Archive for the ‘Blogroll’ Category

Sales Team Learns from In-House Florist

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

This afternoon, our sales team ventured across the parking lot to the studio of our in-house florist and Director of Visual Design, Brian Blasingame.  They were thrilled to learn how floral arrangements can vary in shape and size and how much of an impact they can make on the look and feel of different environments in which they are placed. Brian and his team work tirelessly making these gorgeous arrangements to commemorate the most significant moments in life. Every member of our sales team works to keep up to date on the latest trends in our industry and having Brian here to assist us is priceless.

We are very thankful to have such a hard working in-house florist team on-site with us. They even let our sales team take home these gorgeous arrangements! We cannot thank Brian and his team enough for their hard work and dedication in keeping our office welcoming and beautiful!

Check out these stunning arrangements!


Butler’s Pantry’s Chuck Friedhoff Raising Natural Bees

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Whenever people ask Butler’s Pantry’s chef de cuisine Chuck Friedhoff why he makes his own natural honey, his first response is always in jest.

“I tell them, ‘I don’t make the honey; the bees do,’” he says.

Friedhoff and his wife and Rhubarb and Honey blogger, Kimberly Henricks-Friedhoff, currently have a full hive. They started out with a quarter hive with a queen, called a nuc (pronounced nuke) in beekeeper slang, that was gifted to Friedhoff by Kimberly and her parents for his birthday in January.

Friedhoff always felt the draw of natural beekeeping as a proponent of the slow food movement and taking the extra time to monitor what goes into your body. After the apartment-dwellers finally moved into a house big enough to raise bees in October 2012, it was an obvious next step.

Friedhoff and his wife took a natural beekeeping class at Local Harvest through Isabees last June, and they soon found themselves amazed at the technicality and preciseness of the bee’s work.

“We couldn’t believe how well they manage themselves,” Friedhoff says. “There’s a queen, obviously, but they can tell if she’s doing a poor job and will start rearing a new queen. There are bees specifically for cleaning cells, for making honey, for capping honey, for making comb. Every bee has its place.”

Friedhoff and his wife manage their hive in the backyard of their home near Fenton, where their duties include checking the bees and screen bottoms for mites, monitoring the eggs, grooming the bees when necessary and much more.

They use photography to minimize the amount of time they spend in the hives for inspection. Zooming in on the photos on their computer allows them to see almost as much detail as in person, but it doesn’t disrupt the bees’ work.

Using photography, they’ve occasionally discovered mites on their bees, which is a backyard beekeeper’s biggest pest – literally. Mites, by comparison, would be the equivalent to a frisbee-sized tick on a human, and are an ongoing issue with beekeeping.

“It’s a question of when, not if, your bees are going to get mites,” Friedhoff says.

Friedhoff controls the mites on his bees with natural essential oils rather than chemicals to get rid of mites, adding spearmint, lemongrass and – when the mite numbers get too high – thyme, to the simple syrup of the bees’ feed to combat the mites, rather than harmful chemicals. The mites dislike the ingredients in the essential oil, so they find something else to latch on to. The thyme is more aggressive and actually kills the mites, so it’s used less often to protect the bees, as well.

This process is one of many that Friedhoff uses to ensure that his beekeeping is done naturally. He sprays olive oil on the solid boards underneath the screen bottoms of his hive to catch the debris that falls for 24 hours once per month. Any pesticides he uses are organic.

“Beekeeping in itself is unnatural,” Friedhoff says. “Bees in nature find a tree for their hive, not man-made boxes. I believe that raising natural bees helps them manage themselves and makes a stronger bee.”

For him, it’s not about the honey being produced. Of course that’s important, but Friedhoff would rather raise a hive that can support itself and grow large and healthy over the years. This past spring, he didn’t even cultivate any honey so that the bees would have enough for themselves to make it though this winter. Plus, there would be less need for them to gather and build up in the spring.

Next spring will be the first time Friedhoff will be able to taste the honey his bees make. The first year, he plans on giving away about half of his honey to neighbors and friends who have put up with his hive. Eventually, though, the plan is to raise hives at or near Butler’s Pantry to use the honey in cooking.

“The true sign of a strong hive is the ability for a colony to split itself, or what we call swarming,” Friedhoff says. “So this spring we’re hoping that process will happen and eventually can set up these split hives somewhere at Butler’s Pantry.” Butler’s Pantry currently uses local honey from Double Star Farms in Bluford, Illinois.

One of the new friends Friedhoff has made is Ralph Samples, his bee mentor and fellow hive-owner. Friedhoff found Samples, who maintains about 40 hives, on a Facebook forum for Missouri beekeepers, and he’s been instrumental in keeping Friedhoff’s hives running smoothly.

“There’s no right answer for beekeeping,” Friedhoff says. “There’s a joke that if you ask 10 beekeepers the same question, you’ll get 20 different answers. Ralph is always there if I have a question, but he makes sure I’m doing my own research and usually answers my question with a question.”

Backyard beekeeping has been a project in patience, but it’s also a calming and rewarding hobby for Friedhoff and his wife.

“I lose track of time sitting and watching the bees,” he says. “It’s mesmerizing to see them at work.”

Butler’s Pantry, 1414 Park Ave., Lafayette Square, 314. 664.7680,


5 Hot Event Trends for 2014

Friday, August 15th, 2014

5 Hot Event Trends for 2014

From décor to themes to corporate event ideas, these five event trends are gaining steam in the new year. Discover what fun ideas are hot for 2014!

1. Marquee Signs
Whether it’s spelling out words like “LOVE” and “BAR” or exaggerating initials, marquee signs are being used all over in events and décor. The retro displays can be used as signage throughout the event landscape and as sweet announcements incorporated into any style event.



2. Events for a Cause
2014 may be the year where charitable events skyrocket in popularity. More and more event professionals are finding ways to incorporate charitable donations into their events, from using vendors and suppliers that offer incentive-based platforms to offering donations based on participation to organizing community events as part of their marketing strategies.

If you use philanthropy in your event plans, tell us about it! Take this quick survey and your ideas could be part of the Eventhropy session by Paul Wolman at #CSES2014.

3. Shapes and Patterns
Gone are the days of single color themes! Well, not really, but you can at least expect to see a greater use of patterns in the coming year. Geometric shapes, fun patterns like houndstooth, floral prints and polka dots are playing a role in many events as designers and clients work to create statement pieces. Color blocking is also transferring from the runway into more events, both with multiple colors and with simple black and white designs, making it a little easier to take those dramatically different colors and combine them into one cover-worthy event.



4. Rustic Modern Décor
The conventional idea of taking a rustic look and adding décor elements to create an upscale appearance is still going strong and will continue through the beginning of the year. Using mirrors, metallic centerpieces, marquee signs and feathers in your décor can add that modern touch to your traditional rustic event complete with mason jars, exposed wood furnishings and farm-to-table catering. Adding an industrial flair to traditionally rustic designs is also increasing in popularity, using rusted pipes, natural stone, chrome finishes and exposed engineering (think Steampunk) to create a modernized Industrial Revolution-style design.

5. Unique Venues
Traditional banquet halls and religious institutions may see a decline in event production as consumers look towards unique venues for their events. The Gatsby sensation of 2013 has turned clients on to venues with opulence and majestic features, such as old-style mansions and country clubs. Clients are also trying to make a statement with their venue by finding unique properties like museums, warehouses, concert venues and college campus hotspots.


2013 was a great year for new trends and although some major concepts have died down, they have lead to many additional spinoffs that will gain momentum in the coming year. What ideas or trends are you getting requests for this year?


To read more visit:




10 Hot New Wedding Catering Trends For 2014

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

By Amy Levin-Epstein for 

There’s so much more to wedding food than chicken and potatoes. From decadent cheese platters to push pops for dessert, spice up your reception with one of these unique ideas.

The Elevated Beverage Stand


Photo: Jen Huang Photography/The Knot

It’s nothing new to offer water or lemonade at cocktail hour and to have it displayed in a cute way (hello mason jars). But the new beverage bar for weddings is far more exotic with unexpected offerings like lemongrass infused ice cubes to fresh pressed ginger drinks and even loose-leaf tea bars where guests can mix and match their favorite leaves for the perfect blend.



Dim Sum and Dumplings


Photo: Eclectic Images/The Knot

Dim sum is now making its way into the wedding world. Imagine dumplings as well as other appetizers or small plates are rolled throughout the cocktail party on carts or served to each table for guests to pick and choose what they’d like. Pair them with mini sake shots or even lychee martinis.


Donut Bars


Photo: Nikki Closer Photography/The Knot

Maybe you’re not cake people or maybe you both have a serious sweet tooth. Either way, the idea of a donut bar (or even a cronut bar) is genius. If you do it to replace your wedding cake, stack up the pastries into a tower plan to cut into a donut for your cake cutting. Then serve up retro flavors — like cream and jelly filled donuts — alongside your donut tower. Or get fancy with it and choose never-heard-of-that-before varieties like white chocolate and almond or coconut and mango donuts.



Strolling Chef Stations


Photo: Kristen Marie Photography/The Knot

Instead of the expected passed appetizers on trays, the idea here is that servers or even chefs walk around the room preparing food to order for your guests. A few fun ways to bring the idea to life: Have a raw bar with a chef shucking oysters or a chef that rolls around to each table and prepares sushi right in front of your guests.



Apps Paired with Mini Drinks


Photo: Robin Procter Photography/The Knot

Wine pairings are always nice but the new idea is to match passed appetizers with a cocktail, beer, or even a shot. Imagine tiny lobster tacos with mini hibiscus margaritas, mini pastrami sandwiches paired with mini mugs of craft beer, or even caviar and crackers with mini shots of vodka on ice.


Cheese Sommeliers

Photo: Jenny De Marco Photography/The Knot

Cheese platters are getting the star treatment at weddings this year. Some couples are actually hiring knowledgeable cheese pros to teach guests about each cheese profile during the cocktail hour — making it far more interactive than the typical cheese setup. Beyond cocktail hour, consider switching it up and serving cheese after dinner alongside the cake!


Vegan Anything


Photo: Jennifer Lindberg Weddings/The Knot

It’s a given that you’ll have at least one or two vegetarian options at your wedding, but these days, more and more couples are serving vegan and gluten-free foods too. It’s not just to accommodate guests with food allergies — caterers are creating really incredible menus that even your meat eaters would try. A few of our favorite vegan ideas: vegan sushi, falafel sliders, and tomato risotto cakes.


Meatball Bars


Photo: Hudson River Photographers/The Knot

And on the other end of the spectrum, meat eaters can get excited because meatballs at weddings are big. We know one caterer who loves to serve lots of mini meatballs paired with a choice of creative sauces like peppercorn cognac sauce or sundried tomato pesto. Another idea? Ask your caterer about serving up mini meatball sandwiches at the cocktail hour or after-party.

Push Pops For Dessert


Photo: Jen Kroll Photography/The Knot

Remember push pops? Well some ultra-creative caterers have taken the idea up one big notch for weddings. We’ve seen everything from cheesecake to macarons, moon pies, and red velvet cake push pops. Hint: They also make for a cool groom’s cake alternative!


Breakfast Foods


Photo: Kathryn Krueger/The Knot

It’s your wedding, so why not choose your absolute favorite breakfast foods? Think about it: bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, pan-fried potatoes and even blueberry pancakes. The trick to pulling it off breakfast food is to make it look like it belongs at a wedding. So ask your caterer for ideas, but a few we love to get you started include bacon and fried egg cupcakes at cocktail hour, mini French toasts, or even jumbo shrimp spiked with Bloody Mary pipettes (trust us, it’s amazing).




Original Article:

Butler’s Pantry Recognized for Outstanding Support

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Last Thursday, I was excited to receive the National Award of Merit  from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Saint Louis.  Butler’s Pantry was honored to receive this award as an organization from outside the Boys & Girls Clubs that has provided outstanding support to the Club.  I was so proud to accept this award on behalf of our company. 


The History of what was the Old Herbert Hoovers Boys Club and now the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Saint Louis is so motivating.  For nearly 50 years the Club has provided activities and services that have improved the lives of many Saint Louis Children.  The stories are so inspiring and reflect how caring for our children at all levels can make a difference.


This award will be shared with all of our team members as a continued reminder that “it is our goal to steward relationships and work hard to improve the lives of children in our community”!

-Richard Nix Jr.


Gorgeous Wedding Reception at Piper Palm House

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

MaryBeth & Shelby’s Storybook Wedding from Millennium Productions on Vimeo.

What a Rehearsal Dinner Really Costs and How to Pick the Theme

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Original article

The costs for planning your wedding includes more than just those for the day of: You have to take into account everything you might need for your bridal party, your bridal shower and bachelorette party, and, of course, your rehearsal dinner. So how much should you shell out for the night before your big night?

The average cost of a rehearsal dinner is $1,330—about one-twentieth of the price of the wedding. While some in-laws foot the bill, more couples are paying for it themselves. “You can still have a fun night. You just have to be strategic,” says Leslie Lukas, an event planner in Bozeman, Montana. “Mexican and Italian are generally bargains. So is a catered picnic at a park or in a backyard. Just don’t have it at your own house—you don’t want to spend the night before your wedding cleaning.” The most direct way of shrinking your bill, of course, is to cut the guest list. Etiquette gurus will tell you that the only people you must invite are immediate family and the bridal party. But we know plenty of brides who had a simple rehearsal dinner with just their parents—and yes, their attendants still speak to them.

And although you might want to shrink the cost of the rehearsal dinner, you still want it to be a cohesive part of your wedding weekend.

“Think of the rehearsal dinner and the reception as parts of one event—the wedding weekend,” says Richard Nix Jr., owner of Butler’s Pantry Catering & Events, in St. Louis. Having a formal wedding? Consider complementing it with a more low-key event. A huge trend is to serve up regional comfort foods, like a lobster boil or pig roast. “We threw a Vices of Virginia dinner before a Halloween wedding in The Plains,” says Maria Cooke of Ritzy Bee Events, in Washington, D.C. “There were local wines, oysters, bourbon milkshakes, and a cigar roller. It was totally sinful, and guests loved it.”

Winter Garnish Recipe

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Pumpkin “Butter” with a mélange of Winter’s Roasted Vegetable

by Chef Chuck Friedhoff


Yield: 4 servings







      • Pumpkin Butter:

        175g Roasted Pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

      • 55g Grated Parmesan Cheese
      • 15g Whole Garlic
      • 150 g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      • 30g Sherry Vinegar
      • 8g Kosher Salt
      • 1g Black Pepper
      • 30g Mirin
      • 30g Apple Cider

Combine all ingredients in food processor and puree until smooth

  • Winter’s Roasted Vegetables:
  • 2 Medium Sized Carrots
  • 1 Small Butternut Squash
  • 1 Small Head Cauliflower
  • 2 Cups Sliced Mushrooms
  • 2 Cups Chiffinade Winter Kale
  • 4 each whole dried figs
  1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Large Dice Carrots and Butternut Squash
  3. Cut Cauliflower in to florets – Cut each floret in half
  4. Slice mushrooms
  5. Chiffinade Kale
  6. Place vegetables in separate bowls and toss with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper
  7. Roast Vegetables separate in oven for 20 minutes or until tender

Recipe Reveal

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Chef Greg Ziegenfuss joined other members of Leading Caterers of America in Miami earlier this year and brought back some delicious recipes. Feel free to try them at home!

Spicy Crawfish Cakes
Compliments of Executive Sous Chef Chad Vanderleest – Butler’s Pantry



Compliments of Chef Angelo Grasso– Jeffery Miller Catering Co.



Coconut Chocolate Mousse Cake
Compliments of Chef Rachanee Keovorabouth – Thomas Caterers of Distinction


Holiday Stollen Recipe

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Holiday Stollen Recipe

Click image to enlarge.

This is the perfect addition to any holiday party.

1414 Park Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63104 / Phone: (314) 664-7680 / Fax: (314) 664-9866