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A new twist on catering

by Alex Millersummit daily news
Special to the Daily/Jen MillerA carving station setup at Wolf Rock Steakhouse during a recent open house for All Events & Catering at Keystone.
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KEYSTONE – One of the many results of the recession has been a scrambling of the landscape for catering businesses. A couple planning a wedding celebration, for example, may determine a high-end event based at one of the resorts is out of their price range. And like vacationers waiting until the last minute for the best deal, people planning events are delaying plans up to the 11th hour.That’s where All Events & Catering is discovering a fertile niche, according to Cheryl Walsh, who’s the event planner for the company. Functioning as the catering management arm for a host of restaurants in Summit and Eagle counties, All Events & Catering works with event planners to customize weddings, banquets and other celebrations to fit all sizes and budgets.”Not everyone wants to be in the conference center,” Walsh said during a recent tour and tasting of some of the Keystone restaurants that are part of the All Events family. “And a lot of people just aren’t planning in advance.”That can be a problem if you’re trying to book a conference center or larger hall, Walsh said, but the All Events team has a great deal more flexibility. At Keystone, Walsh recently planned a wedding that kicks off with appetizers at the Kickapoo Tavern, followed by dinner at Wolf Rock and coffee and dessert at the Inxpot.”People really like moving around to different restaurants like that,” Walsh said, adding that the variety adds to an event being more memorable. Compared to an event at the Keystone Conference Center – which is isolated from the rest of the resort – parties in River Run are in a more happening area of the resort.What’s key, Walsh said, is the ability to have at her planning disposal more than 400 employees and a half-dozen restaurants in Summit County alone. Compared to a traditional catering company that can struggle to pull together a sizable staff for a last-minute event, the existing staffs of the various restaurants are already in place and ready to go. And menus can run the gamut from as little as $10 a head up to $45.At Kickapoo Tavern, general manager Billy Wheat said they can do things as simple as hamburgers up to more high-end fare – such as a steak carving station. “We have such a great location here at the base of the ski hill, people really enjoy it,” Wheat said.Another option is Luigi’s Pasta House (formerly Paisano’s) just a few steps away. “We can seat up to 120 people here, and we’re excited do more weddings, rehearsal dinners and other events,” said GM Jason Anthony. “It can be a simple pasta for $10 a head all the way up to our veal saltimbocca.”Wolf Rock, Keystone’s popular steakhouse and brewery, has a beautiful, large dining room and other banquet rooms that makes it a good venue for weddings and other events. And whether the celebration is at one or all of the restaurants, the Inxpot is the place for the coffee and dessert afterwards. While the cafe itself can only hold a small party, Walsh said they use tents right out back to comfortably seat larger gatherings.In Breckenridge, All Events & Catering works with the Quandary Grill and Taddeos Ristorante. Over in Eagle County, the Dusty Boot in Beaver Creek and another Luigi’s in Eagle can host events.”It’s one call, and you have all these restaurants as options,” Walsh said. “All of these places are already successful at what they do, so you’re tapping into that experience.”


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