By Dana Hogan
Vendor spotlight time folks! This week we are focusing on a catering company, Three Sons Signature Cuisine, which uses local and organic products to cater to your wedding, birthday or special event! They also work with local farmers to ensure the freshest meats and produce for events, striving to be a farm to table catering company. But they also do things ‘by design’ so they will design your menu to fit your style, your event, or your day. While using local and organic foods is usually a little more expensive, Three Sons is a part of a “food hub” that uses professionals who seek out the local and organic foods and distributes them to restaurants and caterers, all keeping the prices as low as they can, while still getting the freshest food possible.
We “interviewed” a Three Sons employee, Paloma, who is an event coordinator to get more information about the company, what they do and their thoughts on the whole “green” catering movement!
How did the company start? Three Sons Signature Cuisine started in 2001 in the obscure Carlson Manor location. We inherited several wedding clients who were expecting frozen and prepackaged meals that would be served to their guests based on the previous caterer’s guidelines. We stepped in and rescued those poor couples by providing from scratch dinners created by then-Executive Chef Gary McCallum and Chef Benjamin McCallum (father and son). This culinary team spent two seasons refining the art of catering comfort foods with top quality ingredients and impeccable standards before Ben took over as Executive Chef. TSSC is owned by Chef Ben and his wife Jodee.
How long have you worked at the company? I have been with TSSC since 2008.
What made you want to work there? I have been working in catering since 2003 and specifically with weddings since 2005. When we moved to the Twin Cities, I wanted to continue pursuing my career with Special Events and work for a local family-owned company that had the same passion for the culinary arts and fine dining that I have.
What does your company do to be “green?” I remember when I started working for Three Sons Signature Cuisine, we had a delivery truck that ran on our used vegetable oil! The truck is now gone, but we like to stay ahead working with fresh ingredients, sourcing our food from local farmers as much as we can, supporting our local economy and providing to our customers exceptional cuisine with sustainable foods and supplies. We have also implemented recycling programs in our office, kitchen and events. And our chefs are working on a rooftop garden and composting with the City of Minneapolis.
What do you feel is your company’s greatest accomplishment as far as being environmentally friendly? We have worked diligently over the years to find local food purveyors with the highest integrity and sustainable farming methods from whom to purchase our ingredients and we are really proud of our cuisine. We also use disposable products (when not using our reusable china and glassware) that are made with renewable and compostable resources.
Tell me about a typical event you cater (what you do, how you set-up, etc.) Weddings make up about 60% of our catering events. Corporate clients, however, have been increasing their catered events in recent years again. A typical event day starts early in the morning with a strong cup of coffee. I like to get in the office early to check in with our production team making sure they got everything they need from me before they head out to set up an event. Then it is time to review the menu with the culinary team and get all the paperwork done with the events details that will be shared with our Event Captains and Service Team. I usually arrive at the event site three to four hours prior to the event starting to do a little more organizing and making sure that everything is where it needs to be. Once the service team arrives, we start prepping for cocktail hour and dinner. During the event, I am the support to our clients and event staff making sure EVERYTHING goes the way the client wanted and expected.
What is your favorite dish that you serve? That’s a hard one! We have so many delightful dishes! But I guess my favorite lately is the Tuscan Pork Roast with Sauvignon Blanc and Rosemary Au Jus.
Have you noticed any trends this year as far as catering or trying to be “green?” I see more people wanting an informal and relaxing set up instead of a traditional sit down dinner. People want to mingle. We are facilitating that by offering small plate food stations, beer and wine pairings, and menu items that double as conversational pieces. There has been a boom in recent years in craft beers and distilled liquors here in MN. We are proud of our fellow Minnesotans and the wonderful products they have created. We have added these products into our Beverage Menus, helping to make a difference in the local economy while committing to a product with higher quality and local taste.
What does your company plan to do for the future? There are so many good changes coming our way!!!! We are growing and that is so exciting! We are constantly revamping our menus to feature more local, seasonal, and sustainable options. It is the By Design way! Also, so many new doors have been opening for us and we are thrilled to be working with the best vendors and venues to plan some amazing events with our clients.
What is some advice you would offer to people on how they can be more “green?” Choose your menu based on seasonality so you can keep it local, bringing the best flavors from the farm to the table. I also like to advise our clients to correspond with their guests through email or a free personalized website with the idea of saving paper and reducing their carbon foot print. Through the internet, clients can post the event menu, save the dates, hotel information, directions, collect R.S.V.P.’s, and even send a thank you card! It is faster, greener and your guests will appreciate it.
I don’t know about you, but now I’m hungry! We have worked with Three Sons a number of times and it is always a pleasure working with them. They are a great vendor to work with. If you would like more information about them (or to book them for your wedding or event), please visit their website- http://threesonskitchen.com/.