Proof of the Pudding is thrilled to be recognized this year at the 2017 Allie Awards by winning FOUR industry awards. We’re extremely proud of our team – they really are true POPstars! For the event ‘Ideas From On High’ we were recognized by winning the BEST CULINARY INNOVATION award. Enjoy today’s blog that shares some of the details that makes this an award-winning event!
For the ‘Ideas From On High‘ event, Proof of the Pudding was asked by our client to provide bar and catering, décor and rentals. We created the design of the menu and look of the space, then coordinated with the venue and client to optimize logistics. We also provided staff for the client’s sno-cone and cotton candy machines. Attendees experienced the ultimate treat at this event – a sneak peek at Atlanta’s hotly awaited rooftop attraction Skyline Park. Three weeks before the grand opening, 550 hoteliers and planners stepped into the vintage carnival park and enjoyed a thrilling evening with magnificent views and innovative food stations inspired by carnival concessions.
As guests arrived some headed directly to play on the attractions, others needed refreshments first. There was a welcoming lounge of soft seating, cocktail seating and a DJ. But what caught guests’ eyes first was the huge H-shaped food station in the center of the room. This was a seafood salad and sandwich station that our team dubbed ‘The Fishmarket.’ Offered at this station were Pretzel Rolls with Baby Portobello Mushroom Cap, Pesto, Provolone and Roasted Red Pepper; and Sandwiches of Grilled Shrimp Marinated in Cilantro. Metal tuna cans were filled with a creative deconstructed Tuna Nicoise, and House Smoked Salmon Salad on a bed of Crisp Arugula were served in bamboo boats. Around the station, paper bags of Homemade Sweet Potato Chips stood on trays to add some crunch to the meal.
A station created especially for the health-conscious crowd was our Chef’s Vegetable Garden. It was set up on an 8’ rough wood tabletop over two saw horses, and caused guests to do a double take as they passed. It looked like an indoor raised vegetable garden – but it was part of the catering! In the center was a long planter filled with dirt. Peeking out of the soil were carrots, green onions, lettuce, turnips, asparagus and fennel in neat rows, which guests could dig up and munch on if they liked. Around the trough were colored flower pots and terra cotta planters filled with an abundance of vegetable dishes, each with a different preparation but alone in its dish, allowing the vegetable itself to shine. There was, Carnival Cauliflower, Orange Infused Brussels Sprouts, BBQ Seasoned Carrots, Lemon Infused Broccolini, Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes, Caramelized Cipollini Onions, Balsamic Pickled Crimini Mushrooms and Thyme Seasoned Zucchini. Dotted around the table were potted herbs and gardening items such as a metal watering can and trowel, colorful butterflies and stone pavers as risers. Bamboo plates and forks were the perfect utensils for the environmentally aware.
At our two live action Sidewalk Stir Fry stations, guests could watch as Proof of the Pudding chefs prepared Grilled Teriyaki Chicken, Tofu and Beef with Bok Choy, Shiitake Mushrooms, Onions and Snow Peas. The chef was using authentic Asian ingredients and utensils, everything right there on the table in its original dragon-and-Chinese-character-covered packaging. From a flat basket, guests could help themselves to Steamed Bun Bites filled with Korean Shredded Beef; or to a shaker cup filled with Ginger Salad with Edamame, Carrots and Crispy Wontons. Fried Rice and Soba Noodles were also available from a large wok.
Our Coffee, Donut and Churro Shop offered sweet treats that few guests could resist. Lined up on stainless steel kitchen tables topped with butcher blocks was a lively assortment of fried confections with imaginative toppings. Others were hanging from the overhead utensil racks, creating a beautifully colorful and fun presentation. But guests were not limited to our flavor preferences – they were also invited to take a donut hole or churro and create their own. They could choose from Warm Vanilla Bean Frosting, Chocolate Ganache or Sea Salted Caramel then top their gooey treat with Chocolate Sprinkles, Rainbow Sprinkles, Shaved Chocolate or Mint Sugar. Mmmh…. so good!
There were other desserts too. Godiva Spiked White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Bourbon Crème was really everything you could ever want in one bite, and Fresh Fruit Skewers looked quite intriguing. These bite-sized morsels were skewered with a tiny pipette, so that you popped the fruits in your mouth and finished off with a squirt of macerated berry juice from the pipette. So fun!
Speaking of fun, the main area of the park was spread over an uncovered part of the rooftop and housed mini golf, outdoor games, the slide and carnival ride. Around the perimeter, permanent midway games were built into the side of the building. On this side we also brought in some refreshments for guests who just couldn’t tear themselves away from the games. Under a small red and white tent we created a Snack Bar with Ham, Pimento Cheese Biscuit Bites; Homemade Pretzel Bites with Grainy Honey Mustard; and Popcorn Chicken Cones displayed in bowls of colorful popcorn. A popcorn machine, sno-cones and cotton candy are a must for a carnival, and these too were on hand with their crunchy, icy and sugary wickedness.
Over four hours, 550 guests flowed in and out of the event spaces, played the games, rode the rides, dined, drank and mingled. Some of our challenges that day included coordinating in a small kitchen and prep area to inclement weather that required us to move to a ‘rain plan’ for some of the food and beverage stations. At the end of the day though, a good time was had by all!