Here’s the thing about off-site caterers, who are an underappreciated bunch: They are the rock ’n’ roll heroes of the wedding world. These are the crews who roll up, load in, and break down all the fabulous Hudson Valley parties that are held in meadows, on mountaintops, in barns, fields, factories, and alongside creeks. Part theater directors, part military tacticians— and one 100% superstars—these people can do just about anything, anywhere. And they’ll do it with style.
Whether you’re your looking for traditional wedding fare or an outlandish, modern feast, these caterers can make it happen. Pair one of these teams with any of the amazing sites that Hudson Valley offers—the only limits are the boundaries of your imagination.
Under the direction of James Gop, Berkshires-based Heirloom Fire creates more art installation than everyday party. Attired in vintage-looking uniforms, his crew roll up to outdoor spaces and then construct a diverse array of Mallmann-esque, live-fire cooking contraptions. Expect a devotion to regional farms, inventive serving modes—live-edge wood planks, antique silver trays—and spectacle cooking that seamlessly unites rustic and elevated.
Hudson Valley farms in general, and Green Quince Farm in particular (that’s Hunt and Harvest’s three-acre farm) are the inspiration for Brandon Scimeca’s Millbrook-based catering company. He spent formative time at the landmark farm-to-table restaurant Chez Panisse, and each menu that he designs is framed around seasonal and locally sourced food.
Artist-Chefs Carla Perez-Gallardo and Hannah Black have already unpacked the idea of a restaurant. Their freewheeling Hudson outpost is like a party/food business/piece of performance art that manages to snag the devotion of every prominent food writer around (and there are a lot). Lil’ Deb’s catering is just as personal: They’re not gonna be flashing you lists of canapés and pigs in blankets. They’ll want to hear about your deepest desires and memories, then riff on it from there.
Having honed his craft in the kitchens of Andy Nusser, Michael White, and Bill Taibe, Westchester-based Chef Dan Sabia decided to strike out on his own. Nowadays, Sabia can be found in barns, fields, and meadows doing sensual live-fire cooking that brings people and the best of local farms together. Don’t miss the equipment (grills/racks/tripods/cutting boards) that Sabia crafts himself.
This off-site catering branch of the Barber family’s two restaurants puts that icon’s incredible kitchen, peerless service, and seasonal, locally sourced food on wheels. It’s the ideal pick for food-and-farm-focused couples, and these pros can be safely trusted to execute flawless events. Beyond merely providing food and bev, this Blue Hill on the Road can help you choose a venue, direct you to the perfect vendors, and even create spectacular local floral designs.
Leisah Swenson and Monica Byrne’s sumptuous catering/event planning/florist design company offers one-stop shopping. In Red Hook, Brooklyn—where their company started—the partners hold events in their warehouse loft, Atelier Roquette. In Hudson, where the team is also based, they do offsite catering as Home/Made Hudson. In both, you can expect events that veer toward the more opulent side of modern aesthetics.
Philmont-based Chef Josephine Proul can throw an amazing party just about anywhere. Not too long ago, she held a huge tented gathering in a remote hemp field and its menu sported fermented hemp, CBD purée, cold-pressed hemp juice, and a salad that contained micro hemp leaves (it was all delicious). In short, even if you have challenging ideas, Proul will execute them with style and verve.
Heirloom Fire | @heirloomfire
Hunt and Harvest | @huntandharvestevents
Lil’ Deb’s Oasis | @lildebsoasis
Wood Fire Food | @wood_fire_food
Blue Hill on the Road | @stonebarnscenter
Home/Made Hudson | @homemadehudson
Atelier Roquette | @atelierroquette
Local 111 | @local111restaurant
This story was originally published in December of 2019.