Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Austin Event Co


When I first met Jen of Austin Event Co, she offered to cook me dinner. At the time I didn’t realize she wasn’t just being polite and she wasn’t just talking Hamburger Helper. I also didn’t realize that she would enjoy the experience of cooking just as much as I would enjoy the experience of eating. She didn’t even flinch when I told her I was a vegetarian.

That first night she made me a vegetable pizza. From scratch. Yes, even the crust. And damn it was good. Not just good. Phenomenal. I couldn’t believe the amazing talent that was in front of me. My friend Leslie was with me and she couldn’t believe how delicious it was either. I asked her why someone who would make me a pizza like that from scratch was working in finance instead of the restaurant industry. She relayed that she and her dreadlock rockin’ hubby, Scott, had worked for high end caterers for years in San Diego and that they were launching their own company here in Austin, focusing on affordable high quality cuisine. Her job in finance was just a way to feed their insanely adorable daughter until their brain child company was more stable.

Flash forward a year and a half and this is exactly what has transpired. Austin Event Co has taken off in an incredible way and Jen is now devoted full time to its success and clients. Their market ranges from weddings to private parties to apartment parties to corporate events. They custom design their services to fit what you are looking for, whether that be just food delivery, on site cooking, serving, DJ service, lighting, and or décor.

I love good food, but I’m really lazy. So when it came time for my work department’s annual seafood boil, I immediately suggested hiring Jen and Scott instead of trudging our engineers through the arduous tasks of shopping, setting up, cooking, cleaning, DJ-ing, and decorating. I wouldn’t have to endure the culinary skills of my coworkers, and they would get to relax and actually ENJOY the party.

We were given an extremely reasonable quote and an enticing menu that would please the wide variety of diets and appetites that co-existed. Spicy shrimp boiled with corn, potatoes and hand-made andouille sausages, cheeseburgers with all of the fixings, and tofu kabobs for those non meat eaters like me. And the extras of course; hibiscus iced tea, pastries, sodas, chips, décor and DJ service.

The event went off without a hitch. Jen and Scott rocked out with their grill, boiling pot, serving station, music and sound system right next to the river at the park of our choosing. They were incredibly accommodating, as well as friendly and cool to all those that attended making for a truly awesome and stress-free work event.

We played horseshoes, football and Frisbee, jammed out to music, and gluttoned our hearts out on all of the food. I watched my coworkers chow down on the shrimp, sausage and cheese burgers while commenting on what a great idea hiring a caterer was. I pointed out that they were all suckers for not doing it sooner.

Then I got to my food. The tofu kabobs were amazing. They were grilled squares of tofu marinated in a lightly sweet but yet savory sauce and accompanied on their skewers by yellow and red bell peppers chunks and onions. Absolutely delicious.

If you are having a wedding, you probably don’t want a shrimp boil. (Hey, I’m not judging if you do, afterall we are living in the south.) You can check out some of their more upscale sample menus online. I personally would recommend the lettuce wraps as an appetizer. I like mine tofu, but they’ll make them with chicken too. My boyfriend is a big fan of their grilled pork loin with Mediterranean rub. I personally like their risotto and you have to put me in a restraining device to keep me away from their baked brie. They bake the brie in thin delicious layers of phyllo dough, douse it with honey, and serve it with crackers so that you get the full effect of the amalgam of creamy warm cheese, crispy outer coating and sweet honey in each bite. If you aren’t into brie, they can make you a fabulous baked berry tart topped with granola and honey yogurt.

One of Jen’s favorite sayings is that she’ll “Pepsi challenge” any restaurant or dish out there. And she’ll do it. So if you have a special request, just ask. What makes their creations so good is that Jen and Scott approach cooking with an amazing sense of creativity and intuition. They aren’t afraid to take chances and their backgrounds and tastes in cuisines thoroughly complement each other.

If you don’t believe me, call them and they’ll schedule you a private tasting.

Bottom Line: Incredible food catered hassle free by a really cool husband and wife team, menus customizable to most pallets.

Laura ~ 10