Spring Catering in the Bay

Ideas That Resonate

Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, you can wear your sandals again without unwelcome judgment from passerby — spring is here! What better way to ring in the new season than by throwing a springtime celebration? Answer: there is no better way. It was a rhetorical question. Read on for some ideas to keep your next party as fresh as the new leaves.


Keep it green. This one seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it’s swept under the rug in the pursuit of an extravagant, up-to-trend party, even in the environmentally-conscious Bay Area. But there’s no need to sacrifice flavor, fun or creativity for the sake of environmental friendliness — find you a catering company that can do both! Handheld Catering is the perfect choice for sustainable, delicious and beautifully-prepared Palo Alto catering. Their farm-to-table approach to dining ensures your food this spring is as kind to the earth as the earth is to you.


Take advantage of re-opening farmers’ markets. Warmer weather means farmers’ markets are opening back up all across the country. Let your countrymen have their fun, and try your best not to brag about California’s unbeatable produce. Bay Area residents certainly know it: we have it best. Take advantage of the springtime haul by finding a catering company that sources its ingredients from local farms and thanks the vendors in person.


Work flowers into your event design, and even your food! You’d be hard-pressed to find a person that doesn’t like spring flowers. (And if you’ve found one, do you even want them at your party?) If you’re keeping it classic, consider placing a variety of coordinating wildflower bouquets throughout your venue, but if you’d really like to surprise your guests, figure out a way to work flowers into the meal. Better yet, find a catering company that can do it for you! Edible flowers can be a delightful and sophisticated accent to your dining offerings, and the creative culinary team at Handheld Catering is always up for a challenge. Ask how they can work flowers into your meal and into your event decorations.


If you’re planning a springtime soiree, give Handheld Catering a call at (408)692-4782 to start planning an event that resonates with your guests senses and their sensibilities. Very little compares to the joy of a new season under the sun (or fog), but delicious and sustainable Palo Alto catering served with kindness comes pretty close.

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Top Ten Places to Throw a Party in the Bay Area

Getting ready to throw a party in the San Francisco Bay Area? Consider yourself lucky — you’re playing host in one of the most vibrant and exciting places in the country. The central challenge of Bay Area event planning isn’t finding a venue, it’s choosing a venue. Make the most of all your surroundings have to offer by booking one of these top ten event venues in the Bay Area.



  • The Box SF. For effortless cool, look no further than The Box. The Box is an event center located in a gorgeous historic building in San Francisco, and its intimate vibe makes it perfect for smaller gatherings. If you don’t believe it, ask SF Weekly — they named The Box the best venue for small parties in San Francisco.
  • The Pearl. Just look at this place. Really. This all-inclusive venue has something for every guest: it’s sophisticated yet laid-back, and trendy without being cloying. The reclaimed cedar ceiling, theatrical lighting capabilities and built-in cranes holding indoor living gardens put The Pearl on a whole new level.  
  • Avenue. A beautiful modern studio in San Francisco, Avenue offers an airy, inspiring and fully customizable space so you can match your gathering to your artistic vision.
  • Mints & Honey. If too cute were a thing, Mints & Honey might be that thing. Thankfully, there’s no such thing as too cute. Mints & Honey is a beyond adorable gathering place in a neighborhood cafe in San Carlos. A beautiful and bright location for an intimate baby or bridal shower, Mints & Honey also offers in-house floral design.
  • Impact Hub. This socially-conscious venue has beauty and brains. Celebrate your organization’s social activism, entrepreneurship or positive impact in your community by hosting your next work party or fundraiser at Impact Hub.
  • TPC Stonebrae Country Club. Recently voted the “2nd Best New Clubhouse in the World” by Golf INC Magazine, TPC Stonebrae is the newest clubhouse in the Bay Area, with top-notch amenities and a beautiful outdoor setting. And hey, second in the world?  We’ll take it.
  • The Reata. A Bay Area event planning classic, The Reata’s wood and brick Spanish-style interior accented with glowing chandeliers lends a sophisticated and warm atmosphere, and their attentive service will keep your guests feeling like VIPs all night.
  • Midsummer Studios. Impress even the most aloof of your artsy friends by inviting your creative community to enjoy a special night at Midsummer Studios. The venue is relaxed yet elegant, and it plays host to hundreds of shoots, concerts, art shows and other events.
  • Dogpatch Studios. Dance the night away at Dogpatch Studios in San Francisco. The venue offers three distinct environments, a DJ booth and the opportunity to get creative with your lighting design.
  • Rengstorff House. For sunny outdoor celebrations at an affordable price, Rengstorff House can’t be beat! The beautiful, lakeside Victorian house is the oldest home in Mountain View, providing the perfect backdrop for a baby shower, wedding reception or outdoor gathering.



What’s a party without good eats? Once you’ve found the perfect event venue, compliment it with the perfect meal by giving Handheld Catering a call at (408)692-4782. Handheld Catering matches delicious farm-to-table catering with sustainable Bay Area event planning, and their impeccable service and creative flair put the cherry on top.

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Does Your Business Need Lunch Catering?

It’s another busy day at the office, and you’re dropping coins into the vending machine to pay for a healthy lunch of Peanut M&Ms. Save your quarters for laundry and step away from the vending machine. You and your grumbling stomach have options! When work gets too busy to take a full luxurious hour to head home, make a sandwich and let the dog out, corporate lunch catering is the way to go. (Your dog is on their own.)


Here are some reasons to hop on the Mountain View corporate catering train:


Convenience. Plain and simple, corporate catering makes lunchtime more convenient. No long lists of dietary preferences handed off to questionably-competent interns, no slow drive-thru lines and no running late to your meeting with ketchup on your shirt. On-site corporate catering means you don’t have to rush — you can enjoy your meal at your own pace in the few minutes you have away from your desk, or you can eat while you work.


Quality. On-site corporate catering means you don’t have to sacrifice quality for convenience (see above). An excellent Mountain View corporate catering company won’t just whip up your meal, they’ll make it with love. If you get lucky, they’ll also make it with fresh, locally-sourced, farm-to-table ingredients that’ll tickle your tastebuds and give your brain the fuel it needs to get through the rest of the work day.


Take care of yourself and your employees. Fast food lunches or the aforementioned vending machine snack might get you through a day or two, but scarfing down a less-than-nourishing lunch on a regular basis can take a toll on your body. Work might be high on your list of priorities, but in order to do your best at work, you have to put yourself first. Hiring a corporate catering team to handle your lunches will help support healthy habits, a clearer head, and a happier tummy. Be kind to yourself by choosing a Mountain View corporate catering company that will hand-prepare a lunch that’s both delicious and nutritious.


Improved morale, which means improved productivity! If you’re the boss, you know that a happy team means a productive team. Giving well-deserved praise to employees is one way to go, but sometimes words can’t say quite as much as a delicious meal can. Treating your office to a catered lunch shows your gratitude for your staff’s hard work — and you’ll get some leftovers out of the deal.


For delicious, sustainable and healthy Mountain View corporate catering, Handheld Catering is where it’s at. Their farm-to-table approach means your food is treated with love at every step from the farm to your plate. And say goodbye to soggy, lukewarm lunches that barely survived the trip from the kitchen to your office — Handheld Catering prepares food on-site in their mobile, open-air kitchen, so your lunch is always fresh and tasty. Give Handheld Catering a call at (408)692-4782 and take a step toward a happier, healthier work day.

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Bay Area Event Planning Tips


What’s not to love about the Bay Area? Okay, traffic. Smog. We get it. But really — you couldn’t pick a better place to live, and you couldn’t pick a better place to throw a party. If real estate agents throughout the ages have contributed anything to our collective societal wisdom, it’s that it’s all about location. Read on for some tips on how to harness the spirit of the bay in your Bay Area event planning process.


Go green. Support Bay Area green initiatives and impress your in-laws from Berkeley by finding an event planner with creative ideas about how to reduce your event’s waste and environmental impact. Make sure your food is as kind to the earth as it is to your tastebuds, so you can feel good during and after your meal.


Keep it local. What better way to support the Bay Area than to source from the Bay Area? Local catering and event planning company Handheld Catering does it right: produce sourced from Northern California farmers wherever possible and ingredients carefully selected from local farmers’ markets. Choose locally-owned vendors to ensure your event has that personal touch.


Variety means inclusivity. If you’re planning an event in the Bay Area, you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll have at least one gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian guest. Make sure all of your guests are able to enjoy the dining offerings by providing a variety of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian meal options. Choose a catering company that’s experienced in cooking for a variety of dietary needs, so that eliminating ingredients doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor. And be kind to any teetotalers in your circle by providing alcohol-free cocktails or ciders, because toasts are no fun without a fun drink in hand.


Don’t be afraid to show your weird. The Bay Area celebrates individuality, creativity and innovation. If you’re dreaming big, choose a Bay Area event planning company that will help you go there. Love who you are and plaster it all over the walls if need be — it’ll embolden your guests to do the same.


If you’re knee-deep in Bay Area event planning, don’t cheat yourself out of the vibrancy of the community. Take advantage of the free spirit, big heart and quirky thinking native to the Bay Area when hosting an event and call Handheld Catering at (408)692-4782.

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Seasonal Ideas for Corporate Events

The prospect of corporate events might bring to mind endless to-do lists and long waits on hold with vendors. But if you have the right event planner in your corner, corporate event planning can be a breeze! Take advantage of the year-round beauty of the Bay Area by choosing an event planner who will help you devise your event aesthetic and menu around the season or traditional holidays.  


Creativity means inclusivity. Planning a seasonal corporate event requires a delicate dance between convention and creativity. Not only will out-of-the-box planning make your event stand out, it’ll also make your event more inclusive for guests who might not necessarily be celebrating the holiday your event is… well, celebrating. Not everybody might be into Easter, but everyone can get behind quirky seasonal floral arrangements and a beautifully-presented meal.


Put a twist on traditional seasonal favorites. Choose a catering company that knows what classic dishes guests expect during the holidays so they can subvert and surpass expectations. Traditional dishes with a modern flair means old-school investor and start-up innovator alike will finish their meal satisfied — and hopefully talking. Harness the creative spirit of the Bay Area by reaching out to local corporate event planning company Handheld Catering; they’ll put a spin on traditional menus so old classics taste fresh.


Choose in-season produce and greenery. On a practical level, choosing in-season produce for your meal and in-season greenery for decoration will help you to maximize your budget. But choosing in-season options will also help you weave the spirit of the season seamlessly into your event. A meal utilizing a wide variety of seasonal produce will also widen the color palette of your event decor — as an example, oranges are in season in winter, when the traditional palette is red and green. Unexpected accent colors can add depth and vibrancy to your decor, and you’d better believe your meal can be decoration in and of itself.


For creative approaches to seasonal corporate event planning in the Bay Area, give Handheld Catering a call at (408)692-4782. They’re all about fresh — and forgive the pun, but we mean on all levels. From their priority on locally-sourced, in-season produce to their innovative approach to dining and presentation, they’re the company to hire to get ahead of the corporate event planning curve.


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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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