Vendor Spotlight: Heather of Bar Harbor Catering Company

Studio MSV Photography - Bar Harbor Catering Company at French's Point - Wedding Planning Service - Coastal Maine Catering

“At Bar Harbor Catering Company, we’re foodies with an extreme case of wanderlust. Our mission is to produce extraordinary events with legendary customer service and modern Maine cuisine, created by happy people.” – Bar Harbor Catering Company

 

How long have you been operating your business?

2009 – we’re celebrating our 10 year anniversary this year!

 

How would you describe your services?

BHCC has grown into a full-service catering and event planning company focusing on the client and their overall experience, not only on the event day but in the months and even years leading up to an event. BHCC’s team spends time getting to know each client and then creates unique experiences based on their dreams and expectations. In the kitchen, our commitment to quality ingredients is essential. We utilize local organic produce whenever possible and source sustainable ingredients from local farms.

 

What makes your work unique?

We live by the saying “good enough is not enough.” This reaches beyond the dining experience at events. From the initial planning process and venue site visits to how we train and develop each of our team members to event design and creation, we never settle for mediocrity.

  • Woman-owned and run
  • Specialize in one-on-one style service
  • Offer ​additional substantial benefits​ to booking our services
  • Community involvement
  • Locally sourced ingredients, work with farms to bring farm to table style offerings
  • Compost and recycling program, ​Sustainable Business Pledge
  • Different is the new normal
  • Gaining popularity, our private event chefs serve restaurant quality food in small, unique settings

 

How would you describe your style?

We pride ourselves on forging our own path, taking cues from the old, new, textured, traditional, nontraditional, unconventional, and everything in between. We also look to where we live for A LOT of our style inspiration. Extra touches, which are above and beyond the expected, make each event even more special and unique. We go where each client’s event goes – be that at a campground, an estate perched on a cliff, a rustic farmhouse, or anywhere in between.

For anyone planning a wedding or major event, one of the most alluring qualities of this place is the beautiful backdrops. The evergreen forests hugging the cragged shores, the fields full of lupines that, at night, dance beneath one of the darkest night skies you’ll ever see, and the way the sea, lakes, rivers, streams, mountains, and wide open spaces all come together in one place. It’s simply magical. The natural, authentic rugged elegance of Maine is one of BHCC’s specialties.

We also do a lot of travel worldwide to keep the seasons of our craft fresh and growing!

 

How would you describe your ideal client?

Any client is our ideal client. As cheesy as that sounds, we love working with clients, no matter whether they have any ideas about their event or none at all – getting to know them is one of our favorite parts of the planning process! Although, a love of food is a must! If great food (and service) isn’t a priority for a particular couple, we likely won’t be a good fit for their event.

 

What is your favorite moment on the wedding day?

I’m a total sucker for when the couple sees one another for the first time. The raw emotional beauty of that unveiling is so wondrous. My second favorite, which is a close second, is that moment when the couple looks around in awe and just basks in the love of having their family and friends gathered in one place to celebrate their marriage. Because, there’s always that moment – when they’re sitting down to listen to toasts or when they’ve finished eating a bite to eat and they look around at everyone gathered…I always feel truly honored to witness that moment.

 

What is your favorite day trip in Maine?

One of my go-to ways to relax is to head into the woods for a long walk or hike. Living so close to Acadia National Park, this is certainly easy enough to do, but I love to escape to a more remote location. Moosehead Lake has been a very special spot for me for nearly 25 years. Whether I’m exploring the woods, kayaking on the lake, or laying on the beach staring up at the stars, it’s where I always feel the most at peace.

Studio MSV Photography - French's Point Rehearsal Dinner - Heather of Bar Harbor Catering Company - Maine Wedding VendorHeather of Bar Harbor Catering Company - Maine Wedding Planning & Catering - French's PointHeather of Bar Harbor Catering Company - Maine Wedding Planning & Catering - French's PointHeather of Bar Harbor Catering Company - Maine Wedding Planning & Catering - French's Point Heather of Bar Harbor Catering Company - Maine Wedding Planning & Catering - French's PointHeather of Bar Harbor Catering Company - Maine Wedding Planning & Catering - French's Point

Owner Name: Mandy Fountaine

Planner Name: Heather Anderson

Business Name: Bar Harbor Catering Company

Address: PO Box 748

City/State/Zip: Bar Harbor, ME 04609 Phone: 207.801.9382

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.bhcaterco.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bhcaterco/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bhcaterco

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bhcaterco/

 

Photography by Jenny Smith & Co

Vendor Spotlight: Dandelion Catering Co.

French’s Point Estate is thrilled to continue a new series of blog posts spotlighting amazing Maine wedding vendors that help to make weddings at our waterfront wedding venue not only successful but truly the embodiment of the experience our clients strive to craft for their family and friends. This series will showcase some of the best providers from our vibrant, talented, dedicated wedding industry community we are so proud to be a part of here in Maine and New England. This group of professional wedding vendors understands and adheres to our guiding principles for the service we endeavor to provide our clients: Be Responsive, Be Kind, Provide Excellent Customer Service, Provide the Very Best Product/Service. Because of these wonderful people, the celebrations here are French’s Point Estate are the stuff of which dreams are made!

I consider myself blessed, for many reasons. One of the things of which I am most grateful is the amazing, crazy-talented, wedding vendors we have here in Maine that are dedicated to providing the best service and experience to couples choosing to marry in Maine! This could not be more true of one of my favorite catering companies: Dandelion Catering Co. I describe owners, Christian and Christine Hayes, to my couples as passionate, professional, rock-star food artists with the best quality food and service available in new England. They have built a kick-butt business while raising a beautiful family, two things of which they can be very proud Heck, I am proud just to know them! Their food is carefully sourced, always fresh, handmade, thoughtfully prepared and artfully and authentically presented. Their staff has an ever-present team mentality… and they work HARD for their clients and with the rest of the vendors on your wedding team. Each time we get to partner with Dandelion Catering, my soul shines a little brighter. I know all of my clients that choose them will have the very best experience. Just take a look at their reviews. Follow them on social media… their food photos are drool-inducing.

Unique. No smoke and mirrors, just a pure passion for cooking, food, community, family and service. Meet Dandelion Catering.

What inspired your passion for catering?

CHRISTINE: I ’ve always loved entertaining. I was passionate about food (I went to culinary school) and the idea of combining food and entertaining people was really appealing. I started working in the catering industry in college, as a server, and it was so much fun. I loved going to different places and being involved in these really big celebrations. I just sort of fell in love with it.

CHRISTIAN: I think, for me, it’s a couple things. After working in restaurant kitchens, I began to really appreciate the settings that catering events allowed us to work within. To be able to lift your head while searing a piece of fish and see the rocky coast and ocean that the fish came from, directly on the other side of your burner, is pretty surreal. After working in windowless kitchens for 12 hour shifts, it’s quite a dichotomy between the two environments.

Also, another factor is that most times we are working for clients on one of the happiest days of their lives after working with them for, sometimes, a year and a half in advance. There’s a different type of connection there than what you would get with a diner in a restaurant. Your relationship with them grows through the planning process, and you truly feel like a part of the celebration, and the food shows that. I can think of so many times I’ve seen Christine get teary­eyed after watching a couple tie the knot. It’s awesome.

What food items would you suggest to a client hosting a destination wedding in Maine?

CHRISTINE: Incorporating lobster (whether in a creative appetizer or the more classic lobster roll or lobster bake) is the obvious choice, and the seafood in general is fantastic here. Then there are some other standout seasonal ingredients that we love to use; things like heirloom tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries. We love including these items in a unique way on a couple’s menu.

CHRISTIAN: Definitely seafood. Every week we are getting fresh fish in, from giant Maine mussels to filets, lobsters, clams, scallops, even Maine seaweed for salad. I think if you are truly making Maine your destination wedding location, then that’s the obvious direction. We understand that large groups of people who aren’t from this region might not share an all encompassing love for seafood, though, so it’s all about creating a menu that incorporates it but also allows for our other amazing resources to shine through. From amazing produce to Maine lamb, foraged mushrooms, dairy and cheeses, and of course, the hogs, we’ve got something for everyone.

Please describe your ideal client.

CHRISTINE: We love working collaboratively with couples to create a menu and service that is unique to their tastes and celebration. We’re happiest when clients provide us with some direction on their favorite dishes, but also trust our style and expertise. Working with folks who have a similar passion for food and eating well is always a treat.

CHRISTIAN: I agree. In a perfect world, the client has checked us out a bit on our website and Facebook, and has gotten an initial understanding of who we are, because I feel like that goes a long way. It helps to understand where we’ve come from, what we do, and what our philosophy is behind running a business and working with food. I think we’ve done a great job of painting an online presence that represents truly who we are, and what’s important to us.

How would you describe your wedding fare and service style?

CHRISTINE: We focus on highlighting local and seasonal ingredients. There are a ton of small scale family farms in Maine that are doing incredible things with livestock and produce and it’s our pleasure to be able to support them. While we do occasionally source from outside of Maine to accommodate special menu requests, our typical menus tend to highlight those local ingredients and we encourage our clients to embrace that.

With our staff, we aim to strike a good balance of providing excellent service and personable, light­hearted attitude. After all, weddings are joyful occasions and we want to contribute to that atmosphere. Most of our waitstaff has been with us for many seasons and we’ve cultivated a really fantastic, friendly team of very hard workers. We get a lot of feedback from couples that our staff not only provides a great service, but also contributes to the celebration.

CHRISTIAN: I think our food is incredibly simple and fresh, but with character and personality. No smoke and mirrors. I would much rather cook, serve, and eat a Julia Child dish than something with modern gastronomic tricks like foams and tweezer placed parsley. We offer a rustic and wholesome portion coupled with a refined aesthetic that I’m super proud of. Colorful, beautiful food that allows its fresh ingredients to do the talking.

Our service is amazing. Over the years we have grown a team of invested, brilliant people who care about the company and client alike, and that is reflected in our execution. It’s enormously humbling to see people care about providing a quality service like they do.

Please provide an all inclusive sample menu with pricing per person for hors d’oeuvres and a two-course, seated, plated meal.

Below is an example of a menu that we might suggest for a summer wedding on the coast of Maine. Please inquire for pricing!

Stationary Hors d’oeuvres

Cheese Board: wide variety of artisan cheeses, crackers, grissini, herbed and peppered salamis, chorizo, sopressata, smoked mussels, pickles, nuts, olives, melon and fruit, preserves, spinach artichoke dip, freshly baked artisan bread

Passed Hors d’oeuvres

Spinach and mozzarella arancini skewer with grilled eggplant romesco and sorrel sauce
Maine lobster rangoon with balsamic chili sauce and cashew
Panko fried buttermilk rabbit rillette with onion jam

Plated Salad

Heirloom tomato wedge and chopped basil salad with pickled red onion, crumbled chevre, smashed pistachio and balsamic

Freshly baked house baguette with whipped Kate’s butter

Plated Dinner

Grilled sirloin filet with wild mushroom ragout and crispy fried shallot on potato puree

Pan seared halibut with asparagus and pea shoot, citrus braised fennel and tomato saffron mussels

Wild mushroom penne rigate with baby spinach, baby kale, caramelized cipollini, toasted pine nut, and house­made ricotta

 

Dandelion Catering Co.
Yarmouth, ME
(207) 847-0023
dandelioncatering.com
[email protected]

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All photos by Emilie, Inc. 

Vendor Spotlight: Dandelion Catering Co. | Photo by Emilie, Inc. Vendor Spotlight: Dandelion Catering Co. | Photo by Emilie, Inc. Vendor Spotlight: Dandelion Catering Co. | Photo by Emilie, Inc.

Lobster Series #4 : Alternatives to the Maine Lobster Bake

Photograph by Kevin A. Roberts

Quite often couples marrying at French’s Point want local lobster for dinner. What’s great about lobster is there are plenty of ways to present the shellfish. For example, at French’s Point we’ve used hundreds of different ingredients over the years in our classic lobster bakes. And once the lobster is done, there are other ways to present it as an entrée aside from the in-shell presentation, which is traditional but which can create a mess that’s inconvenient for people dressed up for the ceremony.
(If you do plan to have your guests put on a bib and crack into a lobster the old-fashioned way, make sure to warn them in advance with a note on the invitation. You want your guests to be prepared for a meal that could stain their clothes.)

Instead of offering the lobster in the shell, you could stuff ravioli with the lobster meat and serve the pasta with brown butter sauce and lemon zest. We also do a beautiful baby lobster cognac, which is cognac sauce over pasta, or you could try our miniature lobster rolls on brioche bread about the size of a half-dollar. We stuff our mini-brioche with a lemon lobster salad to create these little two-bite variations on one of Maine’s favorite lunch foods. These mini lobster rolls are great because they don’t make up an entire entrée, so you have the option of opening up your menu to something more unique or more broadly appealing for the main course. And the mini-rolls, because they require less lobster meat per person than the in-shell option, are a great cost-saving alternative that still has that fresh, summer lobster flavor.

Lobster Series #1 : How to Eat a Maine Lobster

Lobster Series #2: Options for Your Maine Wedding Menu

Lobster Series #3 : History

Jessika Brooks Brewer
CEO
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