Chef Chat

Chef Chat: Lisa Hedrick

We caught the ever-busy Lisa Hedrick of Hedrick Gourmet Group for a quick chat about which catering options are hitting it big this season. With the economy strapped, Lisa wanted to talk about how to make your dollar stretch and still have a good time.

Eating Our Words: You've been catering for over ten years. Have you seen a transition in this time in the way parties are organized?

Lisa Hedrick: I noticed clients are wanting a stress-free, all-inclusive event. They would rather book one person instead of each individual vendor at their party. So now they hire me to handle the entire event and make their party rock.

EOW: Any tips for finding the right venue for a company party? What about private parties? Do you suggest different venues for different events?

LH: It depends on the mood and atmosphere the clients are wanting for their event. Smaller, intimate parties are great in your own home, as long you create the right environment. I think it is important to play off your personality and taste for your menu, even though you aren't cooking personally for your party. You want your guests to feel your own unique style and taste throughout your event. Corporate parties need to acknowledge all diversity in the company. I like to cater these events with unique food stations to make each employee feel they had a part in the experience.

EOW: Any suggestions for holiday parties at home?

LH: Keep it simple and elegant: fresh ingredients, lots of herbs, great wine and good company. A perfect solution for every party you will host.

EOW: Do you have a good recipe for our Super Bowl party?

LH: Sure. Here is something everyone can enjoy.

Lisa's Smashed Potato Bar

  • Bake potatoes and a head of garlic at 350 for 2 hours (depending on size).
  • Peel and scoop out the potato pulp.
  • In a large bowl combine potato, roasted garlic, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and pats of real butter.
  • Mash with potato masher.
  • Set individual bowls with condiments: sour cream, fresh bacon bits, chopped chives, and any protein: chicken, barbecue brisket, turkey, etc.
  • Serve in individual parfait or martini glasses and have guests build their own smashed potatoes.
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