Monday, June 11, 2007

My friend Fiddy: Wrapping it up for the Rappers

a few summers ago CuisinEtc did an interesting last minute catering gig for the rapper "50 cent" --- now if you are like me you are going who but just ask any kid and they will tell you big gangsta rapper.

When the production company called to ask if we could do breakfast and lunch the next day, for what I heard as 50 cents (not fiddy cent) I told them they were insane, that they were beyond cheap - they quietly corrected me and said, no it's for the artist "fifty cent" to which I hastly replied ohhh. still not knowing who he was ,but at least having the business accumen to know that the budget was more realistic....

Anyway, it was a very last minute catering job - the call came in on Saturday afternoon on my cell phone "can you do a 2 day rap video production catering job - day one 50 guests for breakfast & lunch, day two 150 for breakfast and 300 for lunch"??? and snacks and sodas all day long for everyone.

They booked it at around 5 pm which gave us just 45 minutes of shop time at the wholesaler - snacks, sodas (what they call craft service) threw together a menu by brainstorming while Andrew was driving and the client didn't even request a copy - just the gist of what we might serve (depending on availability) worked through the night, called in the crew, and showed up in Jersey City (an 1.5 hour drive with the slow but steady 27 foot mobile catering kitchen) at 6:30 am ready to ROCK and ROLL or was that rock and wrap??? basically kept cooking, serving, shopping, cooking, serving for the next 48 hours. Fortunately our experience with years of corporate catering allowed us to pull together jobs with little or no notice.

The dinner service for the 300-400 on Monday at the Limelight started at 3:00 pm and ran almost continuously until after 7:30 - with people coming through the line as they were finished on set (as the director "broke" them). I still didn't recognize our boy and had him waiting impatiently while we replenished the buffet line, joking that he would just have to be patient - even though he let me know he was really hungry. Just because it's important to be polite and kind to all guests, even though I didn't know who he was, I was polite and used humor to get me through a long day. Later I let him know that I didn't know who he was, and I hoped that he was OK with my silly joking. He was shocked that I really didn't know who he was, but when I put it off as being a stupid "old lady/music ignoramous" his reply gave me hope and offered respect. He just said, that I wasn't stupid, that it just wasn't part of my world. Glad to see that fame hadn't gone to his head to the extent that he couldn't imagine not being part of everyones world - because in reality - he is that famous.

back to the food.

For the big group we served jerk and roasted chicken, bbq kielbasa, basmati rice, big mamas spicy mac & cheese, mixed green salad, potato salad ,watermelon, and carrot cake. Not exactly our usual innovative catering, but it was good home cooked fresh food and

they loved it, especially the mac and cheese and the kielbasa, although next time I would make sure not to have any pork products because we got some flak about it (though we also got raves)

the food was simple but good, what started out as a low budget job ended up costing them almost double as they kept adding things and guest count increased. Got to love this business, never boring. I got to sit and talk to 50 Cent last night - he was very sweet and humble- not quite the image he portrays on screen...
Only in America folks, only in America...

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