by Amanda Retallack
A film crew from The Food Network’s “Restaurant: Impossible,” a show that helps struggling eateries turn their problems into profits, recently came to rescue a downtown Kilgore restaurant, Nanny Goats.
When The Food Network began planning the trip to East Texas, a local catering company and The Wedded Bliss advertiser, Perfect Catering of Longview, was given the opportunity to be part of the project. Perfect Catering Event Coordinator Lori Valenti was eager to take on the task. “The network representatives found my business on the internet. They were looking for a full-service caterer with a wide variety menu,” Lori recalled. “They asked us to put some menus together for the three days they would be shooting and wanted us to ‘wow’ them. We sent the menus over via email and they called us the next day and said ‘absolutely love the menus, you’re hired!'”
The mood was exciting and there was energy in the air as her catering company prepped and then served the crew during the three days of filming. “Everyone was excited to be a part of a national TV show,” she said. Lori herself was even a bit star-struck. “I had the opportunity to speak with Tom Bury, the construction star on the show. He was very friendly and I was told that he went back for second and third helpings of our food,” she said. “He told me how great it was to not have the ‘normal’ catered food they often get. Chef Robert Irvine was, of course, very busy but we did have the opportunity to speak with him briefly and have a photo taken.”
Lori and company catered a total of seven meals for this big-name client including pork tenderloin with a peach chipotle sauce and chutney rice, cornmeal buns with pulled Texas brisket, black eyed pea caviar and homemade red potato salad. They also served a southwest breakfast, complete with cream cheese muffins and fresh fruit.
When she’s not catering to the Hollywood stars, Lori and the staff at Perfect Catering, who are going on their eighth year in business, enjoy helping brides feel like stars on their wedding days.
“We are in the celebration business! It’s so exciting to be with people as they celebrate weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and more. I love seeing all the ideas people bring to their events and I especially enjoy working with a bride from beginning to end,” she said. “I love a beautiful party!”
In planning a wedding, Lori enjoys listening to the bride’s dream and turning it into a reality.
“We will listen to your ideas and understand the vision that you have for your wedding. This way we can offer you a customized menu and services that fit the need and also work to keep within an attainable budget,” she said. “Every bride and every wedding are different; therefore, we get to know our client’s needs and work to give them a unique event.”
On the wedding day, Lori’s team brings their best so that brides can feel confident that their day will be perfect. “When you are planning a wedding, you have a lot of details on your mind and you want someone that you trust to bring their ‘A Game’ to your wedding. Our staff is professional and friendly and they all work very hard to give our clients their best,” Lori said. Perfect Catering provides menu planning, a large variety of menu choices, available service staff, full set up services, complimentary cake cutting, coordinating services and specialty linens. The menu styles can be buffet, seated served or hors d’oeuvres.
In the last 2 years, Perfect Catering has continued to grow with four chefs and a full-time baker. They cater thousands of events each year, from as small as ten guests to serving over a thousand people at one event. Their services have expanded to accommodate the growing needs of brides, corporate and individual clients.
“We have the combined experience of handling more than 500 weddings in our time. With that experience, we are able to educate our clients on how to have a successful event,” Lori said. “You don’t get a ‘do over’ with a wedding. We strive to live up to our name, Perfect Catering. We believe in setting the bar high and striving for excellence.”
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