Dish Food & Events is relatively new to the wedding scene in New York–they opened in 2007–but they’ve already had huge success, booking weddings at venues throughout the city. At Wedding Crashers their delicious offerings included Zucchini Bisque Shooters, Mini Fried Chicken & Waffles, Tuna Crudo, and Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cups. We asked founder and owner Ryan Corvaia about his style and advice on choosing a caterer.
How does your background as a Broadway stage manager help you run a catering business?
Producing theatre and producing catered events are both a collaborative art. All kinds of clients, designers and vendors come together to put on one big live show, whether it be a wedding for 200 or a musical on the Broadway stage.
Your executive chef, Matthew Hutchins, has a distinguished background as a pastry chef. How does that influence his style of overall catering?
Chef Matt brings to Dish many years of creating beautiful wedding cakes for wedding couples all over New York City. He understands what couples and their guests are looking for in their menus and ultimately on the day of their wedding. This is certainly reflected in the approachable, crowd-pleasing food he creates for each and every event.
You offer full-service planning for weddings; tell us a bit about how that works.
Full service means we take care of our clients in every way. Since most couples hire their caterer soon after they find their venue there are still many more elements of a wedding to bring together. We work with our clients connecting them with vendors that we trust and know do fabulous work. Then we work with the client and those vendors in planning every detail of the event up until the special day.
Tell us about the process you go through to create customized menus and aesthetics for weddings.
After we speak with our clients about their tastes and style, we make menu recommendations that we feel best fit them and theirs guests. We then work with the couple to customize the menu the menu with personal touches while incorporating the overall aesthetic and look of the wedding.
What would you consider your signature dish or style?
Kicked up comfort food with a bit of rustic Italian flare.
What’s the most important factor couples should consider when choosing a caterer?
Quite simply, make sure you “hit it off” with your caterer or event coordinator on a personal as well as professional level. You are putting a lot of trust in them on an important day and you should be comfortable talking about every aspect of your event.
How are you influenced by different venues, other vendors, and the couples themselves when working a wedding?
Ultimately I think the couple’s tastes and styles define the overall look of their event but we always make recommendations based on our experience of what we feel looks, feels and tastes best in the chosen venue.
What are the pros and cons of different service styles: sit-down, buffet, stations, passed hors d’oeuvres?
It’s a personal choice and I don’t think one style of service is better than the other. My biggest advice here would be if you want the style of your wedding to feel like a big cocktail party, you should just make sure you provide enough food options to make a “dinner.”
What’s the weirdest food request you’ve ever done for a wedding?
Not exactly a food request but one of our favorite wedding couple’s very well behaved dog, Marcel, was a big part of their wedding. From the ceremony to the silhouette cut out cake topper, Marcel was included everywhere!
What is one big mistake you’d like to see couples avoid when it comes to catering?
Make sure when you choose your venue, you understand all of the additional elements you need to budget for and bring in to the space. This includes everything from your caterer to furniture and other rental equipment.
What’s your favorite part of this business?
Successful, beautiful events with happy guests and satisfied clients is such a great feeling. Working around great food on a daily basis isn’t so bad either.