­site, but good food is. Don’t waste time wor­ry­ing. Just let us know how we can help you.”

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