When to Hire a Catering Company

Who doesn’t love food? Formal occasions, wild celebrations and casual social gatherings alike are often centered around a delicious meal, which puts pressure on event hosts to provide an exceptional dining experience. Food preparation, presentation and service can be some of the most labor-intensive and time-consuming aspects of event planning, so it’s important to ensure your guests’ dining experience is in the right hands. Make sure every bite is the highlight of the evening by hiring a catering company you trust, with a creative and personalized approach to San Jose catering and event planning.  


A caterer can come in handy if you’re planning:


A corporate event. To put it plainly, networking can be weird. A great meal is an excellent conversation-starter, and it can help take the edge off of forming new business relationships. Aside from facilitating networking opportunities, a corporate event also serves as a representation of your business or organization, so you’ll want to make sure everything is running smoothly. A competent and experienced catering company will help you make the best impression possible on potential investors and associates alike.  


A formal event. If your guests have gone to the trouble of getting all dressed up, you’d better make sure they have something to dress up for! An indulgent gourmet meal complemented by excellent service will make every guest feel like a red carpet superstar, whether their evening wear is custom-tailored or a lucky thrift store find. Choosing a catering company that knows its stuff will help the event go off without a hitch, allowing you to cultivate an atmosphere of effortless elegance.


A casual gathering. Hiring a San Jose caterer can take a casual get-together to the next level. Let someone else handle the food so you can focus on your friends and family. A smaller-scale event gives you a unique opportunity to finesse each and every detail of your night, nourishing an intimate and laid-back atmosphere for you and your loved ones.


If you’re on the hunt for a San Jose caterer, check out Handheld Catering. Their food is locally-sourced wherever possible, carefully hand-picked from local farmer’s markets, expertly prepared and creatively presented, so by the time your food has reached your plate, it’s already encountered a whole lot of love — and there’s more to come, because you’re sure to love it too. Give Handheld Catering a call at (408) 692-4782 to make your event one to remember.


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Corporate Event Checklist

A corporate event can make or break your company or organization’s public image, so it’s important to ensure every aspect of the event is planned to a tee. Consult this handy checklist to make sure you’re covering all of your bases throughout the corporate event catering and planning process.


  1. Set a date. This is your first real commitment, so make it count! Set a date that accommodates for the needs of your VIP guests and fellow staff members. If you have a specific location in mind, make sure you choose a date when your chosen venue is available.
  2. Pick a place. It’s all about atmosphere! Choose a venue that will help you cultivate the desired atmosphere for your corporate event. Lighting is key, so make sure you check out your venue at about the time of day when you plan to host the event.


  • Grab your calendar or grab a planner. Lay out key deadlines ahead of time — when to send out invitations, when to nail down guest speakers, when to finalize your  corporate event catering plans. Even better, reach out to an event planner in your area to offer guidance and support and lessen the weight on your shoulders.
  • Prepare a budget. The least fun, but the most critical. An excellent event planner can help you find creative ways to maximize your budget so that your event is both elegant and economical.
  • Book a caterer. Food preparation, presentation and service are among the most time-consuming and labor-heavy aspects of event planning. Make sure you do it right! An excellent meal means an excellent impression, and hiring a caterer will take the pressure off of you to provide the perfect dining experience.
  • Set an itinerary. Lay out a plan for the evening itself, including any guest speakers, group activities, mealtimes and times to mingle.
  • Knock it out of the park. Do a walk-through on the day of your event and then lean back and enjoy — or, you know, sit up straight and make a good impression on key investors. If you’ve hired an event planner, you have more freedom to pursue professional goals rather than managing the event the night of. Get out there and show them what a star you are!

For the best corporate event catering and planning in the San Jose CA area, give Handheld Catering a call at (408) 692-4782. They’ll handle the food, the atmosphere, and the tough stuff, so you can enjoy yourself and achieve your professional goals.

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Alternatives to Traditional Recipes

Old Food, New Spin

Previously well-known for our super-sized meal portions, the United States has been picking up the slack on health and fitness. Thanks to an ever-increasing public interest in personal wellness, yoga and spin class enrollment are off the charts, kale is making a long-awaited appearance as a grocery staple, and more and more individuals are exploring gluten free, vegetarian and vegan diets. Sure, it can seem hard to give up your favorite comfort foods, but here’s the good news — you don’t have to! Take care of your body and your tastebuds by whipping up these delicious and healthy alternatives to traditional recipes.  

Macaroni and cheese is a comfort food classic. For a healthier twist, swap out traditional macaroni noodles for gluten free brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta or legume pasta. In addition to being gluten free, these options also offer more fiber than traditional pasta noodles, making them good for your heart and your digestive system. If you want to take it to the next level, give vegan cheese a whirl! Boil cauliflower, carrots and onions and stick them in the blender until they’re smooth. Some cashews, water, lemon juice and seasoning and you’re good to go! The secret here is nutritional yeast: it adds a flavorful punch to your meal while delivering lots of vitamins and minerals.

But what about your sweet tooth? Don’t worry — there are plenty of ways to put a healthy spin on your favorite post-dinner indulgences. Many desserts heavily feature eggs; for a nutritious vegan and gluten free substitute, mix ground raw flaxseed with some water. This thickens up many batters nicely, especially in brownies, muffins and cookies. Steer away from heavily-processed white sugar and use the good stuff — natural cane sugar. Natural cocoa powder lends richness to chocolatey treats; add a little cacao powder for a little extra bitterness and a whole lot of antioxidants and magnesium.
For more healthy, gluten free, vegetarian or vegan twists on old favorites, give Handheld Catering a call at (408)692-4782. Let us handle the cooking so you can focus on having a great time over a delicious meal. Because who says healthy food can’t be indulgent too?

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Doggie Bag Ideas for Your Next Event!

We all know food is the way to a party guest’s heart, but how can you make excellent dining a longer-term affair? If a delicious meal has left your guests satisfied but wanting more, a doggie bag can be a fun and creative option to keep the party going long after the event has ended. What’s more, they’re a great way to thank your guests for coming and make sure they have a reminder of the evening to take with them.

As you can probably imagine, it’s important to be selective about what foods you choose to send off in a doggie bag. As a general rule, stick to relatively solid food that doesn’t have to be refrigerated, and try to avoid foods with a particularly strong smell. If you’re looking to indulge your guests’ sweet tooth, try caramel candy, toffee, brittle or fudge. Or give your treats a seasonal flair — chocolate or white chocolate bark, handmade marshmallows and peppermint candies are excellent options around the holidays. Add a decorative element by using colored wax paper and tying off the ends of the wrappers with string or thin ribbon.

For a parting gift that keeps on giving, consider making a cocoa or tea mix, homemade extract, infused liquor or a flavored salt or sugar to share with your guests. These can be stored for extended periods of time and are best presented in a glass bottle or jar, allowing them to double as a souvenir of your event. Tie a little bow, attach a card and voila! The perfect gift. If you want to make it extra special, use chalk paint or a gold paint pen to write your guest’s name and the name and date of the event.

If you’re hoping to leave your guests wanting more, Handheld Catering is at your service with delicious food and creative ideas to make your event every bit as special as the occasion. Handheld Catering is always looking for new ways to make your gathering unique — they’ll come to the table with plenty of ideas so you can bring your vision to life. Call Chef Ryan at (408)692-4782 and learn how to make your event one to remember.

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2017 Trends for Events & Catering

What Catering Trends Can we Expect in 2017?

New Years might be over, but that doesn’t mean the party has to be. Even if your 2017 resolutions already seem like a distant memory, there are still plenty of exciting changes to look forward to in the events and catering industry. Read on to learn what to expect this year and how you can get ahead of the latest trends!

In the coming year, expect catering to take on an especially artistic flair. Creative plating, decorative garnish and meals incorporating a wide array of colors and textures will make your meal look every bit as good as it tastes. With the ever-increasing popularity of social media outlets such as Instagram and Twitter, photo-worthy meals and treats can give your event, organization or cause an extra media boost. The more people share pictures of their gorgeous meal, the more exposure you’ll get — you might even increase the attendance at your next big event.

Next on the menu: interactive dining. More and more, event guests want more than just a meal; they want an experience. Fondue is a known crowd favorite, but if you want to get ahead of the curve, try ordering a dessert with a shell that dissolves when liquid is poured over it. You can also hire an expert chef comfortable cooking in front of guests to introduce a performative element to your meal.

Hand in hand with the wellness trend of recent years, guests are becoming more and more interested in where their food comes from. Even if a meal looks beautiful and tastes delicious, a plate full of mystery ingredients and unknown origins can be cause for pause. Ethically-produced, locally-sourced ingredients will satisfy your guests and set your event apart. Information about the origins of the food on the table can also be an excellent starting place for interesting and educational dialogue between guests.

As a leader of innovation in events and catering, Handheld Catering has the experience and creativity to make your special event stand out from the rest. Handheld Catering has valued the farm-to-table approach from the beginning, so we know just where to get the freshest, best-tasting ingredients for a truly memorable meal. Get in touch with Chef Ryan at (408)692-4782 today and he’ll get started crafting a unique event that will delight you and your guests alike.

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When To Use a Corporate Caterer

If you’re planning a big business function, you’ve probably got a lot on the line. From putting together an impressive meal to making sure your VIP guests are attended to, every detail counts. And if there’s any merit to the old and oft-repeated adage, food might just be the way to a person’s heart — and maybe even their investment. Food can be the key ingredient to the perfect corporate gathering, and it’s important that your meal is delicious and impeccably served. Meal preparation and presentation requires time, hard work, and attention to detail. When should you leave catering to the professionals? Read on to find out when and why you might want to consider hiring a corporate caterer.

Corporate Luncheons Are The Best!

An excellent corporate caterer has the experience to know what works and what doesn’t. When you’re hosting an important corporate event, every aspect of the gathering reflects your company and what you stand for. Excellent food appeals to multiple senses: sight, smell, taste and even touch. Getting the meal just right contributes to an atmosphere of luxury, competence and warmth, and that’s something any investor or business partner will want to get behind. A delicious meal can impress clients and business partners, and might be the key to sealing that big deal, investment, or partnership.

Corporate events can be a great networking opportunity. Sometimes, corporate events are organized with a specific business goal in mind. Managing the social aspects of a party or formal dinner and your professional goals is already a balancing act; the stress of handling even one more element — namely, the food — can be distracting, which means you might not perform your best. If this event is a big night for your business or your career, hire a professional corporate caterer so that you can focus on the task at hand rather than what’s happening in the kitchen.

If you’re looking for an exceptional corporate caterer in the San Jose CA area, reach out to Handheld Catering at (408)465-0466. It’s one of the favorite catering companies in the California Bay Area, and for good reason — the food isn’t just delicious, it’s farm-to-fork. Make the meal stand out so your company will too, and call Handheld Catering today.

Handheld Catering
586 N 1st St #113
San Jose, CA 95112

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Handheld Catering is the best in the business, and so are our partners. We’re a happy purveyor of brain food for some of the most well-known and respected businesses in and around San Francisco Bay Area.

Who hasn’t heard of Microsoft? If you’ve somehow missed the word on one of the world’s top consumer tech companies, check out their website at www.microsoft.com. We feel privileged to cheer on our partner’s continuing accomplishments in software and consumer electronics.

We also proudly serve Nutanix, the two-time recipient of Gartner’s leadership award for their work on integrated systems. Read more about this rising star company and proud partner of Handheld Catering at www.nutanix.com.

Speaking of rising stars — we partner with PureStorage, a company pioneering smart storage data technology that works so hard, you barely notice it. On their website, www.purestorage.com, they call their storage “effortless, efficient, and evergreen,” and we couldn’t agree more. We strive for the same in our catering work! 

We hope to be half as cool as our partner VeloCloud, who recently received Gartner’s 2016 “Cool Vendor” award. Visit their website www.velocloud.com to learn more about the leaps and bounds VeloCloud is taking to make the internet work for you.

BAE Systems is a UK company, but we hope the delicious Bay Area eats will keep one foot firmly planted in California. We’re in awe of our partner’s technology-based defense, aerospace and security solutions. Read all about it at www.baesystems.com!

On the American side of the aerospace and defense world, General Dynamics is making it happen. Visit www.generaldynamics.com and you’re sure to learn something — this particular partner has been around the block a few times since their inception in 1899, although we suspect their website is just a little younger.

Another of our distinguished partners, Ernst and Young provides professional services to help businesses reach their full potential. At www.ey.com, you can check out how they’ve changed companies — and lives — for the better.

In the same world, Accenture is bringing the future to the present with innovative solutions for business challenges. Visit www.accenture.com for more info on our partner’s exciting work in the global field of professional services.

If you’re looking for wealth management solutions, look no further than Loring Ward. Their financial advisors are here to help you achieve your financial goals, and we’re proud to say they’re fueled by Handheld Catering. Find them at www.loringward.com.

Last but never least, our partner Berliner Cohen is one of the largest San Jose-based law firms, answering legal needs with invaluable insight. At www.berliner.com, you can learn more about how they’ve helped their clients in Northern California.

Join our list of distinguished clients and give us a call at408-692-4782 for your Bay Area catering needs. We can’t wait to chat about your company’s catering needs!

Handheld Catering
1725 De La Cruz Blvd #1
Santa Clara, CA 95050

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Holiday Catering

The holidays are here! We’ve all heard the carols about sleigh bells ringing, but how about those glasses clinking? ’Tis the season for holiday parties, which means most of us are about to eat and drink our weight in some seasonal indulgences. Whether you’re hosting the hottest party of the season or an intimate gathering for your closest friends, you’re probably searching for the perfect holiday catering company. Here are some tips on choosing the right catering team and planning a stand-out celebration.

Grilled Flank Steak With A Chili Glaze And An Avocado Salsa

Whether your gathering is big or small, go all out. Pay attention to the details — sometimes, it’s the little things that count. A few pomegranate seeds in a glass of prosecco can set the mood nicely, and an array of mini-plates lets you and your guests try tons of delicious entrees and feel like you’re feasting while still leaving room for dessert. That being said, the holidays are a great time to go big guilt-free. For a massive meal or for little treats, find a holiday catering company that can cook all their food on-site, so all your food looks and taste as fresh as possible.

Elegant simplicity can be a beautiful choice for your holiday party decor, but there’s no need to shy away from the sparkle and shine of the holidays. In the wise words of local company Handheld Catering’s founder, don’t be afraid to bling it up a little. Metallic dish-ware and decorative accents can add that festive touch while keeping it sophisticated. Whatever your choice in decor, find a holiday catering company that specializes in more than just food. A truly exceptional catering company will offer ideas for plate-ware, presentation and decorative accents so your meal is as decked out as your home.

 Whether you’re planning to serve traditional holiday goodies or something a little different, be sure that your gathering stands out from your guests’ busy schedule of holiday celebrations. Handheld Catering founder Ryan McTighe offers some more great ideas in this Mercury News article on holiday party planning — read all about it at www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/29/three-glorious-holiday-party-ideas-ho-ho-ho/.

If you’re celebrating the season with a party or two, leave the holiday catering to the experts. Call Handheld Catering’s San Francisco Bay Area location at (408) 465-0466 so you can focus on making your event as merry and bright as the season merits.

Handheld Catering
1725 De La Cruz Blvd #1
Santa Clara, CA 95050

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Corporate Catering Made Simple

If you’re organizing a critical corporate event, it might seem like your to-do list is endless. From ensuring sure each and every VIP guest feels like the most important person in the room to double-checking that the table is set, you might not even have time to enjoy the event you worked so hard to plan. Most corporate events have a specific business goal in mind, but even if your event is on the social side, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking advantage of networking opportunities and presenting yourself as a competent — and confident — professional. Attitude can make all the difference, but if you have too much on your plate, you’re likely to be in a stressful and even negative state of mind. This is where corporate catering can come in.

The Amazing Brenda Making Corporate Catering Perfection Happen Like She Always Does!

Food is often a centerpiece of corporate events, and a great meal can make all the difference in securing that important investment or business partnership. But meal preparation and presentation are labor-intensive and time-consuming. A corporate catering service can take care of all the hard work a great meal requires, all while making sure your food is delicious and beautifully-served. This can take a huge load off of your shoulders, allowing you to relax, enjoy the social atmosphere and pursue your professional and networking goals.

A catering company should make things simpler for you, not add an extra layer of complexity to the mix. Be sure to choose a company that’s locally beloved and has extensive experience catering for corporate events. If you want to go above and beyond what’s expected of your business, choose a catering company that does the same.

Handheld Catering is an excellent choice for corporate catering in San Jose CA. Their food is lovingly prepared on-site in their open-air mobile kitchen, which they’ll tuck out of sight so it doesn’t disturb your event. Handheld Catering does it all, from light and casual fare to extravagant plated service for black-tie events. Call Handheld Catering’s San Jose location today at (408)465-0466 for exceptional corporate catering services.

Handheld Catering
586 N 1st St #113
San Jose, CA 95112

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https://i2.wp.com/i.imgur.com/arekkdn.pngEvery time you cook, you automatically reach for that can of veggies, fruits or preserved meat for your dish. Whether it is for yourself and your family, or your guests, your cooking almost always includes processed ingredients straight from the freezer or sealed packet. The fault of using processed or frozen ingredients lies not in the cooking style, but in the lifestyle. We simply do not have the time to search for and buy fresh ingredients every day.

In that process, we are jeopardizing our health and wealth. If you are a fan of canned food or eating out of the box, here are a few reasons that will make you choose fresh ingredients over processed ones.

Freshness for health

Fresh ingredients are always better for preparing healthy food, when compared to processed ingredients. Fresh ingredients are basically those that haven’t been exposed to chemicals or processed in any way to increase their shelf life. They have to be consumed on the same day or within a day or two. Fresh ingredients, including fresh vegetables, meat, spices like basil, cilantro, tomatoes, garlic also retain their nutritious value when you cook them right. Unlike processed foods, they are pure and not adulterated in any way, by exposure to preservatives and other such chemicals.

Food cooked with fresh ingredients is healthier than food cooked with processed ingredients or those stored using preservatives.

Fresh ingredients for better tasting food

When it comes to taste, nothing can beat fresh ingredients. The flavor in the food you cook is best when you use fresh ingredients – whether it is succulent meat, fresh produce, basil that is freshly grown in your own yard, ripe tomatoes from the plant you grew in your window – all of them taste a lot better fresh than preserved. Try cooking using fresh ingredients once and you will agree that food tastes better with fresh ingredients.

Save money with fresh produce

Agreed, that not all fresh veggies and fruits are cheaper than their processed counterparts. That said, eating only canned foods can prove to be expensive in the long run, when the affect of your food choices finally shows up on your health. Also, fresh ingredients need not always be expensive as you think. Where you buy, how much you buy and when you buy the ingredients all make a difference in how much you pay for it. Fresh ingredients get even cheaper if you have the space to grow your favorite veggies and fruits in your own backyard.