Chowgirls is a women-owned Minneapolis catering company renowned for gourmet and comforts foods using local, organic, and seasonal ingredients to create naturally good appetizers, meals, and desserts.
Awards include: 2009 Best Caterer – Minnesota Bride; 2009 Favorite Green Caterer – Minnesota Women’s Press; 2008 Best Green Caterer – Minnesota Bride; and 2007 Best Caterer – Minnesota Monthly
Amy & Heidi participated in our “meet the members” Q&A – thier answers appear below
Why weddings? We love working with couples’ personal styles to create menus and stage food that reflects their own aesthetics. Also, weddings have proven to be fairly recession-proof over the past few years; it’s the one sector of our business that keeps growing despite what’s going on with the economy.
What should people know about what you do? Chowgirls is green to an extreme–we compost and/or recycle close to 90% of all our kitchen waste and are functioning at about 80% organic in terms of our ingredients.
What is your favorite part of a wedding? Setting the table–whether it’s the buffet or the guest tables–the combination of food, flowers, and tableware always gets us excited–we love staging beautiful food landscapes! We enjoy catering weddings because the very concept of creating beautiful tables and serving beautiful food was a played a big part in our motivation to start Chowgirls in the first place.
What new wedding tradition do you want to get more love? Cocktail-style receptions versus sit-down, plated dinners. Guests love to try a variety of 6-12 different small bites rather than the 4 or so we feature on a pre-plated meal. Plus guests seem to enjoy this less formal approach and mingle more with one another.
How does your style differentiate you? What sets you apart? We’ve taken a very pastoral style in terms of the way we present our food–roasted seasonal vegetables garnished with plentiful fresh herbs that grow here in Minnesota, plattered grilled chicken cooked perfectly and served plattered versus over-cooked in an enormous steel chafing dish. Much of our ingredients are grown here on local farms and I feel our presentation is honest to the food and its roots.
What do you wish you had known when you started working with weddings? The roles that other vendors play in the big day–photographers, florists, planners. It’s refreshing–and makes us all do our jobs better– when we work with these other entities to create perfect events for brides and grooms.
Cake or cupcakes? Cake for sentimentality and tradition, cupcakes for simplicity and variety.
Do you ever watch the wedding shows on TV? No, we get enough daily drama being busy caterers. We did, however, film a pilot for our own reality show last Spring. We were actually quite relieved when it fizzled–we couldn’t imagine asking brides to share their big days with a camera crew and the exposure of even our smallest mistakes to the world!