The unique dishes that come out of our kitchen continue to amaze people. Each is custom designed to match individual tastes and styles, and all of them are filled with creativity. Clients who are familiar with Chef Rocky Dunnam’s style are not easily fooled by these seemingly simple culinary creations. They know that his wholesome menus are filled with passion and bursting with flavor.
To learn how your event vision feeds his obsession with creating amazing new recipes and menus that fill people with nutritious and delicious food, we asked Chef Rocky Dunnam a series of questions.
Meet the Mastermind Behind NINETEEN49’s Innovative Menus
How do you build a menu for a corporate event based on the client’s event goals?
I can’t get started in the kitchen until I am familiar with my source of inspiration—my client and their wishes. So the first thing I do is set up a consult with my client to learn what they want to accomplish at their event. Then I get to work designing a menu that fits in perfectly with their event theme, atmosphere and objectives. Because their custom menu will impact nearly every aspect of their event, I ask about things as broad as their clientele and as specific as their color scheme.
As I customize each menu to match clients’ needs, I add in the features that I know help maximize the benefits of corporate events. For example, the food needs to reward employees while providing them with plenty of energy and nutrition to keep their brain running full strength!
What is the most creative dish you have made for a corporate event?
Every corporate event is an opportunity to design creative new dishes that impress guests with a unique culinary experience. I would never waste a chance to craft a new and exciting menu, so guests at each and every company event catered by NINETEEN49 Catering enjoy incredibly innovative food. Even the most classic menu items get a fresh twist and irresistible shot of flavor.
If I had to choose a corporate event that pressed my creativity to the limit, I would recall the summer of 2015 when I competed on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen.” Although not a corporate event in its own right, I did proudly represent our passionate Amarillo catering team, so I will call it a personal corporate event!
How do you incorporate seasonal ingredients into corporate events?
It’s easy to use seasonal ingredients because they are what we all “crave” at the moment. For example, pumpkin sounds good to nearly everyone during the crisp fall months. Also, when I add my touch of Southern charm to menus, I am keen to incorporate popular seasonal ingredients like sweet potatoes.
What is the most prominent corporate event menu trend you see for 2017?
Variety! No longer do companies have to choose a single theme for their menu. Many companies want more diverse menus to ensure every employee finds something they love. Menus with a variety of cuisines are a wonderful reflection of the diversity seen among employees and how they come together in a cohesive way.
What are your favorite menu items for a corporate event? Why?
I love pastas, salads and fun “bars.” From a baked potato bar to a taco bar, you would be amazed how many flavors you can feature in one station. And for this reason, bars are a great way to enable and encourage guests to express themselves through their food choices. I love to see employees’ creativity take on new forms at “bars” filled with unique ingredients.
What are your top venues for corporate events?
That is a tough choice—our city is filled with so many incredible venues! For corporate events with a focus on networking and education, I really love the Amarillo Civic Center. Conveniently located in downtown, this multi-purpose convention center makes planning for large corporate events a breeze. It is always fun to see which space our clients choose and how our event planners customize it to match their needs.
When the primary goal of an Amarillo corporate event is to bond and reward employees, I can’t think of a better place than the 9,000-square-foot Cornerstone Ranch Events Center. From private tours to ideas for seating plans, this venue does its part in reducing stress so you can focus on the little things that go into an incredibly productive company event.
The menus and recipes Chef Rocky Dunnam has created since he joined our team in 2012 have garnered him a reputation and awards that may even trump his fine culinary training at Le Cordon Blue College of Culinary Arts. We could not be more proud to have an Amarillo chef with such creativity and passion among our catering company.
To start planning your next event backed by expertise and ingenuity, contact our trusted Amarillo catering company online or give us a call at 806-350-7580.