Dig In! Meet Salthouse, one of the newestâ€”and coolestâ€”catering outfits in the Lowcountry
When Salthouse Catering hit the catering scene at the start of this year, it caught our attention. Add its snazzy new site launched this summer and top-notch reviews of its food and we knew we had to catch up with partner Tanya Gurrieri (former director of sales with Good Food Catering and one-time head of catering for Caviar & Bananas) to get the scoop on the biz. Read on for that, plus her take on whatâ€™s hot in reception fare and her tips for getting the best catering experience.
Charleston Weddings: What sets you apart from other caterers in Charleston?
Tanya Gurrieri: Our experience and our food. Iâ€™ve worked in the catering industry for more than 15 years, which allows me to guide, assist, and truly be a helpful component in planning a clientâ€™s event. Chef Todd Mazurekâ€™s background in fine dining and his unique culinary creativity allow us to offer custom menu creations and delicious, restaurant-quality food in a catered environment.
CW: What are you known for in the following arenas: menu, presentation, and service?
TG:Menu: Farm-to-fork, local, seasonal, and sustainable products that show off the bounty of our region and really represent Lowcountry cuisine at its finest. We create custom menus specific to your needs, tastes, and dietary restraints.
Presentation: We let the food speak for itself. Clean, not-fussy presentations allow the food to be the star.
Service: Our service team includes industry veterans who are dedicated to their craft and are passionate about good food and good service.
CW: Who are your favorite couples to work with?
TG: Salthouse loves working with all couples to be part of their special day, but if we had to choose our favorite, it would be second weddings and weddings of older couples, because both kinds of couples are usually so relaxed and most host smaller groups, which opens up a lot of party possibilities.
CW: What advice do you have for couples looking to find a caterer?
TG: Interview a few companies over the phone or in person after checking out their websites, online reviews, and menus. Ask each company to give you a quote based on the same information (number of guests, time of event, food and beverage selections, and other needs like rentals) so you can compare the estimates â€śapples to apples.â€ť
CW: Whatâ€™s exciting in Lowcountry catering right now?
TG: The push for local or regional ingredients. Weâ€™re proud to offer local seafood, produce, grains, and meats that have roots in the area. There are so many great purveyors bringing back heirloom ingredients to the mainstream and through companies like Grow Food Carolina these are available on a daily basis. We also source ingredients from Clammer Dave, Ambrose Farms, Pane di Vito Breads, and Paoloâ€™s Gelato, just to name a few.
CW: How does a tasting work with Salthouse?
TG: We offer a pre-booking tasting to introduce them to our chef and let them try a few chef-selected items from our menu. That gives a good idea of who we are as a company and allows them to see the style and quality of our food. Once a client has booked our services and we have a proposed menu in place, weâ€™ll offer a tasting of that specific menu so they can narrow down choices and confirm the offerings. That happens no less than about a month prior to their wedding, or whatever wedding-related event theyâ€™ve booked us for.
CW: What are your personal favorite dishes youâ€™re offering?
TG: I love our Boiled Peanut Falafel. It transforms a truly Southern ingredient (boiled peanuts) into a global dish in a delicious and inventive way. Itâ€™s beautiful plated, as well, as itâ€™s served with a mint and cucumber fregole salad (a toasted semolina pasta similar to cous cous), piquillo pepper hummus (the color is intense), and a yogurt sauce.
CW: Say a couple has a favorite family recipe theyâ€™d like to serveâ€”how do you broach that?
TG: We love to incorporate family traditions into events, and Chef Todd is happy to follow family recipes for certain dishes. Weâ€™ve had folks fly in blue cheese from their own dairy farm, bring peanuts from their hometown, and serve Grandmaâ€™s wedding cookies for dessert.
CW: How far in advance should couples book you?
TG: Most bookings happen between six months to a year prior to the wedding, but weâ€™re happy to book events up to about 18 months out.
CW: Before we forget, do you tackle sweets?
TG: We donâ€™t make wedding cakes (we leave that to other professionals), but we do offer a variety of desserts and baked goods sourced locally from Twenty-Six Divine and other pastry professionals.