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We had such a great time in our PhotoBoo

April 4, 2016

We had such a great time in our PhotoBooth with DIWAS a few weeks ago and we want to share the experience with YOU! Come snap a few pics with us at our #BourbonBaconBloom event April 7th at At Sanctuary

ANNOUNCEMENT: Sanctuary At Admiral has b

March 2, 2016

Sanctuary At Admiral has been voted one of Seattle’s Best Most Unique Venues!!!
Thank you all who voted. We are so excited.

Are you coming to see us @OneLoveSeattle

February 19, 2016

Are you coming to see us @OneLoveSeattle on Sunday? We are going to be servings some great food, and there will be a secret take home gift for those who show their smiling facing!!
It’s not too late to registration for FREE!
#FoodzCatering #EventProfs #Love #Wedding

I Love The Fremont Foundry

November 11, 2015

Fremont Foundry Foodz Catering

The Fremont Foundry is one of my new favorite event venues in Seattle. Located just west off Aurora Avenue in the fun urban-suburban Fremont area, it evokes a modern industrial atmosphere that is eclectic, fun and stylish.

I got my first look at the Fremont Foundry when I attended an ISES (International Special Events Society) open house there. Following a great conversation with Dani, the venue manager, I was given a little tour, and fell completely in love.

Fremont Foundry venue space

The building was once a working fine arts foundry. Its artists were the ones that made Fremont’s Lenin statue, and Capitol Hill’s Jimmy Hendrix sculpture. Now the cement facility has been retrofitted and spiced up with modern amenities to serve as an events venue, completely with a large outdoor deck that’s perfect for weddings with a view.

Fremont Foundry venue deck view

After entering the building you turn right into the atrium. Its 20 foot ceilings with exposed beams and a great skylight allows natural light to pour into the space, making it seem expansive yet warm and inviting.

Fremoht Foundry event catering glenmorangie
Glenmorangie event held at Fremont Foundry and catered by Foodz Catering

Hardwood floors continue into the old art studio, which features a glass garage door that can be opened during events to allow guests to enjoy the outside. It also enables caterers better access for bringing their tasty treats into the fantastic modern kitchen—which is a joy to work in, by the way!

Fremont Foundry atrium-studio

After the ISES event, I went back to the foundry and met up with Dani again. I told her how much I loved the overall space with its stunning atrium, and how the stacked ovens in the kitchen made me giddy. Without missing a beat Dani looked back and me and said “We love you too and would love to add you to our preferred caterers list…” And that was the beginning of our beautiful relationship.

Foodz Catering Chef Laraine

Since then, Foodz Catering has done a corporate launch party for Glenmorangie in September, then in October we were a part of the Northlake Wedding and Events Tour, where we got to really show off some Foodz flare.

Fremont Foundry salad-magnetic buffet

We debuted our new floating buffets, our salad wall, and our vertical magnetic buffet. We also brought along some of our old favorites, like the cocktail wall, and the anti-griddle.

Foodz Catering suspended_tables_sliders

The Glenmorangie event and the Northlake Wedding and Events Tour are only the start of what we see as a blooming relationship with the Fremont Foundry. We have already booked several weddings, parties, and corporate events there for the coming year. And, let me be the first to say, we are SO excited.

Fremont Foundry chocolate bites
Hors d’oeuvres from the Northlake Wedding Tour

The majority of these photos are used with permission from, and gratitude to, Alante Photography.

Top Catering Trends and Food Fads of 2015

April 21, 2015

Shelby at ISES 2015
Photo by Mike Nakamura Photography: website | facebook

Recently I had the honor of presenting to the members of ISES (International Special Events Society) about the top catering trends and food fads of 2015. Joining me was Chef Jonathan Zimmer of Lisa Dupar Catering. Below is an overview of our presentation:

What is a trend?

It’s a popular item in our culture that is widely known, accepted and that people are excited about.

What’s the difference between a trend and a fad? A trend lasts about 10 years, whereas a fad is usually only popular for a couple years. But fads are like “seeds” in a garden… those that take root and survive become trends.

And a trend, if it lasts longer than 10 years, eventually becomes a classic—something that ends up lasting forever.

Where do trends come from?

These days social media (especially platforms targeted to “foodies”) plays a huge influence. Photos of delectable food (often with accompanying recipes) posted on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter, and smart phone apps like FoodSpotting, FoodGawker and TasteSpotting are some of the biggest drivers of both fads and trends today.

Fanning the social flames are the literally hundreds of thousands of food blogs (covering just about every food ethnicity, dietary restriction, and eating preference), restaurant reviewers from local media like Seattle Times, Seattle Met and Seattle Magazine, not to mention recipe apps, countless food TV shows, recipe websites like Epicurious and, and food magazines (each with their associated website) including Saveur, Bon Appetit, and Gourmet.

So what are the resulting catering fads and trends this year?

What’s hot in catering for 2015


Biscuits combined

Sliders Cider combined
Sliders with Microbrews and/or Cider

Ethnic Rice
Ethnic Rice

  • Sushi Martini
  • Risotto
  • Fried Rice or Asian Rice
  • Indian Rice (biryani and curries)
  • Paella
  • Black Rice
  • Red Rice

Upscale Comfort
Upscale Comfort Food

  • Gourmet Tater Tots
  • Gourmet Mac n’ Cheese

Continuing Trends in Catering

Sustainable combined

  • Restaurant gardens / growing our own food / roof top gardens: this is huge and still on the rise
  • Seafood accountability: meeting today’s needs without compromising the future

Local food combined

  • Tell the story of the food and where it came from
  • Embrace and utilize your local community

Farm to Table Wedding
Farm to Table Menus

  • A style of cooking
  • A menu driven by seasonal food – like Swiss Chard, Kale and Root Vegetables in the Winter

Family Style Catered dinner Seattle Foodz
Family style

Catering Chef Bar Action Station CIY Food Seattle
Action stations featuring…

  • Small entrees
  • Designed by the guests “my way”
  • Personal choice

Seattle Caterer Small Plates
Small portions/plates featuring

  • Mini “food martinis”
  • Demitasse cups
  • Shot glasses
  • Asian soup spoons

Gluten free caterer seattle
Dietary Restrictions / Gluten-Free / Lactose free

  • So many ways to get creative!
  • Non-wheat flour: peanut, millet, barley
  • Ancient grains: kamut, spelt, amaranth
  • Dairy alternatives: almond milk, cashew milk, rice milk, coconut milk

Vegetarian caterer seattle
Vegetarian – Flexitarian Menus

  • Mindfully choosing to embrace less protein and more vegetables
  • Dedication to wellness, and a cleaner, fresher “quality of life”
  • Kale and brussel sprouts

Whiskey desserts
Whiskey and Bourbon
It’s everywhere… from cocktails to desserts!

Molecular cooking catering seattle
Molecular Gastronomy

  • Sous-vide
  • Anti-griddle (we’re having fun with ours!)
  • Liquid nitrogen freezing
  • Smoking

Pickled vegetables sauer kraut catering
Pickled and Fermented foods

Macarons caterer seattle dessert

Possible upcoming catering trends…

  • Beets
  • Lamb as the next great protein of choice
  • Octopus
  • Sake
  • Ethnic Cuisines
    • Korean
    • Soul
    • Creole
    • Peruvian

Fads that have gone by the wayside…

  • Green Tea infusions and Tea Cocktails
  • Ice cubes infused with herbs, fruits, smoke
  • Ice cream sandwiches
  • Dessert pizzas
  • Nutella, fruit
  • Cronuts

Vendor Spotlight: The Flower Lab in West Seattle

April 14, 2015

Recently I had the pleasure of lunching with Wendy Damoth here at our restaurant, Zinnia Bistro. Wendy is the owner of The Flower Lab, a delightful floral shop located in the Admiral District of West Seattle… just a stone’s throw away from our venue, Sanctuary at Admiral.


The Flower Lab West Seattle_0089

Wendy purchased the shop in 2011, when the owner, Linda Harader, decided to retire. “I was an employee for many years and really didn’t want to change jobs… so I bought the shop.” She then waited about a year before changing its name to The Flower Lab, “to let people get used to the change in ownership.”

The Flower Lab West Seattle_0039What does The Flower Lab have to offer?

We do all types of events, from Corporate Meetings to Holiday Parties, and every occasion including Births, Weddings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, and the passing of a loved one. We feel it’s our calling to express the emotion of the occasion—whether great joy or deep sorrow—through flowers… and work diligently to make the vision of our clients come true.

What inspires you?

“Weird things,” says Wendy with a laugh. “I love seeing the potential in things other people have discarded, like beautiful Hazelnut branches someone has cut down… I can make fantastic décor with Hazelnut branches.”

“I also am inspired by my staff. They are artists. I am so impressed with what they can do. Katie can do chalkboard art, Tahmina can take a thought and turn it into an amazing event prop (e.g., the mountains and elephants she’s done in the past for Foodz Catering), using a variety of creative and recycled products.”

The Flower Lab West Seattle_0088What do you see in floral trends for 2015?

It’s exciting, people are spending a bit more and less do-it-yourself brides are coming into the shop. As far as design, we are still seeing the natural look with moss and branches.

What is your favorite type of client or event?

I love events with a cool but challenging theme. I love a client that can explain their vision and then allows us to create from that point within the budget—someone with the trust to tell us the look they want and the colors and then let us do what we do best.

What’s your business philosophy?

Finding creative, beautiful ways to serve my community… I love being involved in my neighborhood!

The Flower Lab

2600 California Avenue SW
Seattle, Washington
(206) 935-2587

Chef’s New Toy… the Anti-Griddle!

October 30, 2014

I have wanted an Anti-Griddle for about 2 or 3 years now. I think they are amazing, weird and fun! I just needed to convince a client to have one during their event in order to justify buying one. Finally after a client showed some interest, we decided to take the plunge… and we haven’t looked back since.

Shelby Anti Griddle-5

What is an Anti-Griddle?

Basically it’s an electric machine with a flat surface that freezes on contact. I describe it this way: “You know how a griddle heats up a flat surface on which you can cook pancakes? The Anti-Griddle is just the opposite: it ‘cooks’ by freezing on contact.”

JethroFreezing = Cooking? Yes, I know it sounds weird but when you change the molecular structure of an item, that is the essential definition of ‘cooking.’ It’s a whole new world called Molecular Gastronomy and I am so excited! Molecular Gastronomy is like a new playground for chefs—the practical applications of which are still yet to be fully discovered. Its all pretty fascinating however.

I was lucky enough recently to meet Jethro from Jet City Gastro Physics (pictured at right) who came over to help us work on some fun things. It was like science class only yummier. We spent an entire afternoon playing with all sorts of new techniques. When I told him about my fascination with the Anti-Griddle, he and I made a “poor mans’ anti-griddle” using dry ice. If you’d like to give it a try too, check out this “how to” article on his blog.

The best practical use of an Anti-Griddle is sweet applications. Says Jethro, “if that requires eating more chocolate, strawberries and honey, well then, call me a research scientist.” Here at Foodz Catering, we’ve been having all sorts of fun with frozen lollipops… including Pumpkin Agave Lollipops, and Honey Lollipops with Cinnamon at a couple of our recent events. Curious to try? It’s easy…


Frozen Lollipops on an Anti-Griddle

Start by using a custard base (Crème Anglaise) and flavor it to your preferences (or in our case, to meet the theme of the event). Just imagine… Mocha Lollipops, Vanilla Chai Tea Lollipops, or get a little more creative using a sugar syrup base for Strawberry Daiquiri Lollipops or Margarita Lollipops. You could incorporate Greek Yogurt, you could add ‘mix ins’ like mini chocolate chips or crushed peppermint. With so much room to explore, it’s pretty easy to match the season or the theme of any event.

Savory Hors D’Oeuvres Using the Anti-Griddle

Last week however, we pulled out all the stops at the Northwest Event Show with a savory application—an hors d’oeuvre I dreamed up ages ago and finally had an opportunity to try.


Behold, Frozen Gorgonzola Mousse topping a warm Fig Compote Crostini! Hot, cold, crunchy and sweet—all in one bite. It was fun and a bit out there for sure… and the guests couldn’t stop swooning. While most events don’t call for something that innovative (i.e., crazy), it certainly worked in that setting.

As you can see, the list of possibilities using the Anti-Griddle is endless. Let me know if you have an idea—I love nothing more than being inspired by my client’s needs and visions of what they want for their events!

Award-Winning Caterer for Seattle’s Affordable Art Fair 2013

March 8, 2014


In 2012, the worldwide production of Affordable Art Fair came to Seattle for the first time, with an inaugural event planned in November.

Somehow, something had gone awry with their “pop-up café” plans—their caterer had fallen through… and that’s when we got the call: they needed a top-notch caterer to take on a last-minute, large-scale, first-time-ever, highly anticipated gig. And they wanted us!

We were deeply honored, and immediately began researching how we could pull off something so grand in so short a time. As a company, we do many first-of-its-kind events: huge galas, large public and corporate events, fundraisers, and even weddings. We are not only used to doing new and exciting events, we do them very well.

AAF Veggie Sandwich

However, with just 3 weeks to plan and execute the event (in the middle of an already jam-packed schedule), we knew it wasn’t possible this time. Circumstances were too unfavorable. Timelines were too tight. It’s not easy turning down a fair that’s estimating 8,000 guests, and we made the decision only after careful deliberation.

But right away, we began to lay the ground work for securing the event when it returned to Seattle in 2013… creating delightful menus and providing tasty samplings of our delicious menus, getting to know the New York-based production team, and creating enthusiasm and buzz for our company.


Sure enough, they came knocking on our door again—a full 5 months before the second fair. And this time we were ready. We’d put together a “Pop-Up Café” with a menu to rival both the flavor profiles and the price point of their New York caterer, and topped off our offerings by including clever service items like “paint can” salad containers and “paintbrush” desserts.


As if that wasn’t enough, we enticed them with our construction of a “Cocktail Wall” that would actually replace two of their exhibition walls (we ordered the same exact color of paint to match): it looked like four lit paintings with spigots attached to them. The “paintings” were actually tanks filled with liquid refreshments that enhanced the theme and décor of the show, which we hoped (and it proved) to generate comments galore.


The Affordable Art Fair brings art to everyday people by offering both worldwide and local artists an opportunity to sell their art around the globe, with pieces ranging from $100 to $10,000. The primary objective for our client was to produce a high-end, delicious, art-inspired, New York City-worthy “pop-up café” to match the caliber and visual appeal of the world-class art they were displaying and selling.


Working with a long-distance client can be challenging, especially when you are a new-to-them caterer and this is only their second event in this city. But through careful consideration and actually turning down the first year’s show–combined with great service, respect, and an understanding of what the clients needed—we were able to clear potential hurdles. Constant communication with specific details helped along the way and the “wow” factor of the Cocktail Wall put us over the top.

ISES ECAA Award night

We couldn’t help but smile every time we heard, over and over again: “See you next year!”

But our smiles grew even bigger when we took the award at ISES’ Emerald City Applause Award festival for “Best Fair / Festival” on this event! Yup, our team rocks. 🙂

Emerald City Applause Award 2013

What to Expect When You’re Expecting… A Wedding

August 26, 2013

Original article by BitchlessBride

Expect wedding-1

I am so completely in love with all of the glitz and glam of this beautiful wedding! Brittany, the bride, envisioned a very lovely, completely timeless and classy affair… And you know what? She pulled it off beautifully! “Putting on the Ritz” style baby! Brittany and Aubin’s wedding day was on Jan 4th, and it was important for them to keep the holiday vibe going with glitter, the many shades of champagne, silver and gold, and a lot of candles to create a sexy and fun ambiance.

Seriously, how cool is it that they had two different bands? Right? The layout of the venue was such that it lent itself well to the two bands, one a jazz 1920’s style band, Miss Rose and her Percolators, which played upstairs during the dinner, and Van Eps rocked it downstairs in the “speakeasy lounge”.

But… I must say, although I have heard it before, I am always surprised when a bride compares the intensity of her wedding plans to the intensity of of planning for a baby… She mentions this twice! Hmmm… leads me to wonder… Following the honeymoon, does baby make three? Only Brittany can answer that one!

Enjoy this fabulous wedding!

1. Bridey, how did you meet your spouse? (The short and sweet version please.)

I had joined a putt putt golf league, and two of my teammates worked with Aubin. We ended up meeting through those friend’s gatherings.

Expect wedding-2

Expect wedding-3

2. How long were you together before you were engaged?

Two years… Seemed like a lifetime for some reason. 

Expect wedding 4

Expect wedding 6-

Expect wedding 7

(Right before the ceremony, Aubin had a surprise gift delivered to Brittany…)

3. What was the length of time between the engagement and the wedding?

Expect wedding 8

Expect wedding 9

One year… Actually, a good friend of mine pointed out that you have more time to plan for a wedding than you do for a child. Granted we weren’t ‘trying’ to get pregnant, but it’s definitely a crazy thought… 

4. Where did your wedding take place?

Expect wedding 10

Expect wedding 11

Expect wedding 12

The ceremony was at our church, Holy Rosary, and the reception at Sanctuary at Admiral West Seattle, WA. 

(Brittany and Aubin didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony, so the photographers blind folded him…)

5. If you don’t mind my asking, what was your budget, and where did you choose to spend most of it?

Expect wedding 13

Our budget was approximately $22,000 and we did have some help from our parents (so grateful!). The majority of the budget was spent on the catering and the photographer, and both were worth every penny!

Expect wedding 14

(The couple had their adorable dog Ivan present for the reception. He even made his way to the photo booth!)

Ex[ect wedding 15

(The wedding cake made by Lady Yum was a hit! It was a coconut Italian meringue cake, adorned with edible glitter covered fruit.)

Expect wedding 16

6. If you had to rate your wedding planning experience on a scale of one to ten with one being shitty, and ten being awesome, how would you rate it?

Personally I hated wedding planning. I’d give it a four, not because of my vendors, but just in general I’d rather work at my job and have others handle everything else. Even with a wedding coordinator, there were so many things that only I could take care of… (Side note – my planner was fabulous! She put the cherry on top of the wedding and was so kind every step of the way!)

Expect wedding 17

(Brittany made her escort cards, and the snowy display.)

Expect wedding 18

(Aubin’s mother (the groom) is an art teacher, and she put her students to work by creating the silver glitter ball ornaments that were on each guest’s place setting.)

Expect wedding 19

(Brittany and her MOH made the card box.)

7. What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process? Least fave?

Dress shopping was my favorite, and my least favorite was trying to lose weight or stay fit for my post holiday wedding.

Expect wedding 20

8. Did anything go wrong (that you were aware of) at your wedding? If so, we’d love to hear about it.

My brother shared a not so flattering bathroom humor story during his toast. Word to the wise… Have someone manning the mic audio feed and have a hand signal if things start to go south. 

Expect wedding 21

9. What was the biggest challenge you faced from the moment you were engaged to the day you walked down the aisle?

Completing the tasks associated with each vendor also initially I hadn’t shared my ‘true vision ‘ of the wedding with my then fiancé. We finally had a big blow up fight, and after that, we went through all the things I had in mind for the wedding start to finish (and he took notes). I was able to share the work-load with my fiancé. Divide and conquer!  

Expect wedding 22

(The grand entrance was classic! The couple made an appearance from the upstairs balcony so everyone could see!)

10. What advice do you wish you had before started planning your wedding?

Expect wedding 23

I wish I had read a book to help me with what to expect during the wedding planning. The book name seriously could have been, ” What to Expect When you are Expecting… A Wedding! “ 

Expect wedding 24

11. Looking back, would you have done anything differently?

Not a damn thing! 

Expect wedding 25

12. Bridey, please provide the most valuable lesson you learned while planning your wedding.

We learned that when we were having troubles, or some sort of drama reared its ugly head, we needed to stop and ask ourselves what WE really wanted, and be sure to keep OUR goals in line… A lesson that should be applied to our marriage as well!

Industry Peeps: 

Ceremony VenueHoly Rosary
Reception VenueSanctuary at Admiral
CateringFoodz Catering
Wedding PlannerSimply by Tamara Nicole
PhotographerBlue Rose Photography
FloristFlower Lab
BandsMiss Rose & Her Rhythm Percolators & Van Eps
Wedding CakeLady Yum
Wedding DressPrincess Bride
Bridesmaid DressesNordstrom

How to Saber a Champagne Bottle

June 21, 2013

Calling all Champagne Ninjas

Have you ever watched someone open a bottle of champagne with a huge saber (or even the back of a big kitchen knife)…? Have you ever wondered how to do it yourself? This blog post is for you…

I first learned about opening a champagne bottle with a saber a few years ago. The famous event planner Colin Cowie mentioned it in a speech I heard him give at a conference I was attending, and ever since then I have fantasized about trying it.

Johnny Depp SwordA few months ago I was wandering around a curio shop in Pike Place Market with my oldest son when he spotted this amazing saber. It’s very ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’—complete with a curved guard and long sheath. He knew I always wanted one and was pretty excited to point it out to me.

We took it out of the case and both drooled a bit. But still I wasn’t sure. I didn’t have a lot of confidence that I could actually open a bottle with a sword! I mean – could I really do it?

My son saw my hesitation. It was close to his birthday and after a pause he said “MOM! This is it! We can throw a Fruit Ninja party for my birthday!”


Well, that sealed it for me—I’m a sucker for a good party theme and he knows it—I bought it on the spot. (For those of you not already in the know, Fruit Ninja is a video game where the Ninja game character slays fruits and vegetables for points.)

On the day of the party I brought home 4 cases of fruits and vegetables. We tossed them from an upper level down into the yard where we took turns wielding the sword against the enemy fruits and vegetables. I have to say the boys were pretty good and it was really, really fun. Afterward the yard looked like we had made a large chop chop salad for some really big giant.

Shelby saber champagne edited“Pop ~ Whoosh”

A few weeks later I got to try it at a wedding and boy, was I nervous.

I had watched several YouTube videos on the subject but doing it in real life was something altogether different. The night before I did a test run to see if it would work. It was a little awkward but after a few attempts – POP! off it came. So I decided to go for it.

The brides did not know I was planning to do this so it was a surprise for them. After the ceremony they made their way back down the aisle. I stood above the crowd on the rim of a garden bed, turned away from the crowd and gave it a try.

Again, it took me a few tries but it was sure exciting to see it fly when it worked! Now that I have done it a few times I am happy to offer it to you at your next outdoor event.

How to Saber Champagne

First, an important word of caution: opening a champagne bottle with a saber is only safe in an outdoor location. Since the force is so great you need to be able to let the cork fly where no person, pet, glass window, floral arrangement, or wedding cake can get hit by it.

1.  Make sure the champagne is very cold.

2.  Remove the foil and the wire “cage” from the top of the bottle.

1 Locate seam

3.  Find the weak spot on the bottle. This is located along the seam: glass bottles are formed in 2 halves and then bonded together. This seam is the weak spot where you need to focus the saber.

2 Hold from below

4. Hold the bottle in one hand, pointing the cork away from your body at a 45° angle. Place your thumb in the deep indentation on the bottom of the bottle so you can hold it firmly.

5. Point the bottle away from people, pets, and other valuable objects.

3 Keep arm straight

6. Using your other hand, hold the saber firmly with a straight arm.

4 Hit it here

7. Take a deep breath, and run the sword quickly up the side of the bottle, from the bottom to the top, along the seam, using a  strong, straight movement.

Be sure to not drop your arm—the motion must be straight.

6 Knife cut top champagne Some glass with cork

When your sword (or saber) touches the rim of the lip of the bottle from below, right at that weak spot,  the top will break off, taking the cork along with it. The force of the cork flying out helps pull the glass rim along with it.

5 Headless bottle

Allow some champagne to flow out before you pour into glasses to make sure any possible shards remaining inside have had a chance to escape.

7 Bottle, blade and cork

Congratulations, you are now a Champagne Ninja!