Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

AUG 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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86 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • AUGUST 2017 e&s segment spotlight Sacks. "Something I've seen fairly recently in a Northeast on-premise facility is a conveyor belt installed by a chef for plat- ing. This is a setup that's typically more popular at large casino hotels that have high volume." The conveyor enables the chef to get a consistent product out on a timely basis, roughly 12 minutes. Disney Goes Above and Beyond One would expect over-the-top on-premise catering events at Walt Disney World's Resorts, but one annual event takes even Disney to a whole new level. Every October, Disney's Swan, Dolphin, Yacht Club, Beach Club, Boardwalk and Contemporary resorts join forces to entertain a software company's conference for 10,000 people. The event evokes a campus ambiance as people walk from building to building, eating at different locations. "We create a 60,000-square-foot tented pavilion that in- cludes glass walls, central air, carpeting, etcetera, for attend- ees, and they also can eat at any of the other tents through- out our properties," says Ed DiAntonio, complex director of catering and event management at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.-based Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. "We're feeding upward of 7,000 people during the week at each meal, so we set up break stations throughout the prop- erty as well as our food trucks, which offer ice cream, donuts, pastries or coffee. Pedi cabs take people where they want to go, and we have a DJ set up outside Festival Hall; it's a very festive atmosphere." The Dolphin and Swan properties are both currently under renovation. The work includes an overhaul for lobbies, a new bar area and the creation of grab-and-go areas. "We've also redone some function space for catering," says DiAntonio. Combined, the Swan and Dolphin properties can offer 330,000 square feet of meeting space, the largest being 110,000 square feet in the Pacific and Atlantic halls. An additional 55,000-square-foot area exists, plus 84 meeting rooms. Banquet kitchens at both hotels provide service; each include a garde manger and a pastry shop, with a commissary at the Dolphin. "Our on-premise catering operation includes more than 200 culinarians who work at 17 restaurant outlets, and we can put up tents all over the property, as well," says DiAntonio. The resort has four food trucks that it often uses for receptions and other events. Clients can choose from eight themes, such as Mexican, Maine Lobster, Asian and Burgers/ Hot Dogs. The resort employees can decorate the trucks' exteriors with magnetic paint or clings with other themes for almost any food offering. It's almost an overwhelming offering of options; Disney's on-premise catering program has 80 pages of customizable menu items. One of its bars, called The Locals, uses gin from a St. Augustine distillery, and many of its cocktails incorporate local citrus. Mojito bars have become more popular, and the re- sort went as far as to incorporate a sugar cane machine for syrup. Cold-pressed, nitrogen and drip coffees also are top requests. When it comes to sourcing, much of the catering pro- grams' produce comes from an Ocala, Fla., farmer during the state's prime growing season. "Chefs will call farmers directly to see what's good each week," says DiAntonio. "Many of the vegetables we use are the heirloom varieties or unique items, like purple carrots, to 'wow' our guests. It used to be [that] we were restricted to two vegetables from a food purveyor, but today we can incorporate whatever shows up on our dock." The catering program utilizes a couple of big smokers for homemade barbecue and will finish off items with grills, which are integral to most menu items. Chefs also make use of liquid nitrogen at times to make ice cream and will sous vide items in the banquet kitchens. Water circulators help the culinary team make the perfect soft boiled eggs. Disney often hosts catered events in its kitchens, Right: A chef's table in the back of the house at a Disney World resort offers a VIP feel for a select group. Below right: Elaborate setups with creative displays are par for the course at Disney World events.

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