2015 Annual Christmastime Teas at Florence Griswold Museum

Wedding season has officially come to a close and though that makes us just a little bit sad, we’re getting in the spirit as we prepare for the 2015 holiday season! First up, are the Christmastime Teas held throughout the month of December at the Florence Griswold Museum (Click the hyperlink to learn more or to make your reservation)!

Join us at the museum Tuesdays – Saturdays at 3pm for a beautiful spread of our infamous tea sandwiches, scones and sweets, served alongside “Miss Florence’s Tea”.

HEROteas

 

This years menu will feature some favorites from years past as well as some new ones…

  • Black Forest Ham with Brie, Mustard and Apricot Butter on Whole Wheat
  • Granny Smith Apple with Whipped Cream Cheese and Crushed Candied Pecans on Marble Rye
  • Pistachio Christmas Trees
  • Mini Painted Christmas “Bells”

Christmastime Teas are by reservation only, please call the museum at 860.434.5542 x 111 for information and reservations. We hope to see you there!

 

 

2015 Midsummer Festival Pre-Concert Dinner

Join us for the Midsummer Festival kickoff on the Lieutenant River, Friday, July 24th, 2015 for a beautiful evening with the community accompanied by our delicious food, and a free concert by the Manhattan Brass band at the Florence Griswold Museum! We look forward to this event every year and we love seeing so many of you who continue to join us! Dinner will be served from 6 – 8 pm as always, purchase your tickets ahead of time HERE!

BOXED DINNER

Bistro Steak

Classic Bernaise

Spinach & Leek Timbale

{Timbales are similar to a custard, the vegetables are baked in a mold and then turned out of it for serving}

Stuffed Baked Potato

Gruyere, Garden Chives, Smoked Paprika

Cornmeal Crusted Oyster

{on the shell}

Vermouth Shallot Lemon Butter

Grilled Warm Roma Tomato Halves

Fresh Basil Chiffonade

Toasted Baguette

Sweet Butter

DESSERT

{Please bring your ticket up with you when you are ready}

Cherry Charlotte Cake

Freshly Brewed Illy Coffee and a Selection of Dammann Teas from France

A cash bar with soft drinks, beer and wine will be available!

Tickets will remain on sale and available until Friday, July 17th, thank you and see you all on the river!!

Meet Gena

IMG_2672It’s no secret, Gourmet Galley is growing! From humble beginnings, we have expanded our business by 45% over the last two seasons – amazing!  With that comes the need for new positions and wonderful people to fill them with. Meet Gena Golas! Gena was brought on board this April as our Personnel Director and will be working diligently to develop our Human Resources and Training Department. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a lovely young woman on our team.

Below, Gena shares some bits and pieces from her life and you just might fall in love with her. We sure did…

KR: So, I have to ask, what brought you to apply for such a new and BIG position within a southeastern CT catering company?

GG: I have both a business background and a pastry background.  I’ve always known I wanted to work with and around food and my career path has taken me to some really interesting places.  I’ve been a restaurant manager, a pastry chef, bakery manager for a Polish bakery (I’m craving their pierogi and golabki just thinking about them–they were so, so good), research and development chef for a bakery ingredients manufacturer (I got to develop products like gum paste, fondant and cake mixes), cake baker/decorator, and I developed the recreational cooking class program at Lincoln Culinary Institute.  Being in an HR role for a catering company might not seem like the next logical step in my career, yet it’s the perfect combination of so many things I’ve done in the past.

KR: Mmm pierogi… You mentioned that you have both a business background and a pastry background?

GG: I have a Bachelors in business from UConn (go Huskies!), an MBA from Simmons College in Boston and a pastry and baking diploma from Connecticut Culinary Institute.

KR: You are one fierce lady! You’re hired! In all seriousness, I see you have a “little” something on your left ring finger, can you fill us in on the details?

GG: My son, Lenny, and my husband, Len, are my everything.  Lenny is 15 months old and is the sweetest, happiest kid.  He has a kiss, hug or high five for everyone.  He’s just starting to talk but he knows all of his animal noises 🙂  Len is the hardest working person I know and is incredibly talented.  He works in construction and could build you a house from the ground up, which is handy since we are currently renovating our kitchen!  He ripped the kitchen down to the studs and we are slowly recreating everything.  It’s been a long process, especially with a toddler running around, but it’s turning out great.

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KR: Lenny sounds like an absolute love-bug but we’ll need to go back to this kitchen reno topic – I want to see before and afters! I kinda want to meet this little cutie in person too, can he come in to “play” at the office? Ok, so what about your family? Brothers, sisters??

GG:I have to mention my twin sister, Christa, who is my best friend.  She and I are extremely close, as you can imagine!  We happen to live about a mile and a half away from each other which was not entirely planned but not entirely by accident either. My grandparents are two of my most favorite people.  They’ve been married for 67 years and are still as much in love as the day they got married.  Len and I want to be them when we grow up.  My parents celebrated 40 years of marriage last year, too.  We have some good marriage role models.

KR: 67 years?! That is so inspiring! Would you say that you are the “good” twin? Just kidding, you don’t have to answer that… Plans for the summer?

GG: Len and I are planning a vegetable garden this year and I’m crossing my fingers because I tend to kill any and all houseplants.  We tried a small garden last year but could probably fit our entire season’s harvest in two hands.  This year’s garden will be bigger but also hopefully…better.

KR: Oh good, I know where you can get some seeds 🙂 Do you have a favorite meal?

GG: As you might imagine, dessert is my favorite meal.  I will never say no to chocolate.  My favorite thing to make is bread.  My go-to dessert for company is either a flourless chocolate cake or a fruit tart.  Each can be made ahead of time and look nice both on a dinner table and sliced on the plate.

KR: I’m with you, there’s something really satisfying about breaking off a piece of warm crusty bread that you made with your own hands. How about holidays, any favorites? They tend to revolve around food and all…

GG: Every year, my sister and I host a “Friendsgiving” which we’ve named “Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving” because apparently “Friendsgiving” was not enough of a tongue twister.  Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday and now we have an excuse to celebrate it twice in the same week.  Last year was our 10th year!

KR: Your family sounds like a blast! I’ve determined that each of us have a secret, or not-so-secret Chef crush around here. How about you?

GG: If I could share a meal with anyone it would be Ruth Reichl.  I have a girl crush on her.

KR: Good choice! Fair is fair, mine is a little more local and I’m not shy about it – Chef James Wayman over at the Oyster Club in Mystic. We’ll have to get you over there since as I learned, you’re not local! You’ll love it, promise 🙂

Much of what makes Gourmet Galley so successful is the dedicated people working behind the scenes to keep us moving onward and upward.  We work with the best! Plus, with initials like GG, Gena was the most natural fit!

Cheers,

Kristen

 

 

#ShowUsYourGGLove Instagram Contest + Giveaway!

#ShowUsYourGGLove

Two things we absolutely LOVE here at Gourmet Galley Catering?

A drop-dead-gorgeous party – and our amazing clients, of course!

This year we want to celebrate you AGAIN! So, in the spirit of celebrating, we’ve teamed up with our FAVORITE wedding vendor friends to bring you our very first, unforgettable,

GIVEAWAY!

THE PRIZE

A beautifully packaged, picnic-styled, Anniversary Gourmet Galley meal for two!

Your meal will be delivered to the location of your choice in the greater Mystic-Watch Hill area, complete with blanket, a bottle of bubbly + two flutes, florals by Hana Floral Design,

sweets by Zest Fresh Pastry, wine tastings for you and two friends at Saltwater Farm Vineyard, and, are you ready?

A Mini Anniversary Photo Shoot by none other than Anna Sawin of Anna Sawin Photography! Eeeek!

THE ENTRY RULES

It’s an Instagram video contest my lovelies! Get ready to be creative and have some fun.

First, LIKE us on Instagram (if you haven’t already).

Next, post a 15-second video* on your public account expressing

how Gourmet Galley performed on your wedding day! Were we fun to work with?

Do your guests still rave about the food?

Did you feel well taken care of throughout the planning process? Basically, do you LOVE us?

Then, use #ShowUsYourGGLove and tag us!

You have until May 1st to get those creative juices flowing, so Good Luck!

One entry per couple, please.

THE WINNER

Public Vote (the most LIKES) gives us a winner to be announced May 4th!

*By participating in our super fun giveaway, you are giving Gourmet Galley Catering, LLC the explicit right to use your video to showcase Gourmet Galley.

MAC | 15 Water Street

While the scent of saw dust may still linger in the air, a unique art + venue space, owned by the Mystic Arts Center, is set to launch this coming summer. Because, despite what we all may think, summer really is coming! MAC 15 Water Street Gallery, sits on the first floor of the former Emporium, right in the heart of bustling downtown Mystic. What you may recall as a once haggard older building has been completely rethought and lovingly restored – thanks to some gracious donors. There is nothing else like it, and yet, it suits the area most perfectly.

Candice Traskos15 Water St, the highly talented (and adored!) MAC Events Coordinator, was kind enough to invite the GG team to a walk-through last week. Her excitement was contagious as she  introduced us to their vision for its use as both a new gallery, and a space for intimate special events. Think along the lines of rehearsal dinners, retirement parties, and showers for the Bride or the mother-to-be. Blocks of time will be available from as early as 8am, to as late as 11pm (on Fridays and Saturdays).

Here is what we learned – the mostly open floor plan totals 775 square feet with tons of over-sized windows (pictured) allowing for beautiful natural light. Soon, its neutral walls will display pieces from their Permanent Collection currently residing in their archives.

We estimate that the space can comfortably accommodate eighty for a cocktail style party, or fifty for a more formal seated event. No matter the occasion,  we are certain that guests will have a memorable experience. Its proximity to restaurants, bars, storefronts and fun activities practically guarantee it.

Contact Candice to learn more about hosting your event, at events@mysticarts.org and tell her that we sent you! We are thrilled to be part of their list and what will undoubtedly be a hit with the locals.

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What a Year it Has Been! {2014}

Chef at Firefly Farms

“Hamming” it up at the Firefly Farm’s Butchering Class this past Spring.

Dear 2014: You’ve been exciting, you’ve been exhausting, and, oh boy, you’ve been wonderful! Thank you! We are full of gratitude for ALL of IT.

It was a year full of transition to say the least: with Chef Eric taking a giant leap across country to support his wife in her career, and our welcoming of Chef Jeffrey – who we affectionately refer to as “Cheffrey” around here.  Our Sales team grew with the addition of Keri Bell, Marissa McCue and Amanda Behan Gowen; three talented and intelligent women (beautiful, too, I might add). We bid farewell to Emily {the girls miss you!} and the much-adored Shaina Vlaun {as she set out to chase her dreams}, and, with that, welcomed yours truly in April! Have we met? Here I am! I enjoy cooking, too – follow my adventures on Instagram.

Photo credit: Robert Norman Photography

Photo credit: Robert Norman Photography

We gained some FANTASTIC new venues – Guilford Yacht Club, Stonington Harbor Yacht Club, Stonington Vineyards, The Velvet Mill, Mashantucket Pequot Museum, The Meadows (formerly Stonington Meadows) and the Overlook at Geer Tree Farm – just to name a few! We returned to Jonathan Edwards Winery, as well as Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park – hurray!

We celebrated… a lot! Deep breath: Michael Price (enjoy your retirement, sir!), Eugene O’Neill Theater (happy 50th, guys!), Stonington Historical Society, New England Science & Sailing, Lyman Allyn Museum, UConn, Connecticut College, Mystic Noank Library and Red Thread all partied with us! We shook hands with some new clients: Yale University, President Katherine Bergeron of CT College and Kongsberg Maritime. It is so refreshing to see the corporate world turning a new page!

Photo Credit: Joshua Behan Photography

Photo Credit: Joshua Behan Photography

Speaking of turning a new page, we fed 86 couples their first meal as husband and wife! It gives us goosebumps every time, we truly love what we do! Over the Spring and Summer, we made our property feel more like home by building and installing a large raised garden bed full of beautiful herbs and vegetables. We can’t wait to see who will be the first couple to enjoy their tasting out there!

For 2015, we look forward to a brand new software system to launch us onto a high speed catering freeway! We’re buckled up and ready for the change! In further electronic news, we took steps to become more green by purchasing tablets for some of our event staff to reduce paper waste – yay! Anna continues to share her appreciation for her ever-growing GG family (GG STRONG!), we love you, too, Anna.

Good grief, how did we survive? We would like to wish all of our friends a happy, healthy New Year! Cheers to exceeding all of our goals in 2014. We couldn’t have done it without YOU! 2015: We’re ready! Cin cin 🙂

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xo Kristen and the GG Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Amanda

_Y1A9877Meet Amanda, our newest Sales and Event Coordinator spearheading The Meadows! When I asked Amanda for some fun facts to share, she was more than forthcoming with lots of little bits and pieces from her life. Read on to see why we have welcomed her to our team with open arms.

Amanda is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and holds a degree in Studio Arts with a minor in Art History. It can’t go without saying that one of those years was spent abroad in Hawaii (and I thought my semester in Rome was cool… )! One thing you’ll learn about Amanda is that she loves to travel. With trips to Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Vietnam all tucked nicely under her belt. Now we know why her face falls so naturally into that beautiful smile! But who’s jealous, not this girl, cough-cough. Her worldly outlook is refreshing and brings with it the ability to add global touches to suit our clients from near and far.

Here is a lightning round of jobs held by Amanda – BGG (that’s Before Gourmet Galley): sign maker (for several years), fine art gallery Director, free-lance portrait artist (paint and charcoal etc), visual merchandiser – store design, photographer & album designer, oh and she also runs her own Etsy shop! Creativity courses through her veins.

Amanda is a self-described, quintessential Capricorn, pointing out that she is happiest when creating or organizing something. She R & Rhails from the town of Westerly and comes from a long line of young love as it happens. Have we mentioned that we love love around here? In chronological order, Amanda’s grandparents met at the tender age of 12, her parents at age 13 and if you can believe it, she and her own husband at 14! You might know her husband, Josh, of Joshua Behan Photography! He’s kind of a talented fella, and by kind of, I mean he’s amongst the best. Enough about him though, the spotlight is on Amanda, sorry Josh! You know we have big love for you 🙂

Outside of her work life, Amanda is mother to a handsome little boy named Hi Eli!Eli who keeps her plenty busy. He’s turning two very soon and we are eager to see what kind of party details she dreams up for the occasion! Like so many of us here, she loves to cook but says that she loves feeding people even more (just another selfless trait of hers that we adore)! Bouncing around the house alongside her little family of 3 is Lucy, a floppy curly coated golden doodle who has stolen their hearts forever.

 

Follow Me!

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We can’t wait for you to meet Amanda, call her today for your special event needs at The Meadows.

A Midsummer Festival

It’s almost July and that means we’re just a few short weeks away from the Midsummer Festival weekend in beautiful Old Lyme, CT!  Gourmet Galley is proud to provide your pre-concert meal on Friday, July 25th at the Florence Griswold Museum. Grab your friends, bring a blanket, and choose your spot along the Lieutenant River for an evening of good food and music by The Mighty Soul Drivers. Your packaged meal includes:

Memphis Style BBQ Pulled Pork

BBQ Baked Beans

Creamy Coleslaw

Grilled Corn off the cob with Butter and Salt

Green Salad with Ranch Dressing

Corn Bread with Sweet Butter

{and for dessert}

Preacher Cake

A moist cake made with Pineapple, Coconut and Walnuts with a Cream Cheese Frosting

Freshly Brewed Illy Coffee and a Selection of Dammann Teas from France

Tickets may be purchased HERE

Dinner is from 6 – 8 pm

1 adult ticket ~ $25

1 child ticket ~  $15

~We hope to see you there~

Cafe Flo Welcomes the 2014 Season

It’s that time again! Cafe Flo has officially opened for the 2014 season and we can’t wait to see your friendly faces dining on the museum veranda or picnicking on the lawn 🙂

Lunching hours are:

Tuesday through Saturday 11:30 am to 3 pm – last seating at 2:30 please

Sunday 1 pm to 4 pm –  last seating at 3:30 please

From now until November 2nd

Let us whet your appetite…

Cafe Flo MenuOr perhaps you just want a little something sweet…

 

 

Cafe Flo

 

 

Cheers to a delicious collaboration, we’ll see you there!

Introducing Marissa McCue

Photo credit: Maggie Conley Photography

Photo credit: Maggie Conley Photography

Ok friends, we have one more new addition to our Sales and Event Management team that we are proud to introduce you to! Marissa McCue although new to us, is not new to the wedding or food industry.

As Anna said herself, “Marissa is an expert at knowing what you want, sometimes before you know it yourself! She’s got so many years of experience under her belt, no detail will go unnoticed. She brings so much ENERGY to our team!”

Anna couldn’t be more right. Marissa embodies positive energy and those creative juices are always flowing 🙂 Read ahead to get to know her a little better!

Q&A with Marissa

KR: Tell us how you got started in event planning.

MM: I’ve been in the restaurant business since I was 15. I took a second job when I got engaged (to help pay for the wedding) as an assistant to the planner at a busy wedding venue in Fairfield County.   It was a natural pairing as I was thinking and feeling all of the same things as my brides! What should I serve? Who sets up the place cards? What does it cost? Who will bring my vision to life on the day of? Three weeks in, the planner left and threw me to the deep end with a full season of 4-5 weddings a weekend and it was barely May!  28 years later into event planning, here I am starting a new and exciting chapter!

KR: What lessons have you learned along the way that made you a better Coordinator?

MM:

  • If you really listen to your clients, they will tell you everything you need to wow them on their big day
  • pick up on the subtleties in the conversations, nose wrinkles & eyes that light up.
  • engage with your clients.
  • Respect everyone on the team from the chef’s and event captains to the dishwashers…. It takes all of the positions on the event to make it flow smoothly… everyone matters!

KR: Why do you love your job?

MM: I LOVE my job! I love getting to know my clients’ quirks, hobbies and passions. I love that it’s a different party every time! Each client triggers a whole new set of ideas,  designs, and flavor palettes. Also, I love food. I work for a caterer because food matters. Beautiful, delicious, not-your-typical wedding food, food!

KR: What has been your most special memory taken away from one of your events?

MM: That’s tough, I have so many. I think ultimately, it is my clients. One in particular, whose wedding I did 10 years ago, then did their first child’s christening, and this summer I am doing their big birthday bash! The relationships that have formed mean so much to me. The feeling that makes it all worth the crazy long hours and stress is when your client looks at you and says, “this is so much more amazing than what I dreamed of, thank you.”

KR: Have you always been so creative?

MM: I have. I have an art degree and have always been a person who thinks, “how can I achieve a feeling in a space… how can I create a mood… how can I give my clients a look they see in a magazine… for a fraction of the cost… what can I do that is unexpected to wow my clients?”  Aesthetics are very important! The culinary team makes it taste great but my job is to make it look beautiful and flow seamlessly.

KR: What is YOUR best piece of advice to couples planning their big day?

MM: Trust the professionals that you hire! We do this every day, it’s our job to make it easy, to offer suggestions, solutions… to make it FUN!

KR: How do you prepare for the unexpected on the day of your events?

MM: 2 words… CRASH KIT! I travel with chalk and safety pins. You never know when you’ll need to whip up an extra boutonniere on the fly. I like to back up things like extension cords, water pitchers, votives, and even kids meals for unexpected little ones at the party. Check, check and recheck everything ! It’s catering, the unexpected is the norm. The key is to handle it calmly and think on your feet!

KR: What do you like to do outside of work?

MM: I’m a bit of a workaholic by nature… but I love the beach so you’ll find me there March-October. My son and I love to do projects together, we volunteer at a local animal shelter… We are midway through a total photo (19)renovation of a vintage 1970 airstream camper named Priscilla… she’s a babe.  I always have a bunch of décor changes going on in my home… people joke that I have painted rooms so many times that the rooms are actually smaller 🙂 I love to cook… I’m not a chef but I give it a good try… maybe the next chapter…. photo (20)