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  • BrunchPost

    Not breakfast, not lunch but rather somewhere in between.

    Is it based on the when or what is being served?

    Ask anyone what they consider to be brunch and you will always get a relatively vague but confident answer that will include terms like “in and around” or “more or less”. It is a mysteriously appetizing suggestion that is always taken into consideration when proposed. I’ve  noticed there is one day a year that seems to be directly linked to a huge spike in family organized brunches – Mother’s Day.

    Now, I have never given it much thought but once I did, I quickly realized why brunch will forever be the “Mother’s Day Meal”. There are several reasons from what I can tell, so if you have ever wondered, or if I’ve just piqued your interest, here are some of the things I’ve noticed over the years and how they’ve influenced the idea of Mother’s Day Brunch.

    First and foremost is the day of the week Mother’s Day is on, Sunday. This is widely viewed as a day of rest and relaxation, though it may not always feel that way. Since we were young, weekends have been the glory of the calendar. Now, it’s no secret that Friday and Saturday tend to steal Sunday’s thunder with their night life and lack of responsibility required the following morning, but Sunday has always been great in a different kind of way. With regards to Mother’s Day, everyone is available and it doesn’t take away from the prime socializing hours of Friday & Saturday. Plus everyone else will be doing Mother’s Day stuff anyway so it’s really a win-win.

    Now that we see Sunday makes everyone available to attend, let’s look at the timing of a brunch and see how that provides the best opportunity for families to get together. So, when is brunch? Nobody really knows the answer to that. To be safe and cover any potential time frames suggested, I will say it falls between 10:00am & 1:00pm. Breakfast would be too early for most people to function in this kind of situation. On Mother’s Day we want to portray the best representation of ourselves to reassure them they’ve raised us right and that we love them very much. Plus- it takes off the pressure of having to get up so early on a Sunday!

    Breakfast is too early and lunch can throw off an entire day, leave you wondering what to do with your last few hours. By the time dinner rolls around you’re going to want to fall asleep shortly after but you can’t because you’ve still gotta get home. In short, the timing of brunch is the most forgiving and understanding of all the meals, and provides a setting in which your family can be in its best form while all together. Much like our mothers have done for us all along.

    A meal isn’t a meal until there is food served, so let’s talk about the diversity a brunch brings to the table. The possibilities at a brunch are endless. If you’re like me and enjoy a nice big breakfast, go ahead and order your bacon and eggs with some toast and jam. Of course, at this time of day most places have also made their soups, salads, sandwiches and other hearty lunch options available as well. So there is no need to worry that someone won’t be able to find something they’ll enjoy.

    Once again everyone wins. Everyone maintains their positivity towards the day and Mom is left feeling appreciated and thankful for having such a wonderful family to share this life with. Just remember to pick up the bill before she even thinks of reaching for her handbag. Also, if you didn’t know, the first one to offer to pay is her favourite for the day and probably will be until next time around, so be quick.

    At the end of all this I realize that it doesn’t truly matter at what time of day or menu you have to order from. It’s the idea of coming together and showing our appreciation for who, to each of us, is often the most incredible human being we have ever met. All the breakfasts, brunches, lunches, dinners and midnight snacks would not even begin to measure up to the love and care most of us received from that person.

    On that note, I would like to thank all the mothers in the world, without you, nothing would be possible.

    Enjoy your meals everyone!

  • April 14, 2016

    Record Store Day is coming up this Saturday, April 16th, and that got me thinking about how quality music can be the difference between an awkward evening with strangers or a great night with new friends. Over the last 6 years or so, the young consumers of the western world have been flocking to record stores as the wave of yet another hipster statement crashes down on us all.

    Next to the resurrection of male facial hair stylings, listening to music on vinyl might be the best thing to make its way back into society. The sound quality is unparalleled (when played through a quality sound system) and there is just something about physically holding your music that generates a more personal connection to it. The importance of music in my life and my role in the catering/events industry has brought me to write this blog explaining how music can make or break even the best decorated and organized events.

    Hipster Music

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Pardon my pun, but music is the unsung hero of many events. It effortlessly dictates the mood but can just as easily throw off the entire vibe. Good luck having guests act in an elegant manor when the DJ is pumping out the latest dance tracks. Needless to say that there are different types of music for different types of events, and even more specifically different times throughout an event.

    I understand that you want people to be dancing and having fun at your event, but please– let people sit down, have an appetizer and get comfortable before the bass-heavy beats come through the speakers. Music at the beginning of an event should be easy listening and played at a moderate to low volume. This eliminates the dreaded “dead air” but doesn’t distract guests from why they are there in the first place.

    Once your guests have arrived and everyone has exchanged pleasantries with one another, there comes a transition in the soundtrack. Dinner music; a widely known term but scarcely understood concept. Again, the volume should be kept at a relatively low volume. With people focussed on food there isn’t much room for conversation and so the music will be heard much easier at this point. Playing songs that everyone knows the words too can again act as a distraction and can prompt mid-dinner karaoke, which nobody enjoys. Save the sing-alongs for later when you can really belt ‘em out! My suggestion; keep the lyrics to a minimum during dinner.

    Now, every crowd is different so if you are hiring a DJ, have in mind the genres of music you think would be appropriate. Be sure to consider any cultural influences that might suit the occasion and/or guests. Don’t book a DJ without meeting them, hearing a sample mix and getting reviews from past clients. If you get the sense they just want to play the music they like, move on to another candidate. If DJ services aren’t in the budget, then may I suggest spending time before your scheduled event to look on online to try and find a playlist that suits your needs. Obviously with Youtube, you run the risk of advertisements interrupting your evening but this is what you get for a free music service. Apple Music and Google Play Music won’t give you this problem but aren’t free either.

    I understand not all events and functions follow this, somewhat standard itinerary, but regardless of what kind of event it is, music plays a role in enhancing the experience of those who attend.

    It is a strong, yet subtle cue to your guests and how they should be feeling. If you know how you want your guests to feel while they spend their time with you, do your best to find music that will lead them there.

    Outdoor D-Floor

    Click this image above to get in touch with Alemilia Hospitality Group! They not only provide you with great food and service but can also put you in touch with a large roster of talented DJ’s!

  • Games are what take any old barbecue event and turn them into something more. Yes, the laid back vibe is great and it totally matches the mood set by beautiful summer weather but a little competition never hurt anyone! Let’s put the “fun” into your summer functions!

    Whether you are giving out prizes or not, games add a new dynamic and get people interacting more. It adds to the experience that they are sharing and will later look back on.  There are so many games to choose from, some team oriented, others played by individuals or head to head competitions -which are great and easy to organize into a friendly tournament.

    We know you don’t have time to be searching all over the internet for a few games to run at your barbecue event so – we did it for you and are now presenting you with our top picks from around the  web!

    CROQUET

    A classic lawn sport that has been around longer than BBQs and seems to have been all but forgotten! Think golf on a much smaller scale! Super easy to learn & not over exerting, whacking your way through a croquet course is a great way to enjoy an afternoon outdoors!

    Fast and easy to set-up, learn & play. Click the image to see how!

    Fast and easy to set-up, learn & play. Click the image to see how!

    KAN-JAM

    Step into the new age of friendly outdoor competition! You want something a little more high energy? This game’s popularity has sky rocketed in recent years and is guaranteed to be seen in parks and on beaches everywhere this summer! Kan Jam is a frisbee based team game which requires a good dose of accuracy.

    Learn how to play and score this awesome game by clicking the image above!

    Learn how to play and score this awesome game by clicking the image above!

    FROZEN T-SHIRT CONTEST

    Here is one we haven’t seen before! Frozen T-shirt Contest! This is a great idea if its calling for sun! Soak some t-shirts in water, put them in bags and stick them in the freezer the night before the barbecue. Keep cool until “go time” then comes the race to see who can defrost and pull on a frozen t-shirt first!

    This is a clever challenge that works perfect on a Summer's day outdoors!

    This is a clever challenge that works perfect on a Summer’s day outdoors!

    WATCH YOUR STEP

    This one is sure to get everyone’s heart rate up! Watch Your Step is simple. Every guest has a balloon tied around one of their ankles. The last person with their balloon intact is declared the winner! You can either designate a playing time and have a winner quickly, or for a more dramatic finale allow guests to go about socializing and turn it into a longer strategy based game!

    Great game to bring out the competitors in your group!.

    Great game to bring out the competitors in your group!

    NATURAL DISASTER

    With just 4 colours of spray paint and one circular stencil you can turn any patch of grass into a Twister board. This might actually be better than the original game seeing as the board won’t shift or slip out from under you. Make the board a standard 6×4 spot surface and have multiple OR make one gigantic board so more people can play at once!

    An outdoor take on a classic survival game! The size of the board and number of colours is up to you!

    An outdoor take on a classic survival game! The size of the board and number of colours is up to you!

    Now, I know what you’re thinking what about the classics? What about them? We all know what they are and that’s because they are synonymous with summer parties and barbecues! The usual suspects like piñatas, water balloon fights, dunk tanks, ring toss, potato sack races and partnered egg toss are all still great ideas to bring some life to an outdoor function with kids present! Yes, that includes kids at heart too!

    have_fun

  • Our whole team is thrilled to announce that the Alemilia Hospitality Group is having an Open House on Thursday March 10th, 2016 at the newly refinished Teatro Conference & Event Centre in Milton, ON. Everyone from corporate representatives looking to book conferences or seminars to individuals from the community who need a place to celebrate, are welcomed to come in and see the most recent changes to a building with a long standing history in the Town of Milton. Teatro Conference & Event Centre has been Milton’s premier venue for social and corporate events alike for the past 6 years, with an additional 5 years experience in event catering before moving in.

    Before this unique space was available to clients for such things as weddings, seminars & trade shows, it served the community as Milton’s movie theatre from 1981 to 1997. Some local clients share memories of when they were much younger and used to head up here for a Friday night show with friends and family. Others remind us of times they spent in the local bar that it became once the movie theatre split. We are glad to continue the tradition of using this building to service the community and to know that new memories are still being made within these walls.

    This open house will give people the opportunity to taste some of the amazingly delicious food we offer, wash it down with some complimentary refreshments and meet the team that brings all the wonderful events, big or small, to life! On top of free food and drinks the day of the open house, anyone who attends is welcome to enter the draw for free 25 person barbecue event to be held in the 2016 season! So please, do yourselves a favour and join in the fun on March 10th and head on over to Teatro Conference & Event Centre and see what Milton’s Premier Conference & Event Centre has to offer!

    Teatro Conference & Event Centre has been the venue of countless community events. Teatro has been involved with The Region of Halton, Milton District Hospital and not for profit organizations to put on fundraisers and events of all types and sizes. Not to mention all of the weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and bridal/baby showers that go on as well. It seems to be in the structures DNA to bring people together and have them share an experience they will remember for a long time to come. See you there, Thursday March 10th from 3-6pm, to add to this structure’s history!

    Come and see the new look of Teatro Conference & Event Centre

    Come and see the new look of Teatro Conference & Event Centre

     

     

  • It’s the holiday season and anyone with an oven is calling themselves a catering company. So, if you are the beautiful person who has taken on the responsibility of planning a year-end holiday party there are some things you may want to know when it comes to deciding who you want catering for you. At Alemilia Hospitality Group we want to make sure you are armed and ready to weed out the seasonal caterers trying to make a buck at you and your guest’s expense. We aren’t trying to scare you; we are trying to help you. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from the subpar catering services that seem to only appear when they know people will need them most. Allow us to bring into focus some of the key elements that separate a professional establishment from someone attempting to run a business out of their home kitchen.

    Regional Health Department Inspections
    Every food premise that is operating as a legitimate business is required to have a health inspection at least once a year. However this excludes private residences, which some smaller businesses operate out of. For the health and safety of you and your guests, take the time to go online and find their most recent inspection rating. This information is accessible to the public and for good reason. It’s all right here.

    Food Handling Certified Staff
    Food handlers training is another sign of a company you can trust. You want to be able to trust that the people making your food know what they’re doing and are following safe practices in the kitchen. There are Regional Food Handling Certificate programs that any professional kitchen staff should have completed. If they haven’t perhaps you should question why they felt it isn’t necessary. There is no good reason they can give you.

    Workplace Safety & Insurance Board
    A clear sign that a company takes itself seriously and cares about what their business as much as their employees is that they are registered with WSIB. For employers, WSIB provides no-fault collective liability insurance and access to industry-specific health and safety information. For workers, they provide loss of earnings benefits and health care coverage. To see the difference this makes to any company check outwww.wsib.on.ca

    Full Time Chef
    We all know people who are excellent cooks, this does not mean they can run a professional kitchen and lead a team of kitchen and service staff. The experience and knowledge a professionally trained chef has are hard to culminate and make a world of difference in any kitchen. Ask about a company’s chef and their team to ensure you are putting your health and taste buds in good hands. Your guests will surely appreciate that you did.

    Company Vehicles & Catering Equipment
    A quality catering company will have dedicated company vehicles to execute their deliveries and safe transportation of your food goes beyond a reliable vehicle. There should at least be a stable and secure rack for your food to rest on/in for the journey from the kitchen to your location. Furthermore professional grade insulated boxes (hot or cold boxes) are something that should be used in order to ensure your food maintains its temperature and doesn’t lose quality.

    Company Transparency
    A Facebook page and a Twitter account do not make a legitimate company. However, those things, in addition to a professional website, with regularly updated information are an indication of a reputable business. Do your research before letting somebody cook for you and your guests. A truly legitimate and trustworthy catering company will be able to provide you with information on all of these things you’ve just read about. If they can’t then they are hiding something.

    Educate yourself and head into the holiday season knowing you and your guests will be taken care of and served professional quality food that you can trust!

    Happy-Holidays-Pics-150x150[1]

  • October 7, 2015
    Party Planning

    How to plan your party

    As early as it seems, there is no denying that the holiday season is fast approaching. Before you know it the responsibility of planning an event is sitting on your lap and you have no idea where to start. Take a deep breath, I will do what I can to help as you embark on the journey that is event planning! I can cover all the avenues for you but here are a few things to consider when planning your next event, social or corporate, for a large group.

    Don’t Hesitate
    This can make the difference between having a nice venue and eating cake in your office. With the Holiday Season upon us it is becoming more and more likely that the date you are thinking of is the same as someone else. Don’t wait for things to fall into place, put them in place and be proactive. Allow yourself some flexibility and instead of setting your heart on one specific date, give yourself at least one back up date. This is a good way to prevent unnecessary worry and makes the first and one of the most difficult decisions a little bit easier.

    Know Your Crowd
    You don’t just want people to show up; you want people to enjoy themselves. Music, food and decor, are all key components to your guests having a good time. Do some research so you can make a more educated decision and really limit the number of people you let down. Ask about previous parties your group has been to or hosted and get feedback to help save time when checking your list of Do’s and Don’ts. When it comes time to finding the right DJ/entertainment as well as getting the room to look great, most venues have a list of preferred vendors in the industry. They may also provide some insight into alternative and unique possibilities. Make it an event to remember, not one that is easy to forget.

    If You Feed Them, They Will Come
    Select a menu appropriate for your attendance, crowd and event. Cultural & dietary tastes should be considered when selecting a menu With such a multicultural society there is a good chance your group may have preferences. Narrow it down from Italian, Indian, Mediterranean, Asian and North American cuisines, or mix some menus together, your guests will appreciate the effort. Work with your caterer to ensure that any health concerns or dietary restrictions are managed prior to the date of service.

    Raise Your Glasses
    A toast will have the undivided attention of everyone. A few kind words with a drink in hand, from you to them, are a classy start to any event. That in mind, bar packages are available to suit whatever you feel is called for. A full host bar is always appreciated but may not fit your budget. In that case there is the option of providing your guests with one or two complimentary drink tickets to be used at the cash bar. Not everyone drinks alcohol and so you must always be sure to offer a selection of non-alcoholic beverages as well. Giving a toast lets everyone take a moment to recognize all those who came out and celebrate the fun of coming together. Who knows maybe you get a shout out for all the hard work you put into organizing the whole thing.
    *Friendly Tip* In a large space a microphone may be required so be sure to have one handy.

    Don’t Go It Alone
    Not everyone is a professional party planner. It can feel like a lot of pressure deciding on where and when to have a party/event, what everyone is going to eat, how are you going to stick to the budget? On top of that, tracking down several companies for various services is a nightmare for anyone. If you can find a caterer or event centre that can relieve this stress for you, by all means take them up on it. Just be sure to regularly keep in touch and stay informed and at the end of it all, you’ll have the experience for your next event and in the meantime you can bask in the praise of throwing a great party!