Important Tips for Hiring the Best Catering Service for Any Event

Essential Tips for Hiring the Best Catering Services

When it comes to organizing an event, there are many significant things to consider. One of them includes the catering service.

Good food is something all guests look forward to when attending any event. Therefore, it is imperative for you to take the necessary measures to ensure that you have hired the best of the best catering service.

Here we have assembled some great tips that you can follow to hire an amazing catering business.


  • Ask for Recommendations or Check Out the Website


If you have little to no experience in planning an event, this is something you should definitely do.

Ask your family, friends or colleagues for catering service suggestions. You can also check online reviews to weed out unsatisfactory caterers. If possible, try to personally contact the reviewer and ask about the catering service in detail. This can make it easy for you to narrow down your list of catering services and help you to choose the right one.


  • Provide Tastings


No matter how perfect the food pictures and their descriptions are, your safe bet is always to ask your potential caterer to provide tastings of their food.

If the caterer is not willing to provide tasting, avoid taking the risk and consider other caterers who are willing to conduct a food-tasting session before the event. This way, you will be able to figure out if the food has lived up to your expectations or not. Trust us, going through the tasting session beforehand can save you from a lot of disappointment and embarrassment in the near future. This will also be a great chance for you to meet the chef himself and squeeze out all the necessary information from him related to the preparation, presentation, and customization of the food.


  • Flexibility


There are many catering services that are willing to customize the menu according to their customers’ wishes.

The caterers will consider changing the menu taking into account your specific dietary, budget, and taste. For instance, if you are a vegetarian, the caterer will make sure that the menu is comprised of all the veggie-based dishes. So, whenever you get in touch with a catering service, do ask them if they assist special menu requirements.


  • Staff Availability


Before you sign any contract, make sure that you pick the catering company that has a staff required to fully service your important event.

The amount of staff will largely depend on the nature of your event. If it’s a big event, comprising of many guests, make sure that the staff has a good amount of well-experienced workers who can easily cater to the needs of your guests. Discuss your plans with the head of the caterer and let him know what your expectations really are.

Venues of North Scottsdale offers an impeccable catering service that features simple and sophisticated menus and presentation. So, book them today to make your next event a hearty one!

What do you do to prevent or reduce a hangover

What do you do to prevent or reduce a hangover. Overindulged this past weekend? It can happen to the best of us! Join me on Good Morning AZ as I share some natural remedies to help you feel better fast!

  1. Water! As you are out enjoying yourself, drink one glass of water with each alcoholic beverage. Have a glass of water on your bedside table to drink before bed, and drink lots of water the next day. Ideally drink half your weight in oz of water. Ie: if you weigh 100lbs, drink 50 oz of water.
  2. Lemon tea – drink this detox tea first thing in the morning, and throughout the day. This helps the liver and kidneys clean the body out. Ginger helps with any feelings of nausea. Cinnamon and apple cider vinegar help to balance the blood sugar. Choose from one or all of the ingredients below!
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Ginger (grated fresh or powdered)
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Hot water
  1. Fruits and Veggies – eat mostly fruits and veggies throughout the day to let your body rest and repair from the damage the night before.
  2. Supplements
  • Vitamins B & C – alcohol depletes B-Vitamins, and Vitamin C is full of antioxidants to help your body detox.
  • Omega-3 – think fish oil, flax, chia seeds or walnuts. This is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can help to balance your body.
  1. Move your body! – sweating will help your body to flush the toxins out. Anything that increases blood flow is great, including massage, yoga, and cardio exercise.

board certified holistic nutrition Jolene Goring known as a leading integrated health and fitness, holistic nutrition and natural beauty expert based in Scottsdale, AZ.

18 years of experience in the health and fitness industry, with a BSc. Geophysics and Board Certification in Holistic Nutrition.


Also certified in personal training, group fitness, senior’s fitness, and sports nutrition.


Are you Negotiating for the Right Things for F&B?

Are you Negotiating for the Right Things for F&B?

I have found that when I ask colleagues why they are attending a meeting, I get answers like, networking, education, etc. But when they return and I ask how the meeting was, they usually start describing the food and beverage events.

Ergo, food and beverage is important to the success of your meeting.

People generally remember only the very bad or the excellent events they have attended. Never want to be remembered for bad events (skimpy food, cheap booze, tacky theme, etc.). You don’t want to be in the middle where the event is promptly forgotten. You want to be remembered for the fabulous events that attendees talk about for years.

I can still remember the incredible Indiana Jones and the Lost Temple of Doom event that was held in Boston at a PCMA conference in the early 90s. And, I still shudder when I remember a certain conference with an outside buffet in the direct sun in Miami – with mayonnaise-based salads and cream pies – and where the waiters were actually eating off of the back of the buffet as we were selecting our items from the front.

Catering is usually the largest budget item for most meetings. Yet, it often comes last in the planning process. I have had planners tell me that catering is a “black hole.” They don’t know what is negotiable or how to negotiate. Catering is not one-size-fits-all. Everything about each event is unique.

One thing to consider is soft costs vs hard costs. A hotel cannot sell you a bottle of wine for $20 if they paid $25 for it, but they can usually recommend a less expensive wine. Soft costs can be rental charges, because the hotel does not have to outlay cash.

I asked James Filtz, a Convention Service Manager at the Sheraton New York (Starwood), what is most negotiable in catering. His answer: “The contents of a menu. Often times if a customer comes to me and wants to swap out items, or create a custom menu I am happy to oblige. It is much easier for me to get approval from leadership to do this than discount a menu.”

Cheryl Sgovio, Director of Catering and Convention Sales at the Thomas & Mack Center/Cox Pavilion/Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas agrees. Cheryl says, “Menu selections. We will work with every client to customize a menu that best suits their event.”

So, what is least negotiable? Sgovio says, “Minimums. We have to be sure and protect the space we are holding and ensure it will be offset with either a high enough food and beverage purchase and/or rental.”

Filtz says it is, “Labor fees and service charges. I work in a unionized property and our collective bargaining agreement drives these fees. I have no way not to pay for them.

Written by Patti Shock

Patti Shock on Linkedin

6 New Celebrity Chef Dining Experiences

Food and beverage is such a huge part of meetings and events. While planners are continually seeking out new restaurants to host attendees for unique dining experiences. Therefore the whole celebrity chef craze is not lost on the meetings industry. So we have compiled a list of six new and upcoming restaurants that reflect the handiwork of famous celebrity chefs.

Just this week, MGM Grand in Las Vegas announced that Masaharu Morimoto. Famed Japanese chef and star of Food Network’s Iron Chef America, has made his debut in the meeting capital with Morimoto Las Vegas. Morimoto’s distinctive Japanese fare melds Eastern and Western flavors. The new restaurant offers three distinct dining experiences: sushi bar, main dining room and Teppan tables.

“Fate brought Morimoto Las Vegas to MGM Grand at an exciting time when the city’s dining scene is flourishing,”. Morimoto says. “I’m continually inspired by Las Vegas’ glamour.  I wanted to create something we haven’t done before. A stimulating culinary show, bold cuisine and delicious drinks that my guests will not soon forget.”

Scott Sibella, president and COO of MGM Grand, says the food scene at his property and throughout Las Vegas will benefit from this opening. “We are honored to have him as part of our culinary team.  And look forward to creating once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences at the city’s newest dining destination,” Sibella says.

San Francisco-based Michael Mina, one of the first celebrity chefs to kick off the popular trend in Las Vegas, He opened his first restaurant in Hawaii in August, with Stripsteak Waikiki coming online in Honolulu. The opening marks Mina’s 29th restaurant. The menu features lighter takes on steak house fare, with the addition of fresh seafood.

Located inside Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, Cut was opened by Wolfgang Puck in September. The celebrity chef is making his New York City debut.

Also new MGM National Harbor in Maryland, a member of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), will open in December.  With several big-name chefs to help catch the attention of meeting planners and attendees. This includes Fish by Jose Andres, who will celebrate the best of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  Most noteworthy diners will be able to enjoy a crab boil on the outdoor patio during warm weather.

In January, Phoenix will welcome Mora Italian by celebrity chef Scott Conant of Impero Caffe in New York and Scarpetta in Miami. Conant’s partner in this venture is Stefano Fabbri. Designed to create a neighborhood vibe, Mora Italian will offer a modern vibe with urban street art and live music on weekends.

In conclusion David Chang is opening Las Vegas Momofuku in 2017 at The Cosmopolitan. Chang has eateries in New York City, Sydney, Toronto and Washington, DC.

By Holly Woolard

State Liquor Laws Quiz: Can I drink that here?

State Liquor Laws Can I drink that here

In South Carolina, it’s illegal to sell alcohol on which day?

Florida reserves the right to enforce prohibition during this potential state of emergency?

Open containers are prohibited in most areas of this state…but drive-thru daiquiri stands are legal.

Which conservative state’s Attorney General banned liquor from being served on planes in its airspace?

5.  In which libertarian-leaning state can you buy liquor at highway rest areas?

6. In which state is it illegal to run a bar tab?

7.  You can only chug alcohol while seated in this state, because it’s against the law to take more than 3 sips of beer while standing up.

8.  In Kansas, it is illegal to do what in a bar?

9.  In which state is it illegal to drink on horseback, because a horse is considered a vehicle?

10.  Until 2013, Utah had a ban on drinking alcohol in this surprising situation:

State Liquor Laws Quiz:

11.  You might want a cold beer in this drought-prone state, but you won’t be able to find one in the stores.

12.  You won’t find any nudes on your wine bottles here, because it’s illegal to have wine labels may not be “immodest or sensuous” in this traditionally conservative state…

13.  Liquor stores close early – at 10pm – in this notably religious state:

14.  In 1984, Massachusetts became the first state to implement a statewide ban on what?

15.  How many states still haven’t technically repealed Prohibition by officially ratifying the 21st Amendment?

16.  Which state bans alcohol sales between 5am and 8am, which could be inconvenient on those super long summer days?

17.  In what state is it strictly against the law to give alcohol to a moose?

18.  What surprising activity is illegal when you visit a brewery in Alabama?

19.  What type of venue was granted a liquor license for the first time in Georgia in 2012?

20.  If you’re under age 21 in Texas, when can you drink alcohol?

I did not do so well!

Your Score: 35%
You’re cut off.
It’s a good thing you took this quiz before you went riding off on a horse into that hurricane,1469482194,6npdfk5k


8 Satellite Bars to Get Your Drink On

8 Satellite Bars to Get Your Drink On

In case you missed it, we’re calling out satellite bars as a big reception trend this year. What is a satellite bar, you ask? It’s not just a cocktail bar—it’s a signature sip station that doubles as a focal point and an opportunity to give your specialty cocktail its own moment in the wedding decor. Think of it as a grown-up candy bar. Get inspired by these eight different ways to personalize the trend!

    1. 1. Wood Whiskey Bar

      Wooden whiskey bar


      Have you ever seen a more appropriate whiskey bar? The dark stained wood and silver trays radiate a laid-back yet totally distinguished vibe. If you don’t want flowers on the bar, tall end lamps or topiaries are great floral alternatives that still let you show off your own style—minus the blooms.

    2. 2. Liquid Candy Bar

      Pink signature cocktail with cotton candy


      As a functional and fun decor element, let prepared glasses decorate the background of your satellite bar. Not only do the already-placed garnishes make service that much quicker, but in this case the cotton candy adds to the “candy bar” ambience. Other garnishes could range from sugar or salt-rimmed glasses to fruit wedges.

    3. 3. DIY Hot Chocolate Bar

      rustic hot chocolate bar


      A DIY hot chocolate bar is perfect to warm up guests at a winter wedding. Stock a small table with candy cane or cinnamon stirrers, marshmallows and plenty of whipped cream, so guests can make the cocoa to their liking. If you want to turn up the volume, pour boozy add-ins (like Baileys or peppermint schnapps) into plaid patterned travel canisters—just make sure to have them properly labeled—and supply a basket of monogrammed paper cup sleeves.

    4. 4. Locally Brewed Beer

      Locally brewed beer bar with IPA and Lager


      Serving beer is one thing—serving local brews out of a customized bar is a totally different experience. Guests can serve themselves (aka no attendant needed!) from the built-in taps and try different flavors. The simple wine bottle decor adds just the right touch of charm, without stealing the spotlight away from the beauty of the natural wood.

    5. 5. Big Batch Cocktails

      Vintage pre-ceremony drink display


      If you’re looking for a low-maintenance bar alternative (or supplement), opt for large batch cocktails served out of drink dispensers. Add small signage to each beverage that nods to the decor and describes the ingredients of each drink. If you’re outdoors or in the country in warmer months, freshly squeezed lemonade, spiked iced tea and infused water blends perfectly with the weather (and a pastel color scheme).

    6. 6. DIY Bellini Bar

      Bellini bar with strawberries, raspberries and blackberries


      Phantom pedestals have a way of making any table look modern and fresh (and they’re especially handy if you want to elevate the fruit bowls for an easier reach, without bulking up the table’s design). Not only does the fruit add a fresh twist to the drinks, but they provide a natural pop of color when styled on top a contrasting color like this navy-blue-striped tablecloth.

    7. 7. Signature Champagne Cocktail

      Champagne cocktail bar


      Even if your signature sip is in the same family as other spirits you may be serving (read: white wine and prosecco), give it its own special moment with a solo table presentation. If your outdoor reception space has a particularly stunning flower factor, use it to your advantage as a cocktail bar backdrop. The orange daylilies here make the prosecco signature cocktail bar look even sweeter.

    8. 8. Antique Spirits Station

      Alice In Wonderland-inspired cocktail bar

      No room for a big bar installation? A thrifted antique desk will do the trick. Deck out the drawers with old-fashioned teacups, overflowing florals and back-up bottles—just in case. If you’re lacking counter space, add a couple tiered dessert trays to provide additional room for light bites, garnishes or cocktail napkins.

Our Culinary Skills rock!

Our Culinary Skills rock!

Our Culinary Skills rock! VNS has corporate event planning and catering that presents incomparable event capabilities. Our desire is to provide you and your guests with a flawless culinary experience highlighting sustainability produced, inventive and luscious menus. The highest caliber of service in our industry, trend setting design and attention to every detail.


At VNS we always tailor-makes our menus to suit your imaginative, organizational and budgetary requests.


More than a catering company. We have a culinary team focused on delivering experiential events for a clientele who have seen it all. Let our team bring to life your next corporate event. Our amazing team is equally at home planning a wedding as a corporate event.

Our catering, food styling and event production services include

Creative menu design with sophisticated, innovative cuisine
We provide custom tailoring of buffets and plates as well as bar accessories
Liquid refreshment synchronization
Novelty kitchens
Provision guidelines, timing and coordination
Exceptional trained service staff that are professionals
Creating the perfect custom menu for your event that will be talked about for years is our specialty. Chefs are well versed in food allergies and preferences; vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.

We are known for our locally produced food. We have a strong relationship with our purveyors, from farmers to bakers, to cheese makers. Our focus is on the freshest, most seasonal ingredients available. Our team is constantly connecting seasonal and local foods with innovative menu ideas. From our food presentation to beautiful table designs, we will help capture your vision for the perfect event that will impress your guests and make you shine

Whether you are celebrating a corporate anniversary or hosting your annual company party, let us make you look good. From casual to upscale, our corporate catering division can create an event that reflects the caliber and style of your company.

If you need interactive games, entertainment, live music, or out of the box ideas for a unique celebration – we are here to help. Santa Barbara Catering offers one stop shopping and can coordinate all of this for you.

The next time your company needs to plan a memorable corporate celebration or corporate meeting, look to our event planners to bring your vision to life.

We would love to start planning your custom menu!



Five Star Exclusive Celebrity Hangar Treatment

We are now offering Five Star Exclusive Celebrity Hangar Treatment in Private Hangar.  Or how about an Extraordinary Arizona Desert Sunset at an Unforgettable Ranch.

Therefore corporate events are ever more drawn to unique sites that offer both privacy and maximum personalization. Most noteworthy is gone are the days of wide-eyed hotel guest lounging poolside a measly few yards away.

The team at Venues of North Scottsdale allows every element of your event to sing in perfect harmony.

In addition we have worked with

Fortune 500 , Sports Agencies , Fashion Shows

Trade Shows • Concerts • Conventions • Meetings

Non-Profit , Black Tie Galas , National Brand Product Launches

Venues of North Scottsdale is the best choice to help your dream become a reality

In addition we provide our clients with an experience unparalleled by any other venues in Scottsdale. Offering the most client-centric approach when collaborating with your vision.

Finally select your venue from our collection and our  extraordinary team of seasoned event professionals will collaborate with your group to design an experience like none other.

World-class catering, audio visual solutions, dynamic furniture, décor, entertainment and event managers to take care of the details are all part of the package.

In conclusion we are the best way to build exceptional experiences from the ground up. Unique venues for planners who are ready for something different.  Furthermore the flexibility of the our spaces provide for a blank canvas for your imaginative occasion planning.  You can alter this space to fit nearly any style of event. Call us today to see how our hangars can serve as your next fabulous event.