The new Catering Partners Program at the Dayton Art Institute will ensure that those hosting a wedding or special event at the museum will have a wider variety of food options than in the past.
For close to a decade, those booking the museum for a party were required to use Elegant Fare, the museum’s former in-house caterer based in Cincinnati.
The new team of directors — who came to the museum in 2011 — decided to make some changes.
“I had gotten a lot of feedback from people in the community saying we really should be supporting caterers in our community,” said Michael Roediger, executive director of the DAI.
“We decided we were going to look at broadening the scope of offerings,” he explained. “We wanted to serve different types of food, have different price points, find caterers that do bigger or more intimate events. And I believe it’s very important to be to be more inclusive in terms of lifestyle, religion, ethnicity.”
New Catering Options
The new list of options includes Bernstein’s Fine Catering, Elite Catering & Events, Kohler Catering, Veritas Events and Vonae’s Catering & Event Planning.
“We picked Bernstein that can provide kosher as well as other kinds of catering, and Vonae’s, which can provide African-American soul food as well as other kinds of foods,” explained Roediger. “And Veritas, which also runs Leo Bistro, is female-owned and operated.”
Kohler Caters the Art Ball
Patrons got the chance to see one of the new caterers in action June 8 when Kohler Catering prepared elegant meals for the annual Art Ball.
“Kohler has been around for 40 years and had the capacity to do such a large event,” said Rodiger. “So when the associate board looked at our new list of caterers, they chose Kohler.”
Under the direction of chef Craig Kohler, a graduate of the esteemed Culinary Institute of America in New York, the menu included appetizers at a VIP reception, hors d’oeuvres in the Shaw Gothic Cloister ( smoked trout on wonton crisp, carmelized onion tart, wild mushroom profiterole) and a three-course dinner for 825 seated patrons in galleries throughout the museum.
The culinary displays included a salad of English cucumber-wrapped greens with tomato and mozzarella, sundried tomato horseradish-crusted tenderloin, crab-topped sea bass, an asparagus bundle, risotto cake with roasted corn and parmesan, and a fruit-filled brandy lace cup.
Roediger said the feedback has been nothing but positive.
“Everyone thought the food was phenomenal — beautiful plated and of wonderful quality.”
DAI events will use various caterers.
Roediger said the museum plans to alternate caterers for other events.
“We’re looking at their strengths for each,” Roediger explained. “For example, Elite did the Wizard of Oz party and the buffet was so creative. And we featured Veritas at our Mother’s Day brunch because they are operating Leo Bistro and we wanted to introduce our patrons to them.”
Price points now, he said, can run from as little as $12 for a box lunch event to $100 a plate for a wedding.
“People really like the options,” Roediger adds. “Brides and grooms can now interview and have tastings with various caterers.”
The museum also works with Prime Time Party Rental for tents, tables, chairs, china, glassware and linens and for Economy Linen and Towel Service.
The museum, which hosted 24 weddings last year and has already booked 32 for 2013, offers a wide variety of spaces to accommodate all types of events, from business meetings to intimate dinners and large celebrations. Spaces available for events include the Shaw Gothic Cloister, Hale Cloister, Great Hall, NCR Renaissance Auditorium and General Motors Entrance Rotunda.
A catering brochure is now available. For more about the Catering Partners Program and event rentals at The Dayton Art Institute, visit www.daytonartinstitute.org/museumrental.
Couldn’t Get to This Year’s Art Ball?
You can feast on Art Ball fare by re-creating this salad served at the June 8 gala. The recipe is provided by Kohler Catering’s chef Craig Kohler, a graduate of New York’s famous Culinary Institute of America.
KOHLER CATERING ENGLISH CUCUMBER WRAP SALAD
Note: One cucumber will yield 10 salads
1 English cucumber (seedless)
10 ounces Arcadian salad blend
1 yellow tomato
1 roma tomato
1 buffalo mozzarella
¼ cup sundried tomatoes (chopped fine)
½ cup crumbled gorgonzola
2 tablespoons basil (dry)
2 tablespoons oregano (dry)
2 tablespoons thyme (dry)
¼ cup cider vinegar
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine
4 tablespoons garlic (chopped)
1) Slice the cucumber lengthwise (1/8 inch thick, use a mandolin (a food slicer) if you have one) Bring the ends together to make your ring. Fill with the mixed Arcadian greens.
2) Slice roma and yellow tomatoes about 3/8 inches thick. Do the same with the buffalo mozzarella. Shingle the tomato and mozzarella on one side of the plate.
3) For your dressing, add ¼ cup of vinegar to ¾ cup olive oil, ¼ cup red wine, all dry herbs and sundried tomatoes. Whisk until incorporated and add crumbled gorgonzola, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
4) Drizzle dressing on greens and enjoy.